Your lesson (Awesome Autotrophs, Deciphering Decomposers, Inspecting Insectivores, or Perplexed by Pollinators) will take place in both Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden and one of the museum’s Learning Labs. Students will investigate ecology and the delicate balance of backyard science with the assistance of The Strong’s entomology staff.
Lesson extensions for before or after your visit
The following activities are designed for your class to enjoy before or after your museum visit. Familiarizing students with the lesson concepts can enrich your museum experience.
What’s that word?
Familiarize students with the terminology below. Have students work in pairs or threes to dramatize one or more of the following terms; write a brief, imaginary news report about insectivores from the perspective of an ant; or make a diagram illustrating how and what a pollinator pollinates.
- Symbiosis: A close association of animals or plants of different species that is often, but not always, of mutual benefit.
- Interconnected: To show a relationship between 2 or more things.
- Autotrophs: Organisms that create their own food through photosynthesis.
- Detritivores: Organisms that feed on decaying animal or plant material.
- Pollinators: Organisms that transfer pollen grains from one plant to another and fertilize it.
- Insectivores: Organisms that feeds primarily on insects.
- Coevolution: The mutual evolutionary influence between two species.
Organisms all around
Ask students to survey other students in the school to find out what types of autotrophs, detritivores, pollinators, and insectivores exist in the local environment. Ask students to share their findings with the class.
For homework, have students examine their yards for autotrophs, detritivores, pollinators, and insectivores. Have students make a map noting the name and location of organisms they find.