Maintaining Biodiversity in Yellowstone National Park Activity and Lesson Plan
This 3 day lesson plan addresses the Next Generation Science Standard NGSS
MS-LS2-5. Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services. It covers the following DCI: Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth’s terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health.
This ready-to-go engaging activity introduces students to the concept of biodiversity through real life dilemmas facing Yellowstone National park. Students are challenged in groups as park rangers to develop solutions to solve one of six current problems while maintaining biodiversity within the park. Examples of dilemmas include bison catching diseases from local cows, the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone, native vs. nonnative lake fish, and limiting winter use. It’s a fun, authentic lesson that will stimulate discussion and develop understanding about the importance of biodiversity as students are required to research their group’s problem, develop a solution to the problem, and design a poster to present to the class. Reflection questions, dilemma cards and a grading rubric are also included!
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