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Where Have Our Plants and Animals Gone?

Subject: Science Duration: 45 Minutes Location: Classroom Key Vocabulary: Organism, population, extinction Related Activities: What Extinct or Endangered Species Am I?; And Then There Were None Florida Sunshine State Standards: SC.G.1.2

Objectives. Students will be able to: a) discuss some of the problems that wild animals and plants face from humans, b) list examples of how personal feelings and beliefs can affect situa- tions involving wild organisms, and c) make decisions about a value-related plant/animal issue.

Materials

  • ´éč

    Blackline master - “What’s Hap-

pening Here?”

Method. Students will analyze a hypothetical situation relat- ing to habitat destruction in the Everglades environment using a pencil and paper activity.

Background. South Florida’s national parks are home to fourteen endangered animal species, and additional endangered species live in areas surrounding the parks. The National Park Service works to prevent the extinction of these animals by preserving their habitat. Rangers try to learn more about these creatures through scientific study. Humans are the major cause of habitat destruction to the Everglades/ South Florida environment. Students need to become aware of our influence on this unique environment. For more information on endangered species, see the “Natural History” section.

Suggested Procedure

  • 1.

    Divide the class into groups of 2 - 3 students.

  • 2.

    Distribute one copy of the blackline master to each group of students.

  • 3.

    Ask each group to analyze the situation described, and answer the questions on the blackline master.

Evaluation

Discuss each group’s findings with the rest of the class. What populations are most affected by this develop- ment? Least affected? How do you know? Would you expect any organisms to become extinct as a result of this development? Which ones? Why do you think they might? Humans interfere with organisms and populations of plants and animals in order to improve their own lives. What guidelines would you recom- mend when it comes to using the environment?

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