On this page you will find activities designed for high school level students. Associated educational standards are shown in parentheses.
Natural History Blog Post. Working individually or in groups, ask students to research science journal articles, books, and other resources to learn more about a species they encountered or learned about during their field experience. The information could pertain to life history, threats to the population, habitat needs, anything that they find interesting. Provide students with ID, password, and instructions to write a blog for our website. The purpose of the blog is to inform the general public about a topic that is typically written in more scientific language. Instruct them to include pictures from their trip if they took any. Otherwise they can search the internet for images and request permission from the photographer to use the photos for our website. (LACC.K12.W.2.6, LACC.K12.W.3.7).
Salamander Life Cycle. The mole salamander (Ambystoma talpoideum) and the striped newt (Notophthalmus perstriatus), salamanders of the Munson Sandhills, both have a complex life cycle. Some larvae metamorphose into terrestrial adults and some stay in the wetland as aquatic individuals. Working individually or in small groups, research more about this life history strategy and create something we can use to help teach this information to our volunteers and the general public. This could be a brochure, a blog post (obtain ID, password, and instructions from your teacher), a paper with illustrations, a video, a PowerPoint presentation or anything you think would be effective to convey your message. Here are a few resources to get you started: Animal Diversity Web, American Midland Naturalist journal article, Savannah River Ecology Lab.
Create an ephemeral wetland food web. Access information about the producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers, tertiary consumers, and detritivores, many of which we talked about or you saw on your field trip. Make sure you include a salamander in your web. Get creative about how you display the information…we may even post it on our website! Now, think about what would happen if you removed one of components of your food web. For example, what if you removed a salamander species? What do you think would happen to the rest of the food web? Record your answers. Here are a few resources to help you get started: Florida Wetlands (IFAS), Nature.com Ponds and Lake article, UF Aquatic Ecosystem website. (SC.912.L.17.6)
Exploring Florida Ecosystems. This is an approximately 2 hour lesson plan Rebecca developed for the CPALMS database. Students explore the general definition of an ecosystem and reinforce the idea using ephemeral wetlands as a specific example. Students apply and share knowledge through presentations about specific Florida ecosystems. The lesson plan includes a PowerPoint Presentation and a grading rubric. (SC.912.L.17.4 and SC.912.L.17.7)
Describing Populations of Frogs and Salamanders. This is an approximately 2 hour lesson plan Rebecca developed for the CPALMS database. Students use real world examples of sampling frog and salamander populations to explore the different characteristics of a population and the process of observation and inference. The lesson includes individual and group activities. (SC.912.N.1.6 and SC.912.L.17.1)