Resources for PreK-8 Activity 10 – Charting Diversity

Students will explore the amazing diversity of life on Earth and discover how plants and animals are adapted for survival. This activity provides a basis for understanding why there are so many different species and the value of biodiversity.

This is one of 96 activities that can be found in PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s PreK-8 Guide. Below are some supporting resources for this activity. 

STUDENT PAGES

Download the copyright free student pages that are included with this activity:

Cards for Game (PDF)

French: Cartes pour le jeu (PDF)

 

Spanish Student Page(s):

Tarjetas para el juego (PDF)

RECOMMENDED READING

Expand your students’ learning and imaginations. Help students meet their reading goals while building upon concepts learned in this activity with the following children’s book recommendations:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:

  • Poster: Animals at Risk from Climate Change

    Animals at Risk from Climate Change is an educational poster developed by the Global Education Project. The poster presents a succinct overview of the fundamental impacts of greenhouse gases and features 25 animals currently at risk because of climate change. Through illustrations, symbols and brief explanatory text, learn about the biological traits and environmental conditions that cause a species to be susceptible to climate change. This 24″ x 30″ poster is available in folded, flat, and laminated formats.

  • Conservation Connect

    Conservation Connect is an online video series developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Conservation Training Center designed to encourage students, ages 8-16, to spend time outdoors, observe wildlife in their local habitat, and learn more about natural resource conservation careers. Topics include endangered species such as Bats and the Monarch Butterfly as well as green careers, such as conservation law enforcement. Watch the educator’s introductory video to learn how the series can be used to supplement existing environmental education curriculum, citizen science projects, and STEM content (science, technology, engineering, and math). The overview highlights the recovery of the American Bald Eagle, one of conservation’s biggest success stories.

  • Encyclopedia of Life Biodiversity Cards

    The Encyclopedia of Life is a biodiversity resource that collects and shares information about living things on earth from microorganisms, invertebrates, and trees. When you share observations on the iNaturalist app, scientists come together to properly identify the species. This live data becomes a part of the Encyclopedia of Life and is made into an EOL Biodiversity Card. You can collect or make your own by collecting data on species found in your community.

  • Bird Sleuth

    The BirdSleuth Guidebook from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology offers step-by-step instructions to enable families, school groups, and others to get outdoors and connect with nature. Use this booklet in conjunction with PLT lessons, for example, go on a habitat scavenger hunt (Trees as Habitats), create a sound map (Sounds Around), and identify backyard species (Schoolyard Safari and Name That Tree). The BirdSleuth program helps K-12 students participate in citizen science bird projects by guiding them through several tasks, such as using online resources to find your state bird, looking for birds that fit into different groups, practicing bird counting and entering data online, extracting data from eBird about local birds, and taking action to improve bird habitat in your area.

  • Color the World!

    Coloringnature.org offers more than 500 realistically illustrated coloring pages that can be downloaded and printed for use in preK-8 classrooms. Choose from categories such as amphibians, reptiles, mammals, birds, insects, animal homes, biomes and habitats, and trees. Consider pairing the pages with PLT activities as diagrams, models, or assessment tools.

  • Secret Lives of Wild Animals

    This National Science Foundation website looks at new technologies being used to observe animals in their natural environments. See video clips and stories about the technology used for tracking white-tailed deer, ocelots, agoutis, dragonflies, zebras, and seals.

  • Return to the Forest Where We Live

    This video, available for purchase, takes a look at the devastation of the urban forests in New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast caused by Hurricane Katrina. More than 70% of the trees in New Orleans were damaged by the storm and the flooding that followed. Can you imagine a city without trees? What changes result?

  • Plant for the Planet Video

    Inspired by Wangari Maathai, 9-year-old Felix Finkbeiner founded “Plant for the Planet” and has planted more than 500,000 trees in Germany which he says will help sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Watch Felix’s video, part of the Young Voices on Climate Change series, to learn about his efforts to plant trees for a healthier world.

  • Amazing Animals and Creature Features

    These online resources from National Geographic for Kids present animal information in an interactive way.  Targeted at elementary students, the website features clickable facts and photos of more than 40 animal species from Adelie penguins to zebras.  Users can watch videos of the animals, find maps showing where each animal lives, and print out a collector’s card for any animal described.

  • Endangered Species Interactive Map

    The US Fish and Wildlife Service has launched a web-based interactive map with information about endangered species success in every state: stories of species making strides towards recovery, audio interviews and podcasts with biologists about on-the-ground endangered species conservation, and more.

  • Encounters: Wild Explorer

    The public radio program Encounters: Radio Experiences in the North explores the natural history of Alaska and the Far North. An accompanying website offers K-12 teachers links to the episodes as well as resources, such as slideshows, videos, and sound clips, introducing the animals and habitats of the regions: beavers, bears, caribou, humpback whales, boreal forests, moose, and others.

  • Ferret – Free iPad App

    This free, interactive iPad app teaches children how to classify animals in a series of taps and swipes. Ferret marries science and design, allowing children to discover and learn about select species. The app allows students to “build” animals using a periodic table-like classification system, and in doing so, describe their distinct characteristics.

     

  • Biointeractive’s Holiday Lectures on Science

    Biointeractive’s Holiday Lectures on Science series brings current research into the classroom, bridging the gap between textbook science and real life science. The Biodiversity in the Age of Humans series asks powerful questions, such as: Are we witnessing a sixth mass extinction? What factors threaten ecosystems on land and in the sea? What are researchers doing to conserve biodiversity and ecosystems around the world? What tools do we have to avoid a global catastrophe? In six half-hour lectures, three leading scientists describe the state of biodiversity on our planet and how to face the great challenges that lie ahead.

  • National Geographic: Great Nature Project

    Where will you be May 15-25, 2015? Take part in a global snapshot of biodiversity with National Geographic’s Great Nature Project. With just four simple steps (see it, snap it, share it, and identify it), you can become a citizen scientist by sharing the biodiversity you see and experience from your unique point of view. Over time, this annual event will provide data that can be used to answer scientific questions or provide useful information to decision makers. Try using the mobile iNaturalist app, which is versioned for Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, and Swedish. Get outside and share photos of your encounters with plants, animals, and fungi!