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Lab 2. MTB

Faculty biology and biotechnology
Methodological recommendations for laboratory work
«МPB3418» - «Methods of teaching biology»
Practice exercise 2. To teach lesson with choosing one of the topic in the
content of the school curriculum, which subject "Ecosystem" (5 points)
Even a small area of land can offer wide biodiversity in plant life; that is, an ecosystem is
1. composed of many different organisms.
2. Each species of plant has its own name.
3. Each ecosystem will contain evidence of diversity within each species.
• Access to an unmanaged part of the school grounds or of a local park
• Plastic bags for carrying leaf specimens
• Field guide to leaves
Challenge your students to assess the biodiversity of their own community. Take them to
a relatively unmanaged area of your property (or, for urban schools, to a local city park).
1. Determine beforehand that the area does not contain any poisonous plants.
When you've arrived at the site, ask students to collect as many different leaf types
(representing distinct species) as they can. (You may want to set some ground rules to
2. ensure that plants are not damaged unnecessarily.)
Back in the classroom, make a list of the different leaves that were collected. (Naming the
species is of secondary importance for assessing biodiversity, but it will be interesting to
3. give your students the time and material to determine names of each plant.)
Students will be amazed at how many different plants they found, even in tiny urban
patches of ground. This discovery should help them understand the first level of
4. biodiversity—that an ecosystem is composed of many different organisms.
Next, choose one of the most commonly occurring species in the area the students
explored, and tell your students to return to the same area. Each student is to bring back a
5. single leaf of that species.
6. When students' second collection is complete, let students notice and speak about the fact
that even though their leaves all come from the same species of plant, the leaves all look
somewhat different. This step should help students understand the second level of
biodiversity—that each ecosystem will contain evidence of diversity within each species.
Finally, ask students to assess the biodiversity of an area near home (or in a different city
park or in a different area of the park already explored) by using the same sampling
7. methods.
When students bring in their samples, lead a discussion about their findings in an attempt
8. to assess the plant biodiversity of your community or city as a whole.
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In addition to picking the leaves, older students should bring drawing pads and pencils with
them so that they can sketch insects in this ecosystem. As with the leaves, they should identify
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Discussion Questions
Valleys such as Yosemite are homes to a wide range of plants and animals. Discuss how
1. abrupt changes in elevation make vastly different habitats possible.
The common wisdom says that Native American culture as it existed before Europeans
arrived here was much more "in tune" with nature's rhythms than modern American
culture. Debate whether cultural "progress" has to include the loss of this empathy for
2. nature.
Ansel Adams made his fame almost entirely through his photographs of the Yosemite
Valley. Discuss why so many artists find inspiration in using natural scenes in their
3. artwork. What creative, artistic, or inspiring qualities does nature possess?
Yosemite National Park attracts around five million visitors per year, making it one of the
most visited places on Earth. Such a large number of visitors cannot help but cause
damage to this wilderness area. For the sake of preservation, should human travel in
4. wilderness areas be restricted by law? Why or why not?
John Muir, the founder of the Sierra Club, said, "Any fool can destroy a tree. It cannot run
away." He was referring to loggers, who he believed would rather make a profit from the
wilderness than preserve and enjoy it. Create a list of businesses that could use the
wilderness areas of America without destroying them—while still making a profit.
5. Explain your ideas in each case.
Grey wolves were once common in most states, but they became endangered. Recently,
grey wolves have been reintroduced into a few very remote wilderness areas. Do you
think they could be reintroduced into Yosemite National Park? What problems might
6. occur? Who would support such a program and who would resist it?
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Establish before you leave the classroom a minimum number of specimens for each student to
collect, and note who does not meet the criterion, who meets it, and who exceeds it.
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