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Bugs. Clues to the Environment

Secondary, Elementary, Middle

Description

Several of the Spring/Summer Nature Guides point out that while some can be especially annoying, insects play extremely important roles in aquatic ecosystems.   As the weather warms and water levels fall, spring is an excellent time of year to explore the diversity of macro-invertebrate life found in near-by lakes, streams and ponds.

This resource involves students in a bio-monitoring project of a local waterway.  Aquatic invertebrates are known to exhibit different tolerances to pollution and as a result are commonly used to assess the health of aquatic ecosystems and monitor changes in water quality.   Instructions for locating, sampling and identifying aquatic insects are provided along with the background information students will need to analyze the data they collect.  

The resource is supported by an accompanying Macro-Invertebrate Identification Key.  Older students may prefer this more detailed key.

 

General Assessment

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource is an excellent outdoor companion to the study of aquatic habitats, biodiversity and classification. Students will have the opportunity to participate in and develop authentic field biology skills including the use of dichotomous keys.

Relevant Curriculum Units

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  • Alberta
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        • Wetland Ecosystems
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        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
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        • Diversity of Life
    • Grade 7
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        • Step 4Relevant matches
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      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Life Science: Sustainability of Ecosystems

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (3)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
    • Biodiversity
    • Interdependence
  • Water (1)

    • Water Quality