Students will conduct online research to answer important questions related
to prairie conservation, prairie plants and animals, and the ecological
system of the prairie.
Students apply for a summer job as student assistant at the Neal Smith
National Wildlife Refuge. Staff members at the preserve are trying to
recreate the prairie as it would have looked in the 1830s before farms
and cities were established. Students will work with a partner to find
answers to 8 important questions focusing on prairie ecological systems
and conservation efforts.
- Why is plant diversity important to the ecosystem of a tallgrass
- How does plant dominance affect the tallgrass prairie?
- Why are bison significant in the history of tall grass prairies?
- Why have the number of prairie dogs and bison diminished over the
years and how has this affected other wildlife?
- How did fires renew the tallgrass prairie?
- What's the importance of the enormous root system of some prairie
- Why are controlled burns an important part of prairie conservation
- How can you make a difference with prairie conservation efforts?
Tips For Teachers
- Help students to select Websites from the Webliography as well as
those identified for this learning activity.
- For some students, 8 questions may be too challenging. You might
consider asking some students to answer the even numbered questions
and others the odd numbered ones.
- Many students will find this activity very motivating. To answer
additional questions, encourage students to contact a prairie
expert about additional questions related to the prairie.