In this lesson students will have the opportunity to explore Arctic food webs with one of the Canadian Museum of Nature (CMN) scientists. Students will meet the scientist, learn about his career and research methods, and explore some of the collection of Arctic animals found at the museum. Through their explorations students will develop an understanding of the highlighted species, how they fit into Arctic food webs, and the concept of trophic structures.
How do animals interact with one another in Arctic Ecosystems?
Students should have a basic understanding of food webs and ecosystems, as well as some of the roles species play within food webs (i.e. producer, consumer, herbivore, omnivore, predator, etc.)
*If you have more time, you could play a version of Predator-Prey (see adaptations and enrichments)
On the Expedition Arctic website, students will go through the “Team” link and select David Gray in order to learn about Arctic Food Webs. While exploring the page by following along with David, have students write down observations and reflections. Have students think about the following:
Think-Pair-Share (Students are given time to think about their response to a specific question or topic, pair up with a partner and discuss, and then share their collective thoughts with the class or another pair).
Have a class discussion based around reflection questions.
Split into small groups and create a poster answer to guiding question using flipchart paper.
Have students create Arctic food webs which include the highlighted species from the lesson.
Use a SMART Board to explore the site as a class, in part or in whole.
Have students work in pairs.
Explore more specimens through the “Collection” link on the Expedition Arctic webpage.
Look at pictures and videos of Arctic landscapes using the “Expedition” link.
Play a game of Predator-Prey using Arctic organisms. (There are many versions of Predator-Prey out there. One example can be found at http://www.bradwoods.org/pdf/ee_curriculum_2012/Predator_Prey_11.pdf)
Expand the activity by using Lesson 2: Explorations in Science to guide learning about scientist’s careers to fulfill career expectations of science curriculum.
Explore Arctic marine organisms using Lesson 4: Arctic Aquatic Life.
Learn about adaptations of organisms to extreme environments through Lesson 5: Life at the Top of the World.
Link this lesson to the geology of the Arctic over time using Lesson 6: The Age of Ice
Learn about fossil records and what Arctic fossils can teach us with Lesson 7: Ancient Arctic.
Explore how changes in the global climate are affecting the Arctic, and how these changes affect the rest of the world in Lesson 8: Changing Climate.