Get your students excited about science!
Time for another instalment of our biology lesson ideas. Today I have tackled the living systems section of grade 7 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 examine the impact of humans on the environment by using the palm oil crisis in Indonesia as a case study. Students can watch the video below, which shows the destruction of the rainforests and the peril this monocrop is having on the ecosystem and animals that live there (like orangutans, forest elephants and rhinos). Your students could do a research project on the impact of palm oil on the rainforest, if sustainable palm oil is a good alternative and what we can do in Canada to help. Use a Q-chart to engage students in asking more in depth and complex questions
2. Have your students create a model ecosystem of where a certain primate lives. Students pick the primate of choice, research where they live, what they eat, who may be their predators, and build the appropriate ecosystem (could be a rainforest, savannah, mountains). This gets students creative brains working and adds that A in STEAM.
3. Students can use the primate they picked for activity 2 and use them as a base of food web/chain to show the connections the primate of choice has to its environment. Showing the role primates play in their environment as consumers, and how other animals and plants connect to the primate (the plants they eat, the animals that could predate on primates). Have them also explain the consequences to the food chain if that primate were to go extinct. Primates are known as keystone species, so their health and population in an environment is usually indicative of the health of the whole ecosystem.
4. Primates are key at helping nutrients cycle through their environment. Have student use their same primate from activity 2 and have them map out the impact their primate has on matter cycling through their ecosystem. A lot of primates eat fruits, they act as seed dispersers, they can also act as pollinators. Their waste also acts as fertilizer to help the seeds they pass through their digestive system to grow.
Hopefully these tips give you some new ideas to explore the amazing world of primates and get your students excited about their grade 7 science class. If you teach other grades check out our tips for grade 5 science, grade 6 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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