It is time for your work to begin. Remember that at the end of your research, you are to create a project that will be presented to your community to inform them about biodiversity. It may be helpful to take notes as you explore the following Web Sites. You may also want to print the evaluation rubric so you know what is expected of you from this project. The following steps will guide you in the creation of your project about biodiversity.
1. To make your project effective, you need to keep in mind your audience. Therefore, in addition to your perspective as a scientist, each of you will approach your study of biodiversity from another perspective. The four different perspectives are as follows:
A. Grandparent: You are an elder of the community and have lived many years. You have four beautiful grandchildren and want the best for them in the future.
B. City Developer: You are interested in creating space for people to live in your city. You realize that the population in your city is increasing; therefore more land needs to converted to places where people can live.
C. Student: You are a fourth grade student in your elementary school. Your future is wide open. You have many interests and are curious about what you can do in the world. You still have a lot to learn about the world and are looking forward to exploring the world and seeing everything that the world has to offer.
D. Local Logger: You are interested in cutting down trees to bring to logging companies. You enjoy being outdoors and realize that the wood that you are cutting will be useful in helping people build homes. It will also be converted to paper products that are in popular demand today.
-Now that you have decided on a perspective, it is time for the real research to begin. As you study biodiversity, keep these perspectives in mind. They will help you better understand what you will need to know about biodiversity when preparing your final project.
2. You need to explain to your audience what biodiversity is. Some people might already know, but you need to make sure that everyone is familiar with what biodiversity is. Use the following links to discover what biodiveristy is and why it is important:
- Biodiversity Facts: http://www.nrel.colostate.edu/projects/iboy/biomonth/biofacts.html
- Biodiversity Basics: http://www.biodiversity911.org/biodiversity_basics/biodiversity_main.html
3. To better understand the composition of biodiversity, take a look at the following web sites:
- Biodiversity Information: Composition of the Earth's Biodiversity: http://www.nrel.colostate.edu/projects/iboy/kids/earth.html
- Arthropod Information: http://www.globio.org/glossopedia/article.aspx?art_id=15
4. To understand the difference between a species that is threatened, endangered, or extinct use the following link:
- Endangered Species: http://www.idahoptv.org/dialogue4kids/season9/endspecies/facts.cfm
5. To further understand biodiversity and what threatens biodiversity, go to the following sites, choose three species from each site, and read about their history and struggles:
+ Note: Make sure to read the introduction section about biodiversity on these Web Sites.
Also, pay close attention to the reasons that threaten each of the species.
- Vanishing in the Wild: www.bagheera.com/inthewild/vanishing.htm
- Endangered Species Fact Sheets: www.kidsplanet.org/factsheets/map.html
- Endangered and Trafficked Species Guide: www.wildaid.org/endangeredspecies/
- Save Our Species (Make sure to look at the plant species): http://www.epa.gov/espp/poster/
6. You have read that biodiversity is declining today. You have researched what biodiversity is, why it is important, and reasons why it is declining. It is now time for your group to create your project to present to your community. The options that you have for your project include the following:
- Create a video to play on the local school or community television network
- Write a letter to the editor or a newspaper article
- Design a display that will be set out on a table at a community event where you and your group of scientists can explain your position to the community members and answer community member questions about biodiversity.
7. Once you have decided on the type of project you would like to do, you must decide what you are going to include in your project. Remember to keep in mind the perspectives from which you viewed the information on the Web Sites (not everyone will view biodiversity the same way that you as a scientist do). The following questions should help guide you in the creation of your project:
- What are you going to tell your community about biodiversity?
- What are you going to tell your community about the importance of biodiversity?
- How does biodiversity affect your community?
- Should your community members care about declining biodiversity? Explain.
- What will you tell your community about the threats to biodiversity? (What are they? Should something be done about them? If yes, what would you suggest your community members could do? If nothing should be done, explain why not.)
- What are you going to tell your community members about the future of biodiversity and research regarding biodiversity?
+ Note: To complete your project, you may need to review your notes and the Web Sites that you viewed earlier.
Also, don't forget to refer to the evaluation rubric to make sure you are including the essential elements.