ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE LESSON
Unit Plan Title: "Who Will Survive?"
Lesson Plan Title: "Will the Kanaha Ponds Wetlands Animals
Grade 5: Regular Classroom Teacher
This lesson will be the culminating lesson to the unit so students
will examine and evaluate their role in the protection of Hawaii's
- All things depend on each other to survive
- The kind of change, whether positive or negative, will
- Earth Science
- Environmental Science
- Computer Technology
- Language Arts
Students will be able to:
- Practice and demonstrate how changes and stimuli affect the
wetlands of Maui and the animals in it
- Deduce three (3) ways wetlands can be destroyed.
- Formulate three (3) ways that destruction of the wetlands can
be prevented or avoided
- Appraise by destroying a wetland what their role is in the
protection of Hawaii's wetlands
- Participate in discussion in a relevant way.
- Use literature to build a larger understanding of one's
- Publish quality pieces appropriate to grade level.
- Illustrate that living things have definite life cycles,
growth patterns, and behaviors.
- Demonstrate an understanding that every species is directly or
indirectly interdependent with others in the ecosystem.
- Demonstrate an appreciation for the environment and develop an
awareness of environmental issues.
Students will have:
- Identified location, characteristics, different terminology
connected with the wetlands. (See lesson plan by Master Teacher
Michele Lawler at http://www.wnet.org/nttidb/lessons/ma/wetldma.html)
- Identified animals of Kanaha Pond wetlands that are affected
by change and stimuli
- Asked an expert questions on e-mail either from "Ask the
Expert" on Internet or Maui County or State of Hawaii scientists
how wetlands were formed and have been destroyed; maintained
communication with a wetland expert via e-mail familiarizing
students with environmental issues
- Become familiar with migration patterns of animals at Kanaha
- Built a model wetland as a group
- Practiced developing questions and interviewing techniques for
wetlands guest speaker.
- Video camera
- Chart paper and markers
Pre-made wetlands (dirt & water, etc. - see http://www.wnet.org/nttidb/lessons/ma/wetldma.html)
- one small aluminum disposable roasting pan
- a piece of florist foam to fill a two to three inch space the
entire width of the pan
- modeling clay or home-made baker's clay - enough to fill about
a third of the pan
- assorted leaves, twigs, pine cones, etc. to simulate wetland
- paper for students to make small drawings of wetland
- crayons or colored pencils
- small popsicle sticks or toothpicks to attach the animals to
- watering cans or tin cans with holes punched in the
- Destruction scenarios on slips of paper
- Appropriate materials to accomplish their "destruction":
- aluminum foil (makes a good parking lot)
- salt (a good toxic to dump)
- building blocks (houses)
- knife (to remove part of it)
- felt (can become a beautiful lawn)
- Review from previous lessons, what makes what they built a
wetland; teacher will record on chart paper.
- Students will write about their wetlands focusing on how it
looks to them and the feeling they have about it. Have them
imagine they are in it for a day, and what would they do.
- Hook question: "What would happen to Hawaii's wetlands and the
animals in them if nobody cared about them?" Teacher will record
answers on chart paper.
Activity: destroy the wetland
(Variation of lesson plan by Michele Lawler at http://www.wnet.org/nttidb/lessons/ma/wetldma.html,
1. Have a guest expert come to the classroom and discuss what
destruction has occurred to Kanaha Pond in the past, what the current
trends are of the political discussions are on Kanaha Pond (articles
in Maui News) possible impacts (Sierra Club comments)
2. Students will work in pairs and be given a different real life
scenario of things that humans have done to wetlands:
- make it into a parking lot,
- turn it into a toxic dump, put condos on it,
- drain it and build on it,
- take away 1/2 of it for building,
- dredge a channel through it for access to the lake, etc.
- build an extended airport runway
- Agriculture, e.g., after cane harvesting if there is heavy
rain before replanting; when watering fields with reclaimed water
what happens to the animal life.
3. Give them appropriate materials to accomplish their
"destruction" (see "Materials" above ).
4. When they have finished "developing" their wetland, have them
do some more writing about how they feel about the "progress" that
has been made in their wetland. Have them describe how they would
spend a day in their wetlands now, and how they feel about it,
relating to animal destruction.
- "How would your animal survive?"
- "Where would they live?"
- "How would this affect migration?"
5. Finally, give them more water and have them "rain" on their
development. Most will experience flooding, the animals that were not
moved out by the development will most likely be washed away, and
those that used salt (particularly if you color it), will notice that
it has gone into the lake. Now they get to do the final writing about
how they feel about their wetland now, how they would like to spend a
day in it, and their feeling about preserving wetlands.
Students will discuss:
- Three (3) ways that destruction of the wetlands can be
prevented or avoided
- What their role is in the protection of Hawaii's wetlands
Will be determined by their conclusions. Some possible culminating
- School newsletter advocating further investigation into issues
at Kanaha Pond Wetlands
- Adopt an animal in Kanaha Pond - collaborative project
- Create a "Save Hawaii's Wetlands" dramatization to be shown to
parents and community
- Role play animals in Kanaha Pond and have them debate issues
in the wetlands
- Create a Kanaha Pond awareness questionnaire and graph the
results on Clarisworks for Kids
- Come up with an action plan utilizing the result of the
questionnaire in a slideshow format to be shared with school
- "Adopt" a wetland.
- Write to County of Maui officials about preserving the area
for the flora and fauna.
- Visit Kanaha Pond on a regular basis, whenever their parents
go to Costco, to see the changes.
Below are ideas from Michele Lawler at http://www.wnet.org/nttidb/lessons/ma/wetldma.html
Language Arts: creative writing. Have the students be an animal or
a plant in Kanaha Pond before, during and after development of the
airport extended runway. (From Master Teacher Michele Lawler)
Social Studies: The social studies ramifications of a wetland
study are endless, particularly if the class decides to "adopt" a
wetland. Meeting with public officials who protect wetlands, as well
as loggers and developers, is an excellent lesson in civic
responsibility. Also, discussions about what a wetland is are
interesting. It really is not as simple as Bill Nye makes it out to
be. Mapping important wetlands in your area is a good lesson in
Art: There are so many animals and plants in the wetlands, and so
many different names for wetlands, that an alphabet book done in
watercolors is really effective.
Science: To demonstrate the filtering ability of a wetland, take
some dirt and put it in a pan, tilt the pan, and let water run down
in. Then take a plot of grass and dirt taken from the edge of a
wetland, and pour "dirty" water through the grass. The liquid that
comes out will be considerably cleaner that what you poured on it, in
spite of the fact that it ran through dirt!
- Reflection journal writing
- Use of Scientific method (e.g., predicting, observation)
- Student project
Again, mahalo (thank you) to Master Teacher Michele Lawler from
WNET School at WNET Station, an NTTI (National Teacher Training
Institute for Math, Science, and Technology)site. Information at NTTI
is at: http://www.wnet.org/wnetschool/ntti/index.html.
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