Overview: This activity introduces a suite of organisms that live in 3 forest communities of the northern Rocky Mountains and North Cascades (forests dominated by ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, and whitebark pine). Each student “adopts” an organism, learns about its characteristics and its relationship to fire, and gives a 2- to 3-minute presentation on it to the class - complete with a mask, costume, or puppet (or other medium, such as painting, poster, computer presentation, or written description).
Goal: Increase students’ understanding of ecological communities and biodiversity by learning about some of the plants, animals, and fungi that live in forests of the northern Rocky Mountains and North Cascades and their relationships with fire.
- Students can prepare an art work (mask, costume, puppet, or other medium) depicting their “adopted” organisms.
- Students can give a 2- to 3-minute presentation to the class that describes the biology of their adopted organisms and the organisms’ relationships 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.