The Leopold Legacy: Phenology of Plants and Birds

Grade Level: 6 – 12

Activity Summary

  • Phenology is literally “the science of appearance”…this includes paying attention to when flowers bloom, lakes freeze, birds return, and pretty much anything in nature that has a life cycle! You may have heard of Aldo Leopold, a Wisconsin hero who is celebrated around the world for his work as an ecologist and his beautiful book, A Sand County Almanac.
  • In this activity, we will work in small groups to examine a set of data that includes 23 phenological events, and then share our findings with the rest of the class. We will be looking at 3 major “themes” within the data: 1) changes in plant phenology, 2) changes in bird phenology, and 3) relationships among events. You will have 2 entire class periods to build your “Phenology Case.”

Activity Material:

  1. Leopold Phenology Activity (Word)
  2. Leopold Phenology Data (Excel)
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Global Warming 101

Grade Level: 3 – 12
Activity Summary:

  • The Global Warming101 Lesson Plans help students master the requisite background information on global climate change processes, the importance of the Arctic to global climate, the potential effects of global warming in the Arctic, and consider what could/should be done in response. They also help students communicate about the issue using communication strategies.

Activity Material:
http://willstegerfoundation.org/index.php/educator-resource-binder

[Materials provided by Will Steger Foundation and is free for download with simple online registration]

Climate Change and Ski Resorts

Grade Level: 6 – 12
Students Will:

  • Learn how climate change is affecting ski resorts in Europe and how they are adapting.
  • Use data from Wisconsin ski resorts to investigate whether similar trends are occurring in Wisconsin.
  • Develop plans to adapt ski resorts for functioning in a warmer climate.

Activity Material:
Climate Change and Ski Resorts Student Worksheet (Word)
Required Readings:

  1. European ski resorts and climate change
  2. Global warming forces European ski resorts to offer summer sports – Telegraph
  3. Climate change and recreation

Project Budburst

Grade Level: 6 – 12
Students Will:

  • Identify several tree or flower species in their area, and observe the sequence
    of budding in those species relative to each other
  • Observe budding phenology and understand how the budding stage fits into a
    plant’s life cycle
  • Understand the relationship between weather and phenology.
  • Enter data into Web-based databases and compare their observations with those
    of students in other regions.
  • Interpret their data and convey results in graphics and/or in writing.

Activity Material:
http://www.windows.ucar.edu/citizen_science/budburst/TeacherGuide_PB2007.pdf

[Source:Center for Teaching and Learning at Chicago Botanic Garden]