Students take a “shrew’s-eye-view” of life in the woods to gain an understanding of the variety of organisms that live in forests and to learn how living and nonliving things interact.
- Identify the main points of a short story about forest organisms.
- Name at least five organisms that may be found in a forest ecosystem.
- Describe the interactions of living and nonliving things in a forest.
- Identify ways that organisms living in a forest ecosystem get the food energy they need to live.
- Copies of A Forest Adventure with S.T. Shrew student page or S.T. Skit student page
- Copies of Forest Characters teacher page
- Drawing paper
- Sentence strips
- Crayons or markers
- Sticky notes (optional)
- Getting Ready: 15 minutes
- Doing the Activity: one to two 50-minute periods
- Evaluate: 20 minutes
- Make copies of student and teacher pages.
- Cut apart the Forest Characters cards, making sets for each pair or small group.
- Gather other materials.
- Decide what material from the Background page to share with students. For example, you might present some of the information in the Explain part of Doing the Activity, or use the suggested Discussion Questions to support a casual conversation on the topic.
- See Additional Resources to find other supports for teaching this activity.
You may use the Key Vocabulary: Forest of S.T. Shrew student page to introduce students to the following vocabulary terms or to review or assess their mastery of these terms. Note that the definitions below are geared for students, while the definitions that “pop up” within the activity text online are geared for the teacher.
|Adapted||Suited to certain conditions in the environment.|
|Ecosystem||A community of living things interacting with their environment.|
|Environment||Everything around an organism that affects it.|
|Field||An open area of land where there are no trees or buildings.|
|Forest||A large area of land densely covered with trees.|
An organism that gets nutrients by absorbing materials from it
s surroundings. Fungi are important decomposers.
An area that provides an organism with enough food, water, shelter, and space to live.
|Leaf Litter||Leaves and other dead plant matter that have fallen to the ground.|
|Mammal||A warm-blooded animal that has fur or hair and produces milk for its young.|
|Microhabitat||A small habitat where very small organisms live.|
|Nutrient||A substance needed for health and growth.|
|Organism||Any living thing.|
A group of organisms that share the same characteristics and can
PLT Conceptual Framework
- 1.1. Living components of the environment interact in predictable ways with nonliving components, such as air, water, and geologic features.
- 2.1 Organisms are interdependent and depend on nonliving components of the Earth.
See Standards Connections in the Appendices for a list of standards addressed in this activity.