• Ranger introduction and introduction to the program.
• Brief National Park Service introduction, explanation of the different kinds of park sites and wide range of locations.
• Discussion of the arrowhead symbol, and connect it to the river, terrain, plants, and wildlife of Zion.
• Short history of Zion National Park
- Introduction to ecosystems and what makes up a habitat, as well as the ecosystems of Zion National Park
-Discussion about the interactions between the plants and animals that share an ecosystem, such as predator/prey and symbiotic relationships
-Adaptation game and discussion
-Transition to working with the food web
-Desert Ecosystems: what lives there, how they adapt, and how they interact with different organisms (cactus, desert tortoise)
-Wetlands: what lives there, how they adapt, and how they interact with different organisms (cottonwood trees, beavers)
-Forests: what lives there, how they adapt, and how they interact with different organisms (pine trees, elk)
Students then have time to create their own creature, and identify the ecosystem they live in, their adaptations, and how they interact with other plants and animals.
By the end of the program, students will be able to:
• Name three major ecosystems in Zion National Park
• Name at least two of Zion’s animals and identify their habitat(s)
• Understand how plants and animals interact with each other in their various ecosystems
• State at least two adaptations of plants or animals
• State two ways they can help protect habitats
Next Generation Science Standards: 4-LS1-1
• Construct an argument that plants and animals have both internal and external structures that serve various functions in growth, survival, behavior, and reproduction. Internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction. [Clarification Statement: Examples of structures could include thorns, stems, roots, colored petals, heart, stomach, lung, brain, and skin.]
Utah State Standards: Standard 4.1.1 and 4.1.2.
• Construct an explanation from evidence that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction. Emphasize how structures support an organism’s survival in its environment and how internal and external structures of plants and animals vary within the same and across multiple Utah environments. Examples of structures could include thorns on a stem to prevent predation or gills on a fish to allow it to breathe underwater. (LS1.A)
• Develop and use a model of a system to describe how animals receive different types of information from their environment through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information. Emphasize how animals are able to use their perceptions and memories to guide their actions. Examples could include models that explain how animals sense and then respond to different aspects of their environment such as sounds, temperature, or smell. (LS1.D)