Interdependence of organisms

Hummingbird True or False Quiz

This quick quiz highlights some little-known facts and dispels some misconceptions about hummingbirds. Use the quiz as a pre- and post-assessment. As your class learns more about hummingbirds, let them add their own items to the quiz or create a whole new quiz for another class to take.

___ 1. Hummingbirds eat only flower nectar.

___ 2. Hummingbirds can fly upside down.

___ 3. Hummingbirds suck nectar from flowers.

___ 4. Hummingbirds migrate on the backs of Canada geese.

___ 5. A hummingbird's heart beats more than 1,000 times per minute.

Mountains as Biodiversity Hotpsots - Himalayan Expedition Part 1

The Expedition Begins

Mount Makalu in the background. Banana tree in the foreground. Photo: TMIAfter weeks of planning and preparation, your expedition is finally going to begin. First you land in Kathmandu, Nepal. You've planned to spend two days here, gathering together the rest of your gear and paying for a climbing permit. It's a bit disappointing that you are unable to see the mountains from the city. On some days, people can. On other days, like today, they are hidden behind air pollution.

Organic Garden Practices Checklist

Most people know that organic farmers avoid polluting ecosystems and our food supply with synthetic pesticides, but the underlying philosophy is much broader. Organic farming centers on using methods that strive towards balance in the production fields that mirrors relationships found in natural ecosystem. As a result, the benefits reach much further. Organic farming:

Weed Busters: Students Tackle the Purple Menace

Studying Purple Loosestrife Helps Students Identify Non-Native Species

"When my third graders asked a local naturalist to help them identify wild plants growing on our school grounds, we never imagined their query would lead to a long-term environmental action project," reports Minneapolis, MN, teacher Sherri Rogers.

Curriculum Connections

Ecosystem Lineup

Invite your students to observe and compare a given area of a wildflower meadow or plot with another type of ecosystem, such as a lawn, garden, or wooded area. Have them use data sheets to inventory and compare the different types and numbers of plants and animals in each and to describe other differences they notice.

Creating a Three Sisters Garden

Native peoples from different parts of North America have used a wide range of agricultural techniques. Perhaps the best known is the interplanting of corn, beans, and squash together -- a trio often referred to as the "three sisters."

Cultivating these companions in your school garden, a small patch near the building, a barrel, or even indoors, can inspire studies of Native American customs, nutrition, and folklore. As students dig in, investigations of plant growth and relationships will also flourish.

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Last updated on 04/17/2014
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