Grade Level: 6-8
In this lesson, students will compare photos on gVeg to a map describing the range of an ungulate species in the United States. Students will look for patterns in vegetation or climate, determining why ungulates live in certain areas. This lesson can serve as a way for students to explore the various factors that determine why animals live in specific habitats.
Why do ungulates live in certain habitats? What factors influence whether an animal will live in a specific area? How might vegetation influence ungulate distribution? How might climate influence ungulate distribution? How might ungulate populations respond to differences in their environment (introduction of predator, climate change, etc.)?
This lesson may be used to explore the relationship between animals and their habitats. You may choose to approach it from the perspective of vegetation, diet, or climate. This lesson can also serve as a jumping off point for a discussion on human impacts on ungulate populations and the effects of current management plans.
MS-LS2-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
MS-LS1-5. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
MS-LS2-2. Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
Image: Ryan Hagerty/USFWS - licensed under the CC Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Rhiannon Jakopak, Martha Inouye, Clare Gunshanen, and Matthew Bisk