New biology teaching resources
Time for another installment of our biology lesson ideas. Today I have tackled the living systems section of grade 6 science for Ontario schools. Bring your classroom alive with the amazing world of primates with these ideas. By using primates as examples to explain the curriculum, the material becomes more relatable as we are primates ourselves.
1. Have students investigate the organisms found in a African rainforest and classify them invertebrates or vertebrates and then as mammals, birds, insects, fish. Have your students draw the different organisms the rainforest and where they fit in (living in the trees, on the ground, in the air or in the water).
2.Have your students brainstorm what makes a primate a mammal and also what makes primates different from other mammals like a lion. Primates have 5 fingers/toes with an opposable thumb/big toe, have nails instead of claws and have colour vision.
3. Most primates are very social animals and live in large social groups. Have you students pick two different types of primates, research them and compare their social groups. For example baboons live in large multi-male multi-female groups while gorillas live in one male- multi female groups. Have your students brainstorm why there might be these different social groups amongst primate species. Food availability is usually the driving force. Baboons tend to eat mostly fruit which is patchily distributed, while gorillas eat mostly leaves which are everywhere in the forest and these affects their social relationships.
4. It’s not just bees that act as pollinators, some primates, like capuchins, marmosets, tamarins and mouse lemurs have an important role in their forest environments as pollinators They like the sweet nectar from the flowers, end up getting pollen stuck to their fur and as they move about from flower to flower they help the plants reproduce. Primates like chimpanzees and squirrel monkeys help plants in another way by acting as seed disperses. They eat fruit from a tree, the seeds pass through their digestive tract and they excrete them far from the parent tree so the trees can be spread throughout the forest. Show your students the picture below and have them draw in where the pollinating and seed dispersing primates would fit in.
Hopefully these tips give you some new ideas to explore the amazing world of primates and get your students excited about their grade 6 science class. If you teach other grades check out our tips for grade 5 science, grade 9 science, grade 10 science, grade 11 biology and grade 12 biology.
If you want a more in-depth look about the above topics for your students we would be happy to come and give a Primate Tales presentation to your class. Check out our in-class program page for more information and book a program if you are interested.
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