Who lives here? Plant and Animal Diversity

Grades K – 2

Students will identify our imaginary creatures and plants in their habitats and what they need to survive and thrive. They will observe patterns of when and why creatures emerge or leave a habitat and use strategies to sustain creatures in their particular environments. Special attention will be paid to plant and animal relationships to each other and their dependence on their environment.


Engineering the World: Plant and Animal Adaptations

Grades 3 & 4

Changes in the environment start with water — where it is and where it needs to go to sustain life. Students will collaborate to create strategies for distributing water based on what they discover about the plants and creatures living there. Students will focus on the relationship of plants and animals to the health and balance of the overall ecosystem.

Learning Goals: plant and animal adaptations, animals and plants and their environments, interconnectedness, understanding systems as a set of components, and engineering.


Keeping Balance in a Changing World: Environmental Interdependence

Grades 5 – 9

Students explore what happens across these imaginary habitats under different environmental conditions. Working in teams, they create strategies to manage extreme conditions such as drought through water management and distribution. They experience dynamic equilibrium while they work to maintain balance among environments that are in flux. Students investigate stability and change throughout the system by discovering how small changes in one area can have huge effects elsewhere on the plant and on animal life. Their challenge is to keep all four habitats in balance — having a diversity of plants and animals and enough water to maintain them.

Learning Goals: interdependence, stability and change in ecosystems, dynamic equilibrium, systems thinking, and engineering.