Introducing Biodiversity

Introducing Biodiversity


If you observe the world around you, it is easy to see that some animals and plants are alike in the way that they look and in the things they do, and others are quite different from one another.


Go to Biodiversity is the rich variety of life on Earth to learn more about biodiversity. As you read each section, click on the “Back” and “Next” buttons to move from page to page. As you go through the site, respond to these questions in your science notebook. (Be sure to write down the questions.)

  1. What does biodiversity mean?
  2. How are poodles, beagles, and rottweilers alike? How are they different?
  3. What is an ecosystem?
  4. Why is biodiversity important? What are some of the benefits of biodiversity?
  5. What is extinction? What is causing it today?
  6. How are we losing our ecosystems today?
  7. What is the Endangered Species Act? What is it meant to do?
  8. What would happen if we didn’t have biodiversity?
  9. Name two things you can do to help preserve biodiversity.

Now you should explore a local ecosystem and take notes on the different organisms you encounter there. Your chosen ecosystem may include your backyard, a city park, or any other natural place. Make sure to carefully read over the Explore the Outdoors student sheet with your teacher. You will be expected to draw simple sketches of eight organisms that you find there and take notes on their features, behavior, and importance to the ecosystem.

When exploring this area, also try to identify the web of interdependence that exists between the different species, as you observed in the Dzangha Sangha online activity. After you have done your research, draw a poster of your ecosystem’s web of interdependence and offer a report on it before the class. Be sure to show in the poster your eight chosen species, including descriptions about them and how they are connected in some way with other species that live there. Check with your teacher when you have completed all the questions.

Now visit Welcome to the Dzangha Sangha. Read the opening page about the Dzanga-Sangha and then click on “Play Connect the Dots” at the bottom of the page.

When the page has finished loading, read the directions on how to play. Then click on the “Forest” button at the top of the page. Here, you will answer a series of questions about the relationships between the different species in a forest. Move the icon around the ecosystem to find the right answer for the question. When you see a “Congratulations” and “Go” window, click “Go” and look at the web of connections each species has with the others in this ecosystem. Click on the yellow dots of this web of life to learn more about the other species in this ecosystem.

Use the Introducing Biodiversity student sheet to help you move through this activity and answer questions about the three different ecosystems in the resource. To check your understanding of this lesson, visit What Do You Know? and take the 10-question quiz on biodiversity. Read each question and click on the white dot next to the correct answer. When finished, wait for your teacher’s instructions. Do not click on the “Check Your Answers” icon.

When ready, visit Bio-Benefits. Begin by reading the “Bio-Benefits” section on the left, and then click on the five different benefit categories on the top right of the page. Use the arrow keys on the right side of the page to scroll up and down each section. Again use the Introducing Biodiversity student sheet to help you go through this section and answer questions about it.

This esheet is a part of the Introducing Biodiversity lesson.

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