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This interactive activity provides an opportunity for students to physically map out a diverse forested area in their classroom, then slowly reduce the space to simulate a loss of habitat and the impact this has on various species.
The activity begins with a brainstorming session of living and non-living things that are found in the forest. Students are then asked to consider what would happen if part of the forest disappeared. Items from the brainstorming session are then taken and placed in the classroom to simulate a forest community. The students will then choose a species to represent in that community. The teacher reads the Habitat Loss Story to the class. The students then discuss how to move forward with the community planning by removing 1/3 of the trees and building a dam for 1/3 of the river. As a wrap up to the activity the students are asked to represent graphically what happened to their species with the loss of habitat.
This resource also included extension activities to enhance the learning.
This resource is geared toward upper elementary students with a focus on habitats. It would work well to support the outcomes dealing with habitats and communities in the Science classroom. It would be interesting to invite a community planner to speak to the class as to how they approach the problem in the activity in order to provide the students with a real world context.
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