Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Wetlands-A Curriculum Trunk for Everyone

published on: 2/28/2003

Subject Area: Science/Life

Grade Range: Upper Elementary (4-5), Middle Grades (6-8), High School (9-12)

Materials Needed: See each lesson below for materials needed

Process Standards:

  • Goal 1.10 apply acquired information, ideas and skills to different contexts as students, workers, citizen
  • Goal 2.7 use technological tools to exchange information and ideas
  • Goal 3.8 assess costs, benefits and other consequences of proposed solutions

Content Standards:

  • Communication Arts 7. Identifying and evaluating relationships between language and culture
  • Fine Arts 1. Process and techniques for the production, exhibition or performance of one or more of the visual ...
  • Fine Arts 4. Interrelationships of visual and performing arts and the relationships of the arts to other disciplines

    Time Allowance: See each lesson below for time allowances

    Description: Interdisciplinary unit offered by Missouri Department of Conservation--science, wetland, conservation

    Comments: This Unit has 6 lessons in it.


    Classroom Component:

    The WETLAND TRUNK is a hands-on, interdisciplinary, interactive, curriculum trunk offered by the Missouri Department of Conservation to any educator at no charge! Thatís right! There are many WETLAND TRUNKS available across the state (see below for a listing of Trunks near you) and your Education Consultant is eager to meet with you and conduct a training session. There are so many possibilities for using this WETLAND TRUNK that a short training session is required before borrowing it. Usually, the Trunk can be borrowed for a couple of weeks at a time, to give you plenty of time to coordinate your lesson plans or unit. Use the WETLAND TRUNK to teach a great hands-on,interdisciplinary unit on wetlands, or simply conduct a few of the activities from it. Whatever your needs, the WETLAND TRUNK will keep your studentsí attention, provide great curriculum resources, and help students to better understand and appreciate our fabulous wetlands!!

    Below, youíll find some enticing information about wetlands and the WETLANDS TRUNK, goals and behavioral objectives, a list of Trunk locations nearest you, and five sample activities found in the WETLAND TRUNK.

    WHY WADE INTO WETLANDS?

    If you are looking for a great subject for a thematic unit---look no further. Wade into wetland studies with your class. There are four compelling reasons to study wetlands with your class: first, kids are inherently fascinated by the subject. Second, there are great educational materials conveniently available to help you teach about wetlands. Third, issues involving wetlands are in the news constantly. Fourth, developing an understanding of the conservation concepts involved in wetland issues can lead your students to an appreciation of why people should take care of natural resources.

    Kids are fascinated by wetlands. Children are almost irresistibly drawn to water. They begin their fascination with wetlands the first time that they splash in a mud puddle. The colorful ducks, honking geese, leaping frogs, acrobatic dragonflies, zooming whirligig beetles and myriad''s of other creatures captivate the imagination of children and they want to learn more. Their innate curiosity will motivate them to read, observe and experiment in order to learn more.

    By using the WETLAND TRUNK, available from the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), you can conduct a whole interdisciplinary unit on wetlands or simply conduct some activities or hands-on studies to supplement existing curricula. The WETLAND TRUNK contains puppets, track molds, mammal skins, activity books, video tapes, and even wetland CD-ROMís! Contact your local MDC Outreach and Education representative or an MDC office nearby to find out how to borrow a wetlands discovery trunk.

    Wetland studies are very relevant. Everyday, newspaper articles and TV reports feature land use controversies involving wetlands. Ask your students to cut out stories and bring in video tape features that deal with wetland issues in your region. Discuss both sides of the issues and try to think of realistic solutions to the problems. Encourage your students to express their views and take constructive actions to conserve wetlands and wildlife in your region.

    Will there be wetlands in the future? Only if people care about them and protect them, because most wetlands are gone and many are disappearing each year. When wetland habitat is lost, wildlife is lost also. Wild species of plants and animals cannot exist without the web of life that supports them. Draining a wetland and converting it to a farm or industrial area has an impact on wildlife. The benefit must be weighed against the cost. Is it worth the cost? Let your students decide for themselves.

    Many adults have learned to appreciate marshes and swamps, but some have not. People who enjoy viewing wildlife are drawn to wetlands. Wetlands - like magnets - draw birders, hunters, fisherman and nature enthusiasts. Each season at a marsh or swamp brings new excitement as wildlife species migrate in and out. Wetlands constantly change. They are dynamic and wondrous places. Yet many adults have never learned to value wetlands. These uninformed people think of them as wasted land. But this can change. By teaching a thematic unit on wetlands, you can broaden your studentsí horizons by teaching them to enjoy, appreciate and conserve wetlands.

    GOALS AND BEHAVIORAL OBJECTIVES

    Foundation Stones for Conservation Education

    Our educational programs exist to inform and enlighten the public about conservation.

    Ultimately, the success or failure of our conservation education and interpretive program will be judged by only one thing: the behavior of Missouri citizens. We can sample and measure their voluntary actions (or inaction) with respect to forest, fish and wildlife resources of our state. We can also measure the impact of their behavior indirectly by examining changes in the status of the natural resources themselves. But regardless of how measured, the behavior of citizens is our bottom line.

    We are involved in the process of redesigning our programmatic house. The planning effort in which we are engaged is drafting the blueprints that will guide the construction of our program for the next several years. Our programmatic house should be strong because our leaders are gathering input from all interested and affected parties before finalizing the design plans. That input and participation is critically important.

    The development of behavioral objectives (and a framework of goals in which to arrange them) will serve as a sound foundation to undergird the new programmatic house. We should also consider maintaining an on-going participatory process to insure maintenance of a comprehensive and prioritized set of behavioral objectives. Such a process could continually assure that once constructed, the foundation of the new house will remain strong.

    MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION WETLAND TRUNK LOCATIONS

    Outdoor Teacher Resource Room, Kansas City Metro Office, 816-356-2280 Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, Blue Springs, 816-228-3766 Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary, Liberty, 816-228-3766 Kansas City Zoo, Kansas City Northwest Regional Headquarters, St. Joseph, 816-781-8598 Fountain Grove Conservation Area, Chillicothe, 816-938-4124 Runge Conservation Nature Center, Jefferson City, 573-526-5544 Elaine Callaway (Education Consultant), Jefferson City, 573-635-9824 Springfield Conservation Nature Center, Springfield, 417-888-4237 Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery Visitor Center, Branson, 417-334-4865 Neosho MDC Forestry Office, Neosho, 417-451-4158 Ozark Region Headquarters, West Plains, 417-256-7161 Jerry J. Presley Conservation Education Center, Eminence, 573-858-3217 Southwest Region Headquarters, Springfield, 417-895-6880 Southeast Region Headquarters, Cape Girardeau, 573-290-5730 Bootheel Youth Museum, Malden, 573-276-3600 Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center, Kirkwood, 314-301-1500 Busch Conservation Area, St. Charles, 314-441-4554 Rockwoods Reservation, Glencoe, 314-458-2236 East Central Regional Office, Sullivan, 573-468-3335 Meramec Regional Planning Commission, Rolla, 573-364-2993 Piedmont Forestry Office, Piedmont, 573-223-4525 West Central Office, Clinton, 660-885-6981 Northeast Regional Office, Kirksville, 660-785-2420 Hannibal Office, Hannibal, 573-248-2530


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