Curriculum

How Can We Protect Animals When Their Habitat Changes?

How Can We Protect Animals When Their Habitat Changes?

How Can We Protect Animals When Their Habitat Changes? is part of Smithsonian Science for the Classroom, a brand new curriculum series by the Smithsonian Science Education Center. It is aligned to a group of grade 3 standards. It has a focus on engineering design, with a secondary focus on life science. In this module, students:

  • Identify the problem of animal population decline caused by habitat change
  • Design a classroom habitat where roly polys can survive
  • Use camera trap data to explain why different animals live in different habitats
  • Compare fossils to modern organisms to explain that habitats on Earth have changed
  • Use a model of a tiger habitat to explain why tiger populations have declined
  • Design a salamander tunnel that will reduce the deaths of salamanders on roads

Below are digital resources that support teaching of this module.

Module Background Information

The Age of Humans: Evolutionary Perspectives on the Anthropocene
http://humanorigins.si.edu/research/age-humans-evolutionary-perspectives-anthropocene
This website has more information on the Anthropocene epoch.

Lesson 1: Animal Survivor

Tiger Range 
Download PDF
This file shows an illustration of the historic and present range of the tiger in Asia.

Animal Needs
Download Video
This video shows animals eating, drinking, keeping cool, keeping warm, hiding, nesting, and feeding young.

Lesson 3: Roly Poly Hotel Part 2

Panda Enclosure
Download PDF
This file shows an image of the panda enclosure at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park.

Lesson 4: Teamwork

Animal Needs
Download Video
This video shows animals eating, drinking, keeping cool, keeping warm, hiding, nesting, and feeding young.

Lesson 5: Camera Trap

eMammal
https://emammal.si.edu/
eMammal is a Smithsonian-run website that allows groups to share and identify camera trap images.

The Science of Camera Traps
http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/science-camera-traps
Alexandra Sanson, PhD, University of Oxford, and Roland Kays, PhD, North Carolina State University, discuss the use of camera traps in ecological research.

Virgina Woodland
Download PDF
This file shows an image of a woodland habitat in Virginia.

Woodland Animals
Download PowerPoint
This file shows 30 images taken by camera traps in northern Virginia.

Gorongosa National Park
https://www.wildcamgorongosa.org
This website is where citizen scientists can help scientists identify animals in Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique.

Lesson 7: Under the Sea

Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal
https://ocean.si.edu/
The Smithsonian’s Ocean Portal has information on marine habitats and animals as well as resources for educators.

Open Ocean
Download Video
This video shows a shark and a school of smaller fish swimming in the open ocean.

Coral Reef
Download Video
This video shows a coral reef with many types of coral and small fish.

Sandy Beach
Download Video
This video shows a crab moving forward and sideways on a sandy beach.

Ocean Animals
Download PowerPoint
This file shows images of each of the animals mentioned in the reading.

Smithsonian Zoologist
http://qrius.si.edu/explore-science/webcast/ocean-biodiversity-discovering-marine-invertebrates
This video is an interview with a Smithsonian zoologist who researches animals that live in the open ocean.

Conservation Comics
https://earthoptimism.si.edu/comic/
This website includes sample comics and a comic strip template developed by the Smithsonian.

Lesson 9: Fossil CSI

Paleozoic Ocean
Download PDF
This file contains a scene from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History showing what the ocean may have looked like in the Paleozoic era.

Lesson 10: Dinosaur Dig Site

Arthropods
Download PDF
This file contains an illustration of where the trilobite fits in the arthropods family tree.

Cassowary
Download Video
This video shows a large cassowary walking around.

Lesson 12: Tiger, Tiger

Rescuing Species
http://www.hhmi.org/biointeractive/rescuing-species
Elizabeth Hadly, PhD, Stanford University, discusses the effect of habitat loss on genetic diversity of tigers.

Tiger Background
Download PowerPoint
This file contains images of the tiger range, a Bengal tiger, a village in India, and tiger food (sambar deer and cattle).

Lesson 13: Wildlife Corridors

Animal Crossing
Download Video
This video shows deer, moose, and a turtle crossing roads.

Lesson 14: Salamander Tunnel Part 1

SPLAT Design Challenge
Download PowerPoint
This file shows the models that students will use for the salamander and its pool as well as the criteria and constraints for the activity.

Lesson 15: Salamander Tunnel Part 2

SPLAT Design Challenge 
Download PowerPoint
This file shows the models that students will use for the salamander and its pool as well as the criteria and constraints for the activity.

Kit Tips & Tricks