Download This Lesson: A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words
Brief Description: The student’s goal in this lesson is to define biodiversity. They will do so by gathering, organizing, and analyzing information and creating a visual aid to help them better understand the meaning.
Focus Areas: Biodiversity; Science, Language Arts, Art
Focus Skills: Gathering, organizing and analyzing information, creating a visual aid, understanding and synthesizing information, graphing statistical data
Level of Involvement: AVERAGE
- To define biodiversity
- To aid understanding of biodiversity through the creation of a visual aid
What is biodiversity?
Biodiversity is a term used to describe the variety of life forms on earth. Biodiversity is based on ecosystems, classification of species and variations in genetic structure.
In a mere handful of earth s soil more living things exist than are known on all other planets combined! To date we have classified 1.4 million species. The largest group, 751,000, is insects. This number is followed by higher plants with 250,000 representatives, then 19,000 fish, 10,000 amphibians and reptiles, and 4,000 mammals. The remaining numbers include species of worms, mollusks, spiders, fungi, molds and microorganisms. The list continues to grow, and scientists now believe unclassified species rank in the millions.
This incredible variety gave rise to the term biodiversity, and involves three levels of classification. In addition to the most familiar, i.e. classification by species, scientists also group life forms in a broader spectrum based on ecosystems and also the most narrow category, genetic, which encompasses the variety of behaviors and characteristics within a species based on DNA mapping.
biodiversity – the variability among living organisms on the earth, including the variability within and between species and within and between ecosystems
ecosystem – an interactive community of plants, animals and microorganisms linked by energy and nutrient flow
genetic – referring to characteristics and behaviors transmitted from one generation to the next at a cellular level
species – the most specific subdivision of the classification system for plants and animals
Challenge: Create a visual aid to illustrate biodiversity
Time: 45 to 60 minutes
Group size: 2 to 30
Space: seating room and table/desk area for each participant
video:WWF Exploring the Web of Life
Handout l Key *
arts and craft supplies to accommodate group size
National Geographic and/or other nature oriented magazines (optional)
K-W-L chart *
* single copy provided
Set up VCR, TV and video
- Procure arts and crafts supplies
Correlations to State of Maine Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction
ELA = English Language Arts, HE/PE = Health Education and Physical Education, MA = Mathematics, SCI = Science, SS = Social Studies, VPA = Visual and Performing Arts
** Alignment possible only if lesson extension is done
Maine Learning Results
MA – B. Data Analysis
Grade 7: B1. Students use graphs and charts to
represent, organize, interpret, and draw inferences
a. Create tables, pictograms, bar graphs, line graphs,
pie charts, stem and leaf plots, box and whiskers
plots, and histograms using pencil and paper and