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Virtual Field Guide

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Keywords: PowerPoint, virtual field guide, web site
Subject(s): Earth Science, Life Science, Biology, Photography, Science
Grades 6 through 8
School: Blountstown Elementary School, Blountstown, FL
Planned By: Tiffany Nichols
Original Author: Tiffany Nichols, Clarksville
Engage students by discussing the biodiversity on campus and in the region. Access prior knowledge by listing what they already know about the biodiversity on campus. Students will also log in their journals what variety of organisms they expect to see on campus and whether they are vertebrates or invertebrates.

Explore by guiding students around campus and photographing organisms. Students may be divided into groups, each group focusing on one of the following; plants, insects, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

Explain discoveries by guiding students as they use the internet to research the animals or plants they have photographed. Using MS PowerPoint, students will use the researched information to create a single page guide to each organism, including common name, taxonomy, and vital habitat information about their organism. All slides will be combined in a single PowerPoint presentation and published on the school website.

Extend learning by providing the students the opportunity to construct a group report on the biodiversity in our community and how this information is relevant and important to our community.

Evaluate learning through individual writing on the biodiversity of life on campus. Students will log in journals what organisms were discovered, which organisms were vertebrates and invertebrates, and what questions they still have about biodiversity.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Writing about the biodiversity can be planned in conjunction with language arts. Social studies can also be involved if students marked locations with a GPS.
Follow up by having upper grade students give a biodiversity tour to younger students.
Links: National Geographic Critter Cam
Materials: Word Processor, Web Page, Science, Flash/USB Drives, Camera Bags, Wildlife, Slideshow