Grade Level: 3-5
In this series of lessons, students will explore explanations for why treeline occurs on mountains. Students may explore a data-based approach, comparing temperature and precipitation data for two locations at different elevations. Students may investigate different life zones and how plants have adapted to life in these varied environmental conditions. Students may also investigate how climate change impacts alpine environments and what that means for the future of mountain plant communities.
Why is there a treeline? How can certain areas have similar climate but very different vegetation? How have different plants adapted to different elevations? How might climate change impact vegetation patterns on mountains?
You may use this phenomenon to explore the relationship between environmental conditions and elevation, life zones, adaptations to different ecosystems, and climate change’s impact on vegetation.
3-LS3-2. Use evidence to support the explanation that observable traits can be influenced by the environment.
3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
3-ESS2-2. Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
Martha Inouye, Clare Gunshanen, Sienna Wessel, and Matthew Bisk