Grade levels: 7-10

Lesson Objective: The Learner Will Be Able To:

1. Share the results of their own research with the class.
2. Relate their research to that of others to create a food web.
3. Create a visual display of a high mountain environment.

Materials:
  • Mural paper, attached to the wall or display board.
  • Glue, scissors, pens.
Lesson Process:

1. Students must bring the drawings and illustrations they created in the last day’s research to class today. They will share their findings, and then create a mural together to represent the high mountain environment.

2. First, have each student introduce the species they researched. Make a note of species on the board, drawing lines to connect producers and consumers. Model respectful viewing and listening behaviour.

3. Now, show students the mural paper on the wall, and tell them that they must represent both the high mountain environment and the food web found there. They will use the drawings they did the day before. Ask them to brainstorm what is needed to accomplish this task. Who will provide background drawings? How shall the drawings of the species be organized? How will the producer/consumer/ decomposer relationships be portrayed? What else is needed for the task?

4. Stand back and allow the students to manage the process. Note the group dynamics to debrief later. Step in if any situations really seem to get out of control, but mostly you can allow the students to run the show. Let them know that it is their time to organize and lead. If problems arise, try asking questions, like “How are you planning to portray different altitudes? What method are you going to use to indicate producers/consumers/decomposers and their relationships to each other? I see that tension is rising here. What can you do to solve this conflict? Are you listening to each other?” Asking students open questions allows them to come up with the answers, instead of having the solutions given to them by an adult.

5. When the session is finished, whether the mural is complete or not, take ten minutes to debrief the group process. Have each student write their thoughts on a piece of paper: what worked well, what didn’t, and how they would have changed the activity or the group to make it function better (they cannot say that they would get rid of any member). Then, as a class, taking turns and listening to each other, identify the positives, look at where the conflicts or frustration arose, make suggestions to coordinate and organize the group better in the future, and plan for the next group activity. If the mural is not finished, that next group activity will be tomorrow’s class!