Overview: This activity introduces a suite of organisms that live in forests and shrublands (chaparral) of the Sierra Nevada. Each student “adopts” an organism, learns about its characteristics and its relationship to fire, and gives a 1- to 2-minute presentation on it to the class - complete with a mask, costume, or puppet (alternative ways to present the information: poster, computer presentation, written abstract).
Goal: Increase students’ understanding of ecological communities and biodiversity by learning about some of the plants, animals, and fungi that live in forests and shrublands of the Sierra Nevada.
- Students can prepare a mask, costume, or puppet (or use other media) and then give a 1- to 2-minute presentation to the class that describes the biology of their “character” and its relationship to fire.
- Students can recognize several characteristics of organisms: their kingdom, family or life-form, way(s) of obtaining energy, and typical responses to fire.