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F is for Forest Communities

Grades K and 1
Science and Technology

Lesson Plan

Overview

Students will learn about forest communities and the plants and animals that live in such communities in our National Parks.  Students will create a picture on the computer identifying a plant or animal found in the forest of a National Park.

Objectives

Students will identify and sort different plants and animals that live in a forest.

Time

Two 20- to 30-minute sessions

Materials List

  • Copies of the following:
    • "What Am I?" worksheet (1 per student)
    • "I Belong in the Forest" worksheet (1 per student)
  • 1 Copy of a text that gives information about a forest
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Crayons
  • Glue sticks
  • Computer
  • Digital drawing software

Keywords

  • National Parks
  • Forest
  • Community
  • Habitat
  • Plants
  • Animals

Summary

  • Describe the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program for background information.  The program is described at .  Tell the students that the back of a coin is called the reverse, and "obverse" is another name for the front.  With the students, examine each of the five 2010 quarter designs.  Locate each of the depicted sites on a class map.  Answer any student questions.
  • Read aloud and discuss a selected text about forests or display and discuss the information about national parks and forests at: www.nps.gov/olym/naturescience/forests.htm. 
  • Using the pictures from the Grand Canyon National Park website at http://www.nps.gov/grca/forteachers/upload/Web%20Of%20Life-4perPage.pdf, distribute a picture to each student.  Have the students sort themselves into "plants" or "animals."
  • Using the "What Am I?" worksheet, have the students sort the pictures under the headings "Plants" or "Animals."
  • For homework, have the students read the "Yellowstone Animal Alphabet Book" with their parents at http://www.nps.gov/yell/forkids/yellowstoneanimalalphabetbook.htm.
  • Review the information about plants, animals, and forests from the previous lesson.  Display and discuss the link to Yosemite National Park Forest Communities at http://www.nps.gov/yose/naturescience/index.htm.
  • Allow time for the students to choose a plant or animal from the bookmarked Yosemite National Park sites.  Using drawing software, have the students create a forest scene with their plant or animal included in the picture or use the "I Belong in the Forest" worksheet.  Allow the students to share their completed picture.

Extension

Have students visit the University of Illinois Extension website to go on a virtual walk through the woods at: http://urbanext.illinois.edu/woods/.

Assessment

Use the students' class participation, worksheets/computer sorting, and "I Belong in the Forest" page to evaluate whether they have met the lesson objectives.

Differentiated Learning

  • Provide pre-cut pictures for the students for the "Who Am I?" worksheet.
  • Allow students to work with a partner.

Connection to www.usmint.gov/kids

Standards

Science

National Science Teachers Association (www.nsta.org/publications/nses.aspx)

  • The world has many different environments, and distinct environments support the life of different types of organisms.
  • All animals depend on plants.  Some animals eat plants for food.  Other animals eat animals that eat plants.

Technology

International Society for Technology in Education (www.iste.org)

  • Creativity and Innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.

United States Department of Education National Technology Plan

Helpful Hints

  • Review and bookmark the links to the web pages before reviewing the pages with the students.
  • Create a template on the computer in which the students can complete the sentences on the "I Belong in the Forest" worksheet.
  • For students without Internet access at home, print out, laminate, and send home one page of the "Yellowstone Animal Alphabet Book" found at: http://www.nps.gov/yell/forkids/yellowstoneanimalalphabetbook.htm.

Student Version

Objectives

You will identify and sort different plants and animals living in a forest.  You will create a picture of a plant or animal found in the forest of a National Park.

Step-By-Step Directions

Session 1: What Am I?

  1. Open the "What Am I?" page.
  2. Write your name on the line.
  3. Drag the pictures under the "Plants" or "Animals" heading.
  4. Show your work to your teacher.
  5. Print your work.

Session 2: I Belong in the Forest

  1. Choose a plant or animal from Yosemite National Park using the links below:
  2. Using drawing software on a computer, draw a picture of your forest plant or animal.
  3. Draw a forest scene for the background.
  4. Copy and paste the forest picture into the "I Belong in the Forest" template on the desktop.
  5. Write your name on the line.
  6. Finish the sentences with the name of your plant or animal and either the word "plant" or "animal."
  7. Show your work to your teacher.
  8. Print your work.

Related Links

Worksheets


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