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Macroinvertebrate Mayhem

Secondary, Elementary, Middle

Description

This comprehensive resource includes an entertaining game that simulates the changes taking place when pollution finds its way into a stream. Students take on the roles of different aquatic insects trying to cope with the added stress created by the declining water quality of their habitat.




The Early May Nature Guide draws attention to hatching black flies in our rivers and streams and makes the point that this often maligned insect is an indicator of pollution–free water. In fact, different invertebrates exhibit different tolerances to pollution and as a result are commonly used by field biologists to assess the health of aquatic ecosystems and monitor changes in water quality. 

This activity will demonstrate for students how macro invertebrates are used as bio-indicators. After several rounds of the game, participants experience in a very tangible way, how pollution effects the distribution and diversity of macro-invertebrate species over time.

Macroinvertebrate Mayhem provides a meaningful opportunity to take learning about aquatic invertebrates outdoors. The game is supported with a comprehensive introduction into the nature of macro-invertebrates and their role in assessing water quality. All of the materials needed to implement the activity are included in this resource.

 

General Assessment

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This is an excellent outdoor activity that supports a range of outcomes in science related to the concepts of biodiversity, aquatic ecosystems and human impacts.  It is an excellent companion to a stream study or aquatic habitat monitoring project.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

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  • Alberta
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        • Wetland Ecosystems
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        • Interactions and Ecosystems
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      • Science
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        • Freshwater and Saltwater Systems
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        • Environmental Science 120: Investigating Environmental Issues
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        • Environmental Science 621A: Introduction to Environmental Science
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        • Science 8: Water Systems on Earth
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    • Grade 6
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Diversity of Life
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Ecosystems
    • Grade 8
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Water Systems on Earth

Themes Addressed

  • Ecosystems (2)

    • Biodiversity
    • Habitat Loss
  • Water (1)

    • Water Quality