Wow! After Modules 1 – 9, Module 10 seems like a bit of a walk in the park, doesn’t it? If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You are in the home stretch!!
For this co-op session, we planned to do Experiment 10.1, but there was no sun to help out, so that didn’t work out! 😦
Most of our time was spent creating a Florida Food Web, a little bit of a twist on the typical Food Web project. We used local species to create our web. The students were paired off and used “Florida’s Fabulous” series of books and the internet to gather information regarding their chosen group. They only recorded information related to the project; habitat, diet, and an interesting fact about each. Pictures and info cards were then attached to color coded paper (Green: Producers, Yellow: Primary Consumers, Blue: Secondary Consumers and Red: Tertiary Consumers. Once all this was completed, we built our web on a wall to visualize this complicated eco-system and learn how it is inter-connected. Each creature has its own role in providing energy to the whole. It one species fails, it affects the whole group. (Sorry I didn’t get a picture this time!)
Here’s a list of the producers and consumers we used:
Our Producers: Strawberry, Orange Tree, Grass & Weedy Vegetation
Insects: Aphid, Potter Wasp, Ladybird, Black Widow Spider
Reptile/Amphibian: Gopher Tortoise, Black Racer, Anole, Alligator
Fish: Tilapia, Catfish
Birds: Florida Scrub Jay, Mockingbird, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Black Vulture
Mammals: Pocket Gopher, Marsh Rabbit, Wild Hog, Bobcat
It took quite a bit of time to gather all the information and put it together, but it was a very interesting project. (Note: Some of our creatures fall into more than one group, depending on the food source du jour! So you may put them in a different group.) Another project I considered, was having each student make a Favorite Food Web, with the ingredients to their favorite meal shown in their personalized web.
Occassionally in nature, something strange and totally unexpected happens! Ask yourself, if a tertiary consumer eats another tertiary consumer, what does that make him?
Check out the #2 post on Mindful Ramblings for 2010!
Animal Planet once had a series called, Top 10 Odd Animal Couples. (Thanks to Applie for bringing this one to my attention. Be sure to check out her Apologia Biology section, for lots of good ideas. She also has pictures of their Everglades Food Web.)
Great photo gallery on MSNBC.com, “Unlikely Friends”
We did not have time to cover the other topics in the module at Co-Op, but here are couple other resources:
Southwest Florida Water Management District, referred to by most as “Swift Mud”, has a treasure trove of information on Florida’s water resources. While some a regional-specific, there are more generic resources available too and all of them are FREE!! There are educational materials for every level. Check your state for similar products.
Study Link: Flashcards & Games at Quizlet.com