Resources for PreK-8 Activity 9 – Planet Diversity

In this activity, students will pretend they are visitors from outer space, viewing life on Earth for the first time. By describing, in minute detail, all the life they find in a small plot of land, they will become more aware of the diversity and abundance of life on Earth and will better understand its importance.

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:

(PDF)

Diversity Data (PDF)

Assessment Checklist (PDF)

French: Grille d'évaluation (PDF)

 

Spanish Student Page(s):

Datos de la Diversidad (PDF)

Lisa de Verificacion (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:

  • PHYLO: The Ecosystem Trading Card Game

    A study 20 years ago found that British kids were better at identifying Pokemon than real wildlife. So a Canadian professor of teaching has crowdsourced ideas and created a competitive card game that teaches kids about ecosystems.

    Learn more about this scientific Pokemon-type card game called Phylo: The Ecosystem Trading Card Game. Download rules and a starter deck for free and watch this video to learn how to play.

  • 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.

  • Environmental Justice – EPA’s Data and Mapping Tool

    EJ SCREEN is an environmental justice mapping and screening tool that combines environmental and demographic indicators to provide interesting and important regional data related to public health and environmental quality. By clicking anywhere on the map, users can view an area’s ozone levels, traffic concentrations, lead paint indicators, and more. EJSCREEN can assist in the identification of rural, urban, and suburban areas that are the most at-risk and it allows users to find correlations between the socioeconomic background of the region and the prevalence of environmental hazards.

  • Climate Change around the World

    An article in BBC News that discusses impacts of global warming in countries around the world and in major sectors of society: health, water, food, ecosystems, coasts, and industry.

  • Neighborhood Explorers

    US Fish and Wildlife’s Neighborhood Explorers Game for 8-11 year olds allows students to take an interest in their own backyards.  Students learn about nature as they complete games in the Neighborhood Explorers (NX) clubhouse and earn points for observing nature in person.  Students are asked to record observations of bugs, birds, and other wildlife found in their own backyards.  Students then submit their findings online and can compare statistics and generate reports.  The website also offers ideas for conservation activities that students can do at home.

  • Earth from Space

    This Smithsonian Institution website  provides students (and teachers!) access to views of conditions and events on earth that are nearly impossible to document from the Earth’s surface. The site proves interactive; explaining how satellite imagery is gathered and used to better understand the world around us.

  • EarthViewer App

    Have you ever wondered what the Earth looked like 400 million years ago? With EarthViewer, a free iPad application, users can explore the Earth’s geologic history. The app tracks the planet’s continental shifts, changes in climate, and explores biodiversity levels over the last 540 million years. Combining visual analysis withe hard data, the app can help students make connections between geological and biological change. 

  • TeamWILD

    In this online simulation from ARKive, students ages 6-14 learn about conservation and science as they work as ecologists to protect the world’s species and habitats. Players replant native trees, evacuate non-infected forest species, survey coral reef health, and examine relationships between predator and prey. Teacher Notes and photos, videos, and facts about each featured habitat are also offered.

  • ARKive’s “Survival” App

    Use your mobile device to race against the clock in a battle for survival! Tap, drag, scroll, swipe and pinch your way through a series of quick-fire mini-games to reveal the identity of some of the world’s most endangered animals. Full of real-life photographs, this fun and educational application tests speed, agility, endurance and intelligence, essential skills needed to become a Top Survivor.

  • 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.

  • WildLab Bird

    A free app that can be downloaded onto any Apple device (try iBird Lite for Android). Use WildLab Bird to learn the basics of bird identification. This application uses audio, photographs, maps, and the process of elimination to help identify over 200 bird species. Sightings can also be entered into a national bird watching database for comparison. 

  • Fairy Tale

    A free app that can be downloaded onto Apple devices. This story production tool can be used to create a personal story and enhance it by adding your own drawings, audio, and animation. The illustrations can be moved, expanded, reduced, or rotated with touch, and you can record your own voice as narrator.

  • Birding Competitions for Young People

    The Race 4 Birds Foundation is a new nonprofit organization that formed to promote and support youth birding. The Race 4 Birds competition challenges youth participants to identify and quantify the number of birds sighted within 24 hours. The site offers a planning guide, detailed instructions, and resources to help get students involved and excited. 

  • Habitat the Game

    The Wildlife Conservation Society and Rainforest Alliance have created a free, new app designed for students 7-12. Habitat challenges students to care for virtual endangered animals while they earn points by completing real-life missions, like recycling or visiting a park zoo. 

  • 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!

  • PBS Kids Plum Landing

    A PBS KIDS environmental science project, PBS PLUM LANDING offers educators fun and engaging resources to get kids outside and connected to nature. Encourage kids to explore their local water systems, find out what happens to life in the desert, and investigate nature’s sounds and smells. Download PLUM LANDING’s free summer camp resources, including interactive games and videos. Furthermore, all of PLUM’s lesson plans are Next Generation Science (NGSS) standards aligned and easy for educators to plug and play throughout their summer programming.

  • Every Kid in a Park – Free Passes for 4th Graders

    Do you teach 4th grade students? Every Kid in a Park is a White House youth initiative to make sure that all 4th grade students and their families get a chance to experience the national parks in their communities. Teachers can visit www.everykidinapark.gov to download passes for your class, and find lesson plans and activity sheets. The Every Kid in a Park website is full of additional resources to help you plan the perfect trip for your students. Plus, check out Project Learning Tree’s suggestions for family activities.