Overview: This activity introduces a suite of organisms that live in lower and upper montane 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 3- to 5-minute presentation on it to the class - complete with a mask, costume, or puppet. (Alternative media include poster, computer presentation, or written abstract for adult audience.)
Goal: Increase students’ understanding of ecological communities, ecosystems, 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 3- to 5-minute presentation (or prepare a poster or computer presentation) to the class that describes the biology of their “character” and its relationship to fire.
- Students understand that individual species have specific habitat needs and ways to survive the fires that are typical of the ecosystems where they live.