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This non-fiction book provides a fascinating introduction to the way we classify and sort the millions of living organisms found on our planet. Ecological interdependence is visually represented by a single tree and students will be surprised to discover that while humans are only one leaf among millions, our species poses the largest threat to biodiversity. With rich illustrations and informative text, this book makes a great addition to any science classroom while also encouraging readers to make wise environmental choices that help sustain all life on Earth, including ours.
This book offers a great introduction to taxonomy and the Linnaeus classification system while incorporating an environmental message that focuses on ecosystems and biological diversity. Several species are singled out in the text for the natural services they provide. Students could learn more about the role of plants in providing food and medicine by exploring an outdoor habitat with a community member who can share their traditional knowledge. A class could also collect invertebrate specimens from a feature like a rotting log and build science skills by preparing scientific drawings of each species.
Students could undertake a community awareness program that promotes the value of biodiversity with a large replica of the "tree of life" surrounded by messages about environmental stewardship. This campaign could also lead to an action project where a class actually creates an area of wildlife habitat like a pollinator garden or shallow pond.
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