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Topic(s):

Biosphere, Elementary (K-4)

 

Scenario:

Keepers of Living Things

It's time to make a difference. Time to make a choice.
It's time for you to stand up. Time to find your voice.
It's time to work together. It's time to pull some strings.
It's time to be Earth's keeper and protect its living things.

Don't believe that you're too little or simply just too young.
Or that your time for speaking out has really not begun.
You can make a difference with the choices that you make.
You can change the way things are with actions that you take.

Earth is a home for you and for many other living things.
It's time to start to help them all, not just human beings.
It's time to keep your eyes wide open and go take a walk.
Out your door, down the street or maybe around the block.

Earth's living things need protected. Help save their habitats.
Seeing how they're all connected will help you do just that.
What you do is up to you as long it meets their needs.
Clean up their water, save their land or maybe plant some seeds.

It's time to make a difference. Time to make a choice.
It's time for you to stand up. Time to find your voice.
It's time to work together. It's time to pull some strings.
It's time to be Earth's keeper and protect its living things.

Stand Up by Sugarland


Keepers of Living Things Essential Questions
As you work through this module see if you can find answers to these questions and questions of your own about protecting Earth's living things:
  • How are the actions of people changing living things in your neighborhood?
  • Why is it important to protect the living things in your neighborhood?
  • What can you do to help protect living things in your neighborhood?
  • What can you do to help protect living things in other places in the world?

 

Date: 6/15/2011

Scenario Images:

in and out
Protect a habitat: native living things "in" and non-native living things "out". Some of the plants and animals in your neighborhood might belong there, but there aren't enough of them. Some of the plants and animals in your neighborhood may not belong there and might be hogging the habitat. Image: Courtesy Wildlands Restoration Volunteers



Pollinators
Oh sure, it's easy to want to protect those white, fuzzy polar bears, but what about these guys? Pollinators are important to plants and people too. Little brown bats and other bats help control insect populations and pollinate plants. Bats use echolocation to find their dinner. Green Sweat Bees, honey bees and other kinds of bees pollinate. Beautiful butterflies pollinate, too. Are there pollinators that need protected in your neighborhood? Image: Courtesy New Hampshire Public Television and ace-clipart.com



restorations
Spend a day collecting seeds! It's easy, it's fun and increases the amount of locally-adapted seed that is available for local habitat restoration projects. Using native seeds in replanting is important to restoring native plant diversity. Native seeds are often not available commercially or are too expensive. Image: Courtesy Wildlands Restoration Volunteers



Resources:

 

Protecting Living Things for Kids (Cycle A)
Want to learn more about Earth's lving things? These sites will help you.

  • Protect Ocean Animals - Learn about sea turtles, whales, seals and sea lions and what you can do to protect them. NOAA
  • Marine Sancturaies for Students - Learn more about what you can do to protect ocean living things. Join the Ocean Guardians Kids Club. NOAA
  • Endangered Species Facts - Learn more about the ones you know and discover new ones, too.
  • Waste Site for Kids - Explore the sources and effects of land, water and air pollution on living things and ways to clean up the mess.
  • My Environment - EPA- Provides real-time and historical data about land, water, air and health issues in your neighborhood. Search by zip code, city name or county and compare values to state and national averages.
  • Composting for Kids What is composte? How can you make your own? What can you do with it? And how does composting help protect the land, water, air and living things?
  • Learn About Chemicals Around Your House - This EPA site allows you to learn about the chemicals in your house. It gives you safety tips and suggests ways to dispose of them that will not pollute the water, land or air and harm living things.

 

Protecting Living Things for Teachers (Cycle A)
The following sites provide information and resources about protecting Earth's living things.

  • My Environment - EPA- Provides real-time and historical data about land, water, air and health issues in your neighborhood. Search by zip code, city name or county and compare values to state and national averages.
  • Altered Oceans Series from the LA Times - This series of five videos explores many of the issues contributing to the decline of ocean habitats and diversity.
  • Pollinators Partnership - information, posters, regions planting guides and more.
  • Pollinators Live - videos, lessons plans and more.
  • Invasive Species: State Resources - provides links to invasive species databases by georgraphic regions.
  • Learn the Issues: Waste - EPA information about protecting the land, water, air and living things from hazardous and non-hazardous waste materials. It has links to a variety of related resources and ways to get involved in waste reduction and monitoring efforts in your area.
  • Little Rotters Composting Club British site with materials, ideas and information about composting in your backyard or at school.

 

Becoming an Earth Keeper for Kids (Cycle B)
What does it mean to be an Earth Keeper? How can you tell others about what you want to do to protect Earth's living things? How can you get other to help you make a difference? The following sites will give you ideas and see what other kids are doing.

  • Giving and Me - Join Ant Phil and learn how you can make the world a better place. You'll learn what philanthropy means and have some fun, too.
  • Youth Community Service - Go here to see what others kids are doing, get ideas for your project and share your success with others.
  • Generation On for Kids - Go here to learn about what you can do to make a difference.
  • Defend It! Kids' Planet - Ideas, information and more about how you can help protect Earth's living things.
  • Kids for Saving Earth - Started by a kid for kids. See what other kids are doing and learn more about how you can help protect the Earth's air, water, land and living things.
  • Young Voices for the Planet - Looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint? Go here and see what other kids are doing and how to start your own project.

 

Service Learning for Teachers (Cycle B)
The following sites provide basic information about service learning.


 

K-4 Keepers: Living Things for Teachers (Cycle C)
Get ideas and supporting resources to design your own K-4 Keepers: Living Things project.

  • NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries - The Ocean Guardian Program provides support and information at the classroom level no matter where you are located and at the school level for school located in specific counties in CA. Applications, information and more.
  • NOAA Fisheries - Protected Resources teacher resources, lesson plans and more.
  • COSEE's Educators' Niche - Marine Debris Educator's Guide, power points, and more.
  • Learning to Give - Curriculum by grade level that could lead to service learning projects for your class.
  • Green Education Foundation - Activities, posters, programs and more all focused on sustaining our planet.
  • Critical Habitat Mapper -This tool from US Fish and Wildlife allows you to identify threatened living things in your neighborhood and locate their critical habitats on a map. To identify threatened living things: from the menu select Critical Habitat Data, then by state and county. Enter you state and county and produce a list of threatened living things in your neighborhood.
  • Aliens in Your Neighborhood - A complete exploration of invasive species through weeds in your neighborhood from the National Park Service. Would have be adapted for use at the K-4 level.
  • Disney Planet Challenge - Inspires grade 3 and up students to be good stewards of the environment and empowers them to make a difference in their school, at home and in their local communities while teaching them about science, conservation and positive ways to impact the planet. Teachers are given the resources to create a standards-based curriculum that engages students in researching, managing and solving a real world environmental issue with their teachers.
  • PBS Learning Media - Looking for videos with complete lesson plans? Items can be searched by grade level and content area. Includes content from a variety of online sources. Registering allows you to create a collection of favorites.

 

Sample Investigations:

 

Design Your Own Bag (Cycle A)
"Paper or plastic?" OK, paper can be recycled. Plastic, too, but no matter how you feel about paper or plastic, reusable is better. Reusable bags don't get into landfills. Reusable bags save energy and reduce pollution. Learn as much as you can about reducing the use of plastic bags . Then have some fun, be creative and make a piece of art that does more than take up space on your refrigerator. Think about printing up some paper and plastic bag fact sheets and putting them in the bags. Make one or make a bunch and give them away to neighbors and friends. You can also buy bags to decorate here or at your local craft store.

Paper or Plastic for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Protect the Pollinators! (Cycle A)
Bugs, birds and bats are all pollinators. Pollinators help the flowers, the trees and other plants grow. Pollinators also help control insect populations. too. Yep, some pollinators eat bugs, lots of them. Find out about the pollinators in your neighborhood. Where do they live? What do they eat? How do they help control bugs or help the plants grow? What can you do to help protect them? Share what you learn with your class. Ask your teacher to help you make a bulletin board display to get others to help the pollinators in your neighborhood.
Difficulty: beginner

 

Start Composting! (Cycle A)
Looking for a way to get rid of yard and kitchen waste? Build a composting bin and help a plant! It will keep all that garbage out of the landfill, too. Use your "dirt" in your garden or donate it to a community garden in your neighborhood. Then share what you learned with your classmates to help them get started composting. This is a fun way to learn about decomposers and the life cycles of worms and plants. You'll also help reduce the amount of garbage that gets put into landfills. Don't forget to order your redworms!

Composting for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Learn About Becoming a Keeper of Living Things (Cycle B)
Work with your team to find answers to questions of your own and these Essential Questions about protecting living things:

  • How are the actions of people changing living things in your neighborhood?
  • Why is it important to protect living things in your neighborhood?
  • What can you do to help protect living things in your neighborhood?
  • What can you do to help protect living things in other places in the world?

Difficulty: beginner

 

Pick 5 for the Environment (Cycle B)
Earth's living things has never been simpler. Join the Pick 5 for the Environment network. You don't need an e-mail address. Just enter your town, zip code and the keyword to make your pledge. Use the tools at the site to get ideas about what you can do to protect Earth's living things. Learn as much as you can about the why's and how's of conserving and not polluting Earth's living things resources and habitats. Decide what you are going to do. Then get busy doing your Pick 5! Share what you are doing with others kids and see what they are willing to do to protect Earth's living things.

Pick 5 for the Environment for Teachers
Difficulty: beginner

 

Design a Keepers: Living Things Investigation (Cycle C)
Design an investigation of your own that helps students ask and seek answers to questions like these about protecting living things:

  • How are the actions of people changing living things in your neighborhood?
  • Why is it important to protect living things in your neighborhood?
  • What can you do to help protect living things in your neighborhood?
  • What can you do to help protect living things in other places in the world?

Difficulty: beginner

 

 

Standards:

  • Science
    National Science Education Standards - Science Content Standards http://www.nap.edu/readingroom/books/nses/html/overview.html#content The science content standards outline what students should know, understand, and be able to do in the natural sciences over the course of K-12 education.
    • K-12 UNIFYING CONCEPTS AND PROCESSES
      The understandings and abilities associated with the following concepts and processes need to be developed throughout a student's educational experiences:
      • Systems, order, and organization
      • Evidence, models, and explanation
      • Constancy, change, and measurement
      • Form and function
    • GRADES K-4 CONTENT STANDARDS
      • Science as Inquiry (Std A)
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
      • Life Science (Std C)
        • The characteristics of organisms
        • Life cycles of organisms
        • Organisms and environments
      • Science and Technology (Std E)
        • Abilities to distinguish between natural objects and objects made by humans
      • Science in Personal and Social Perspectives (Std F)
        • Types of resources
        • Changes in environments
      • History and Nature of Science (Std G)
        • Science as a human endeavor
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