As an undergraduate Biological Sciences teacher, you can use this set of computer-based tools to help you n teaching evolution and behavior, biodiversity, and ecology.
This lesson plan helps students to learn about the current and past habitats of an animal (specifically, squirrels), and how changing habitats can affect the distribution of a species. The activity will also allow learners to examine data and interpret whether climate change can cause changes in habitats and consequently, changes in species distribution.
Thus, the use of this toolkit allows you to integrate the teaching of a climate science topic with a core topic in the Biological Sciences.
Use this lesson plan to help your students find answers to:
- 1. What are the factors that influence the distribution of a species?
- 2. How does climate impact biodiversity?
- 3. What is range shift? Examine global databases to find out examples of climate-related range shifts.
About Lesson Plan
|Topic(s) in Discipline||•Biodiversity, Animal Diversity (Chordates, Mammals)
• Evolution and Behavior (Species and Speciation)
• Ecology (Populations; Precipitation Patterns, Vegetation,
• Soil Types; Zoogeography)
|Climate Topic||Climate and theBiosphere|
|Approximate Time Required||120-150 min|
|A video that explains how the monitoring of a climate-sensitive species, the American Pika, can reveal the possible impact of climate change on the habitat and population of a species.
|Classroom/Laboratory Activity (90 – 120 min)||A classroom/laboratory activity to examine and analyze squirrel species distribution and habitat data (from the USA) over time,and to interpret the possible relationship between climate change and biodiversity.
Here is a step-by-step guide to using this lesson plan in the classroom/laboratory. We have suggested these steps as a possible plan of action. You may customize the lesson plan according to your preferences and requirements.
|1.Introduce the topic||
|2. Play a short video||
|3. Conduct a classroom/laboratory activity||
Use the tools and the concepts learned so far to discuss and determine answers to the following questions:
- • What are the factors that influence the distribution of a species?
- • How does climate impact biodiversity?
- • What is range shift? Examine global databases to find out examples of climate-related range shifts.
The tools in this lesson plan will enable students to:
- • categorize species by family and by habitat
- • compare and analyze past and modern data on species distribution and habitat
- • interpret the effect of climate change on changes in species distribution and habitat
- • explain how the monitoring of some species can serve as an indicator of the effect of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystems
|Reading / Audio||A reading and audio podcast, “Bird populations shift north as climate changes”, from Samantha Harrington, Yale Climate Connections: https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2017/07/bird-populations-shift-north-as-climate-changes/|
|Video||A video, “American Pika Monitoring”, from the National Park Service (NPS), USA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVgyIoPU40U, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZS5ayKm8yI|
|Classroom/Laboratory Activity||A classroom/laboratory activity “Climate, Ecoregions, and the Mammals Who Live in Them”, contributed by Jonathan Hoffman, Beth Johnson, and Mark Merritt, from the SERC Carleton website: https://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/climatechange/paleoclim_activity_ideas/ecoregions.html|
|Video, “The American Pika: A climate indicator species?”||Chris Ray, University of Colorado Boulder; Niwot Ridge LTER Program; Earth Initiatives|
|Classroom/Laboratory Activity, “What do Squirrels know about Climate Change?”||Beth Norman, Allan Ashworth and Russell Graham, available on the SERC Carleton website, https://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/climatechange/paleoclim_activity_ideas/squirrels.html, MIOMAP, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History|
|Additional Resources||Samantha Harrington, Yale Climate Connections; National Park Service (NPS), USA; SERC Carleton|
|Images||The American 'Fur Ball' Being Threatened by a Warming Climate; Wikimedia Commons|