Charting the Wetland Habitat

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SWBAT compare the wetland habitat to the woodland habitat that they already studied

Big Idea

Students will begin to see that some plants and animals can be found in more than 1 habitat.

Teacher Background

In the previous lesson, Charting the Woodland Habitat, students created a large chart and filled in the animals, plants, food, water and shelter found in a Woodland Habitat. In this lesson students will add to the chart by putting on what they have found out about the Wetlands. 

The ongoing chart will help students to understand that while there is diversity within each habitat in terms of plants and animals, there is also some consistency across habitats. Some plants can grow in more than 1 habitat, and some animals can be found in more than 1 habitat. 

This lesson will close with an opportunity for students to identify those plants and animals that are found in more than 1 habitat.

I Can

5 minutes

I begin today by asking students to read the I Can statement aloud together. By reading aloud, students who may struggle with a word can be helped by students who are able to read the statement. 

We read, "I can chart the wetland habitat and compare it to the woodland habitat."

I ask students, "What does the word compare mean?" I let students give a definition and then say, "yes, compare means to see how one thing is the same or different that another thing and that is what we are going to do today. I will hand you back the charts we made for the woodland habitats that documented the plants, animals, shelters, food and water found there. You will be adding the wetlands to the chart today. We will work together to brainstorm things that are found in the wetlands."

I hand each student their chart and ask them to be prepared with a pencil so we can work together.

Filling In The Charts

15 minutes

I say to students, "Look at the chart we made for the woodland habitat. Do you see how you have room now to make a new column next to the first one. At the top of this column I want you to write wetland habitat." I write the words on the board so students can spell their heading correctly. 

"Good, now I want you to write which animals you know live in the wetlands. You can write up to 10 animals." I give students time to write in their animals. Next I say, "now write different types of food that are found in the wentland." I wait while students record the food (hopefully including other animals from our food chain.) "Now I want you to write the places in the wetlands that animals might get water. You can then think about and record the kinds of shelters are there in the wetlands and then finish with any plants or trees that you know grow in the wetlands." Remember to write only in under the words Wetland Habitat, the way you did with the Forest Habitat.  (I make sure to demonstrate what I am asking students to do here. You could even project the student work presented here to help students have a visual representation of what their chart will look like when it is done. Remember that a visual representation can help to clarify your expectations for students.)

I do not tell students what to write, but I encourage them to look at our food web created in a previous lesson, as well as pictures of wetlands hung around the room and to brainstorm with their tablemates if they are having trouble remembering what we have talked about.

While students are working, I circulate around the room. I try to help students to focus on the wetlands, and correct any misconceptions about what might be there, by asking questions and pointing out picture resources in the room. 

Compare and Contrast

15 minutes

I want students to be able to look at their charts and identify some of the plants and animals that are particular to the woodland or wetland, but also to see if there are any plants or animals that can be found in both habitats. I also want them to pose a reason for why some animals live only in 1 habitat, but some can live in both. This will help them more clearly grasp interdependence and diversity in different habitats.

I say to students, " I want you to have a discussion with your table about your charts. I am going to put the colored cubes on your table. We are going to use the 3 colors as we have done before. Every time you share something from your chart, take a blue cube. Every time you ask a question about someone else's chart, take a yellow cube, and every time you answer a question take a green cube." I place the directions for this on their tables.

"As you are talking I want you to see if you can find any plants or animals that are only listed in the wetland as well as animals or plants that are found in both habitats. Let me show you what I mean here, and if you have a question and I call on you, you make take a yellow cube."

(I borrow 1 person's chart and find an animal that is only listed on the wetland column.)

I say, "the minnow is only listed in the wetland column. He needs water to survive so he is not found in the forest. Are there any questions about that?" I take a raised hand and call on the child. I tell them to take a yellow cube for asking a question. I answer the question and take a green cube. Now I say, "the raccoon is found in the woods and the wetlands because it eats berries and fish. That is how you will share your charts today."

I check for understanding before letting the groups discuss their work. I circulate around the room to listen to groups, remind them to take the cubes for contributing, and to ask questions and clear up misunderstandings. I also take notes of student understanding of the diversity of the habitats. Discussing The Charts

After class I collect the charts and look over what students have done. I want to check for understanding of the two habitats. Did they include the things that are really from that habitat? Did they notice that some plants and animals were found in 2 places?  I also look at the notes of their conversations that I collected. These give me a window on student understanding.



10 minutes

I ring the bell for quiet and ask students to hold up the cubes they gathered. I tell them they should be proud of all the conversations they had about the forests and wetlands. I ask them to place their cubes on their desks for a few minutes, because they will have a chance to play with the cubes in a few minutes. I ask students if they would like to share out any of the things they noticed about the animals and plants of the two habitats. I give students a chance to share their observations.

At the end of the discussion, I allow students 5 minutes to play with the blocks they have earned.