"5E id ecology reptiles amphibians"
Yakima WATERS “5-E” Inquiry Lesson Identification and Ecology of Reptiles and Amphibians Lesson covers species identification and ecology of reptiles and amphibians in the Yakima River canyon. This lesson plan is targeted to grade 9-10 biology and expected to be completed within 50 minutes. The lesson could be expanded by breaking it into two separate sessions over two days where there is time to cover more morphology and also scaled down for younger students with additional time to discuss and assist with calculations. This could be scaled up by having older students research, design and conduct their own sampling scheme. Standards: Science 9-12 INQA Question Science 9-12 INQB Investigate Science 9-11 LS2D Native vs Non-native species Science 9-11 LS2E Biodiversity and productivity Standards Justification This lesson focuses on generating questions about local herpetofauna presence and diversity and formulating a hypothesis that can be tested through a scientific investigation (INQA). Students are then guided through a survey where they are questioned about appropriate places to look based on biological needs and available microhabitats (INQB). Students then tally the number and species encountered and analyze the data using a Shannon biodiversity index (LS2D) to compare reptiles and amphibians from the riparian zone to the shrub steppe (LS2E). Outcomes Knowledge: Students will be able to describe the natural history and physiology of amphibians and reptiles and know that scientists represent ecosystems in the natural world using mathematical models to compare the biodiversity of organisms in different types of ecosystems. Skill: Students will be able to use field guides to identify species using color plates, detailed descriptions of morphological characteristics and range maps as well as conduct reptile and amphibian surveys. They will be able to generate and evaluate a question that can be answered through a scientific investigation as well as plan and conduct a scientific investigation, choosing a method appropriate to the question being asked. Materials and Equipment Animals from CWU (Rattlesnake, Gopher snake, Bullfrog, Leopard frog) Field guides from CWU Students’ science notebooks 50 sandwich size resealable plastic bags 3 aquarium type nets Snake tongs Pillow cases Prior Knowledge Students should understand that different types of questions require different types of investigations, and that answering questions often involves collecting and analyzing data. Students should know how to revise questions so they can be answered scientifically and devise a suitable investigation to answer the question. They should also understand food webs and how energy makes its way from organism to organism through the ecosystem. Safety Venomous snakes used for educational purposes need to be secured in locked containers. Engage (10 minutes) Show rattlesnake and pass around gopher snake, asking students to describe characteristics that can be used to tell them apart (rattle, head size and shape, keels on scales, pattern) and providing basic life history traits that make them important to people (eating rodents that damage crops and carry disease). Then pass around the Leopard frog, noting the smooth permeable skin that makes them susceptible to desiccation and chemicals in the environment and that it has become extirpated from Washington. Then pass around the invasive Bullfrog, a major contributor to the loss of leopard frogs in Washington. Discuss ectotherms and maintaining body temperature through behavior and the use of microhabitats. Then introduce the focus question: What reptiles and amphibians can be found at this site? Explore (30) Students will break up into groups of two or three with field guides to make a list of species that could potentially be found at the site based on range maps and habitat descriptions (10 minutes). Students will then break into two groups and one will be lead down to the creek to explore for amphibians and garter snakes while discussing appropriate moist and cool amphibian needs (under rocks and logs and vegetation close to the water’s edge) and garter snake diet of aquatic organisms (10 minutes). The other group will head toward a ridge moving on secondary trails through the sage brush discussing heat seeking pits on rattlesnakes and warm basking spots along game trails. We will keep an eye out for ants, a short-horned lizard favorite, and racers…who love short horned lizards! Walk slowly and carefully, never stepping directly on any bushes and advise students not to handle any animals but to call for an instructor if one is located (10 minutes). Then groups swap before coming back together. Explain (5) Have groups share what they found during their surveys (probably not any amphibians) and exactly where they found it and what it was doing. Demonstrate how to fill in the first line of index. Expand (5) Propose the scenario of Naneum pond east of town where the only amphibian species present anymore is the invasive bullfrog and the pond is surrounded by development where few reptile species are found. Why does biodiversity matter? Why are more diverse ecosystems more productive? Focus will be on the flow of energy through ecosystems and the factors that maintain an ecosystem’s long-term stability, as well as factors that can destabilize an ecosystem, such as the introduction of new species. Again, emphasizing the high energy conversion of ectotherms and considering the concept of sustainable development. Evaluate (5) Science journal/notebook will be the evaluation with list of expected species, research hypothesis, encountered species, diversity index and conclusion. Notebook will be scored using the following rubric. Performance Rubric Element Excellent Good In Needs Rethinking Not Scorable (4 pts) (3 pts) Development (1 pts) (0 pt) (2 pts) Knowled Student is able to Student is Student is Student has Student cannot ge (25%) describe the mostly able to somewhat able to difficulty identify or explain behaviors of describe the describe the identifying and how the behaviors of GLE 1.2.1 ectotherms that behaviors of behaviors of explaining how ectotherms allow allow them to ectotherms ectotherms that the behaviors of them to survive in an survive in an that allow them allow them to ectotherms that ecosystem or that ecosystem parts of to survive in an survive in an allow them to parts of a system a system interact ecosystem ecosystem parts of survive in an interact and depend and depend upon parts of a a system interact ecosystem and upon other parts of other parts of the system interact and depend upon that parts of a the same system same system and depend other parts of the system interact upon other same system and depend parts of the upon other parts same system of the same system Skill Student is able to Student is Student is Student has Student is unable to (75%) generate and mostly able to somewhat able to difficulty generate or evaluate evaluate a generate and generate and generating and a question or GLE question that can evaluate a evaluate a evaluating a conduct a scientific 1.3.10 be answered question that question that can question and investigation. No through a scientific can be be answered conducting a conclusion. investigation as answered through a scientific scientific well as plan and through a investigation as investigation. conduct a scientific scientific well as conduct a Conclusion investigation, investigation as scientific erroneous. choosing a method well as plan and investigation. appropriate to the conduct a Conclusion seems question being scientific irrelevant to study. asked. Conclusion investigation. well thought out. Conclusion . mostly sound. Teacher Background Info Students can be easily distracted when live animals are used and focus can be lost. Also, surveys can produce no results and therefore no data to analysis so a data set could be made in advance to “evaluate” Naneum Pond diversity. When conducting surveys for analyses with a Shannon diversity index it is essential to be able to correctly identify different species and without field guides larval stages and adult sexual dimorphisms can be mistaken for different species, inflating estimates of diversity. By making a list of potential species it is possible to compare expected and observed for further analysis. However, students had difficulty correctly identifying what species could be expected by range maps so additional time to investigate habitat requirements for each species may be necessary. I suggest incorporating more statistical analysis such as distribution pattern (evenly dispersed, clumped or random) or population estimates through scaling if herpetofauna are found during surveys. Resources Refer to student science journal for a copy of Shannon diversity chart and examples of calculations. Stebbins, R. and Peterson R. Field Guide: Western Reptiles and Amphibians. 2003. Nussbaum, R. and Brodie E. Amphibians and Reptiles of the Pacific Northwest. 1983. Corkran, C. and Thoms, C. Amphibians of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. 2006. Storm, R. Leonard, W., Brown, H., Bury, B., Darda, D., Diller, L. and Person, C. Reptiles of Washington and Oregon. 1995. Author: Michelle Lester, Yakima WATERS Project, CWU, 2009-2010