Georgia Regions and Habitats Mrs. Martin’s Class GPS S3L1. Students will investigate the habitats of different organisms and the dependence of organisms on their habitat. S3L2. Students will recognize the effects of pollution and humans on the environment. Before we get started, what is a region and a habitat? Do you know? Vocabulary • Region – a territory, a big area • Habitat – (Watch the video to understand what a habitat is) • A habitat is… A plant needs… • Sunlight Which habitat needs more sunlight—a mountain or piedmont (rolling hills)? • Water • Gas (carbon dioxide) • Space/soil An Animal needs… • Food • Shelter • Water • Gas (oxygen) • space What will happen if these needs are not in the organism’s habitat? Where in the world is Georgia? Do you know? Georgia is in the Southeastern part of the United States, on the continent of North America. There it is! Georgia itself is divided into different regions. Each region is different from the others in their own special ways. They have different habitats. Your teacher will give you a Georgia Map. The 3 northern regions, from left to right, are the 1. Appalachian Plateau, 2. the Ridge and Valley, and 3. the Blue Ridge). The habitat in these regions: MOUNTAIN The central part of Georgia is called the Piedmont Region. It is also the name of the habitat. The southernmost part of Georgia is called the Coastal Plain Region (swamps and marshes). Georgia borders the Atlantic Ocean, so it also has a coastline and an abundance of barrier islands. Neat! Activity: • Predict: Which plants and animals can be found in each habitat? Can some plants and animals live in more than one kind of habitat? • Write the names of plants and animals on your chart. Let’s review on how a living thing or an organism survives in an environment. A plant needs… • Sunlight • Water • Gas (carbon dioxide) • Space/soil An animal needs… • Food • Shelter • Water • Gas (oxygen) • space Let’s talk about ADAPTATION! • An adaptation is a part or behavior that helps an organism get what it needs from its environment. What are different plant adaptations? 1. Leaves a. If a plant gets plenty of sunlight what could be the size of its leaves—broad (big)or needle-like (tiny)? b. Which plant has smaller leaves—a plant near water or a plant that lives in a dry and sunny place? Some plants/trees lose their leaves to save the food/nutrients in the stem for the winter. c. What are different plant adaptations? 2. Stems a. Some water plants have longer stems. b. Trees have bark to protect the inside of the trunk/stem. What are different plant adaptations? • 3. Roots • Which root system has stronger support? Watch brainpopjr.com video on Plant Adaptation What are different animal adaptations? • How do animals adapt to cold weather? hibernation and thick fur • Which animal can catch more prey? Why? How can each animal get away from the predators(hunters)? Why? How do these birds avoid the cold? They migrate—move from one place to another (north, summer; south, winter). Use the pictures and identify their adaptation/s. Use the first person point of view. • Body parts like strong shell or carapace, slick body, claws, legs, fur, thick bark, strong roots and many others • Behavior like migration, hibernation, camouflage, and many others Are you ready to find out what makes each region special? Do you want to know what kinds of plants and animals might be found in each? Let’s start in Georgia’s Mountain! Take your prediction chart and Georgia map with you. Let’s take a little field trip, shall we? The Georgia Mountains… The Georgia Mountains… •The elevation is higher, and it’s shaded by trees. These things make the temperature cooler. •The terrain also makes it harder to get around. Some people live in the mountains, but it’s not highly populated. Can you think of some reasons why few people live in this region? In the mountains, you might see… beautiful waterfalls. This is Amicola Falls in the North Georgia Mountains. In the mountains, you might see… really tall trees like the Tulip Poplar and the Hemlock. BEGIN CHECKING IF THESE ORGANISMS (living things) are on your MOUNTAIN LIST. You might also see some cool animals that call the Georgia Mountains their home. Let’s see what we can find! Mudpuppies and American Toads are two amphibians which live in this habitat. Both need to live by mountain streams, but they love to hang out in the woods! Box Turtles and Copperhead Snakes are two reptiles which live in this mountain habitat. Can you think of a reason why these two would be perfectly at home in the woods? Lots of animals love to be high in the trees of the Georgia Mountains! Can you name these three? Black Bears, Mountain Lions, and Coyotes are major predators in the mountains! They’re so furry! Why?? Activity 2 • Read: Georgia, My State Habitats: Mountains • Write names of organisms you can find from the book. The Black Vulture is a scavenger that keeps this habitat clean- they have an important job here! Sadly, they were almost wiped out due to DDT- it made their eggs too soft to hatch. Now they are on the Threatened List, so they are making a comeback. Humans’ use of DDT changed this habit just enough to almost kill off an entire species of bird. Can you think of other ways humans could possibly change this habitat, thus affecting the plants and animals that thrive here? Activity 3: LET’S REVIEW! • Read pp. 36-40 of your textbook and answer the study guide. • Draw: Georgia Mountains Habitat We have a special guest today • Let’s listen and guess who he/she is. Hop back on the bus! It’s time to leave the Mountain Region! We’re heading south to the Piedmont Region of Georgia! Let’s go! The Piedmont Region… The Piedmont Region… •It’s farther south, so the temperature is warmer than in the mountains. •The land consists of rolling hills, lakes, and rivers. •Atlanta is in the Piedmont, making it the highest populated region of Georgia. Why do so many people like this region? In the Piedmont, you might see… lots of tall buildings and twisting highways. Hey… what’s that building with the gold dome? Pretty! In the Piedmont, you might see… Dogwood, Sweet Gum, and Hickory Trees! What kinds of trees lose their leaves in cold weather? What kinds of trees have leaves all year round? (coniferous or deciduous)Why? Let’s see what animals we can find here! No hiking boots needed this time! We could use a canoe though! Let’s check out the lakes and rivers first! Near the Chattahoochee River and Lake Lanier, we might find some interesting critters! Water makes a great habitat! Snapping Turtles and River Otters thrive in the Piedmont Region. Can you think of some reasons why these two would be perfectly at home in the water? The Piedmont is home to the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker and the Mourning Dove. Peck, peck, peck, peck, peck, peck, peck….. The Piedmont is also home to White-tailed Deer. They prefer wooded areas, but as we continue to populate the area, we force them into unsafe territory. Don’t do it little guy! Look both ways! As we increase the human population in this region, we continue to push animals out of their natural habitats. Here are some coyotes in downtown Atlanta- if caught, they are most likely re-released outside of the state. They are not a threat to humans, but they do prey upon family pets now that we share a habitat with them. Can you think of other ways humans could possibly change this habitat, thus affecting the plants and animals that thrive here? How can we protect the environment? Activity 5: • Read pages 68-73 of your textbook and answer the study guide. • Fill out the habitats chart. Load up! Let’s head farther south into the Coastal Plain Region! It’s a big region, so we have lots to explore! Coastal Plain The Coastal Plain Region… The Coastal Plain Region… •It makes up southern Georgia, so it’s the warmest region of the state. •The land is flat, and the soil is mostly sandy. This creates a unique environment for many different plants and animals. In the Coastal Plain, you might see… a lack of hills and an abundance of water. Actually, most of the water is on the east side of the state. The western side is pretty, but flat. In the Coastal Plain, you will see… marshes and swamps. The Okefenokee Swamp one of the largest swamps in the U.S. and is a habitat for many different species of plants and animals. Want to see some? Let’s hop in the air or fan boat! Swamps • Swamps are wetlands with many trees and shrubs. The Okefenokee Swamp is obviously a very wet, mucky place to be! Most trees would drown in this habitat, but not the Cypress- it loves all that muck! That muck is also a great habitat for American Alligators. They call the swamps home! Want to go for a little swim??? (I’ll pass!) Since mosquitoes need warm temperatures and water in which to lay their eggs… The swamps are a perfect habitat for the little bloodsuckers! Ouch! Closer to the coast, there are lots of tall pines and Saw Palmettos. Georgia’s state bird, the Brown Thrasher, might nest in trees like these! If I were a bird, I’d make my home in one of Georgia’s Live Oaks! (It’s the Georgia State Tree!) It has lots of huge branches to choose from, and the moss that grows on them would make perfect nesting material! Marshes • Marshes are wetlands where grasses and reeds grow. Wire grass and sea weed are two type of vegetation that abound near the coast. Southern Toads love the nestle among the vegetation and catch mosquitoes! Yummy! 1. Read the book about swamps and marshes. 2. “If I were a plant or an animal” Activity • Answer the study guide. The Atlantic Ocean… Where the warm, salty waters of the Atlantic Ocean meet our state, a very unique habitat is created. Welcome to the beaches and barrier islands of Georgia! What is a coast? A coast is the place where the ocean meets the land. Do you like the coast? Why? Double-crested Cormorants, Snowy Egrets, and Blue Heron love to live near the coastal waters. Can you guess why? This region is also home to the venomous Coral Snake! Red on black, friend of Jack. Red on yellow, kill a fellow! The Little Grass Frog is one of the tiniest critters that live in this coastal habitat. The armadillo is one of the most unique animals that make this region their home. (They just don’t fare so well with the traffic!) Jekyll Island and St. Simon’s Island are two of many barrier islands along Georgia’s coast. Let’s make our field trip a bit more interesting! Let’s go farther and deeper into the ocean! To see some of Georgia’s coolest animals, we’ll need one of these! Sub=Below Marine=Water The Right Whale is Georgia’s State Mammal! They were named “Right” because when they were hunted long ago, they were easy to catch, they floated when killed, and they held lots of oil and meat. They were just right for hunting. Sadly, they were almost hunted to extinction. Pilot Whales and Bottlenose Dolphins also live in this habitat! Ok, so this habitat extends beyond our state, but we are lucky enough to have these animals call Georgia waters home. Loggerhead Sea Turtles and Manatees can also be found in waters off of Georgia’s coast! Both are also considered endangered. Manatees like to swim close to the surface, and so many get killed or injured by boats. Sea turtles are caught in fishing traps and nets quite often. Can you think of other ways that humans put the sea creatures in danger? Can you think of some ways we can try to protect them? • Read the book “Atlantic Ocean”, and answer the study guide. • Play the “Jeopardy Game” to review. http://www.superteachertools.com/jeopardy/us ergames/Mar201311/game1363289422.php I hope you enjoyed our field trip through Georgia’s Habitats! Keep going for some cool ideas to take your learning to the next level! Which of Georgia’s regions is your favorite? Write about what you love about it! If you could be one of the many animals that live in Georgia, which would you be? Write about a day in your life as that animal. Make a list of animals that don’t live in any of Georgia’s habitats. Why do they not live here? Why are they not suited to any of the habitats here? Think about the features that some animals have that make them feel perfectly at home in one of Georgia’s habitats. Can you design or create a brand new animal that has similar features so that they could survive happily in one of Georgia’s habitats? Create a 3-D Diorama of one of Georgia’s habitats. What animals and plants must you include to make it seem more life-like? Make posters to hang around the school encouraging others to keep our environment clean. Organize a team to periodically clean up garbage around your school. Research ways in which we have impacted the environment locally, thus making it harder for plants or animals to survive. What steps can we take to improve the environments for these organisms? Take a trip to Zoo Atlanta! The zoo has many wonderful animals that don’t normally live in Georgia. What special things must the zoo do in order to make them feel like they are in their natural habitats while they are in Georgia?