Wetlands: Here All Year? Session 1
Conduct this session in the classroom.
- Place the sponge in the shallow dish. Pour water into the dish, and ask students what is happening to the water. Compare the sponge to a wetland, explaining that soil in a wetland soaks up water just as the sponge does. Provide students with a general description of wetlands based on the information in the lesson Background. Include in the description the fact that a wetland may be covered by a shallow layer of water but is not deep enough to be called a pond or lake. Explain that some wetlands are wet all the time and others only part of the time.
- Divide the class into six groups. Each group will be studying one type of wetland: bog, freshwater marsh, saltwater marsh, wet meadow, shrub wetland, and tree swamp. Provide each group with several copies of the information sheet on their assigned wetland.
- Explain that as they read about their wetland, students should take notes on the amount and kind of water (fresh, salt, or brackish) in their wetland. Is it wet all the time? If only some of the time, when? Students should also list plants and animals that can be found in their wetland. Each group will use this information to create a diorama of their wetland.
- When groups have finished taking notes, they will begin preparations for their dioramas. Make available wildlife guides on birds, insects, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, trees, and wildflowers, and instruct students to draw the plants and animals found in the wetland. (Drawings will be cut out and placed in the dioramas, so they should be small enough to fit in the boxes.) Tell students to write a number on each plant type and a letter on each animal type. The dioramas will be assembled in Session 2 of the lesson.