PRESENTATION NOTES Me and the Sea: Our Environment, Our Home
Lesson 2 Ж Second and Third Class Me and the Sea: Our Environment, Our Home PRESENTATION NOTES Lesson Part A: To include a discussion of habitats, the features of coastal and aquarium habitats, comparisons of these two habitats, and an overview of aquarium species (their features, habits, food source, etc). Possible inclusion of visit to the GETNS aquarium and/or book reading, if time/support allows. Presentation: Frames 1‐2, Introduction (5 mins) Presentation/ Frames 3‐10, Habitat Definition, Features of a Discussion/Activity: Coastal Habitat, Features of the Aquarium Habitat, VENN Diagram Habitat comparison activity (20 mins) Presentation: Frames 11‐17, Aquarium Species Activity: Frame 18, Visit to GETNS aquarium & Book reading (?) (15 mins) Lesson Part B/C: To include a look at marine food chains and food webs, supported by a food web activity. Discussion on the importance of balance in a food web, and what happens when something causes one member of a food web to disappear. An examination of several human activities that impact coastal habitats. The main activity in the “Our Environment, Our Home” set of lessons is the Rockpool Story Dice Activity. This activity is drama‐based, and does require a suggested minimum of 40 minutes. Although you may wish to do this activity as an entirely separate lesson, it is suggested that it would soon follow the preceding lessons, as a good knowledge of the content covered would be helpful for ensuring that the students get the most learning and enjoyment out of this activity. Presentation: Frames 19‐20, Marine food chains & webs (5 mins) Activity: Frame 21‐22, Food Web Activity (10 mins) Presentation: Frames 23‐25, Importance of BALANCE in a habitat (5 mins) Presentation: Frames 26‐30, How human activities impact balance in coastal habitats (20 mins) Activity: Frames 31‐32, Rockpool Story Dice Activity (minimum of 40 mins) Lesson Presentation Notes Frame Notes (Suggestions for information that might be suitable to accompany each slide.) START OF LESSON PART A 1 2 3 4 5 6 This lesson is part of the BEAST programme that was put together by past GETNS students (6th class, 2013/2014), scientists from the Ryan Institute at NUI Galway, and artists from Baboro. The BEAST programme also responsible for getting the aquarium in the school, with Galway Atlantaquaria and this years 6th class students and Barry help take care of. This lesson looks at… [? ask questions…who knows what a habitat is; who has looked in our aquarium habitat; who likes to visit coastal habitats; do you think what we do, as humans, affects the sea? Does it matter what we do…etc] What is a habitat? [discuss anything you like, some possible points include:] ‐A habitat is a home, and all of things that makes that home unique! ‐A habitat must have 4 essential ingredients for survival of the species living there: suitable shelter, food, water, space ‐A habitat can be small (like a rockpool) or huge (like the ocean), it all depends on how you define it. ‐Some habitats are similar to each other, and some are very different. Some share features and creatures, and some seem to have almost nothing in common. ‐Is our classroom a habitat? What lives in here? ‐Is the aquarium a habitat? ‐What are some habitats in nature you can think of? [? sharing time] Some examples (from top left: alpine/meadow, tropical rainforest/river, woodland, subterranean, river/lake, marsh, ocean, arctic) [? sharing time] The coastline is where the land meets the ocean. What makes up a coastal habitat in Ireland? [? sharing time] Some examples. You might have thought of more! 7 8 Who’s had a look at our aquarium? There are many different types of aquariums, ours is a cold seawater aquarium, making it similar to the coastal habitat around Ireland. Are the 4 main essential ingredients present in our aquarium habitat? (food, water, shelter, space?) [? sharing time] We are going to look at the features of our aquarium habitat, and compare them with a coastal habitat. We can use a VENN diagram to write down what we think is different about them and what is the same. START OF LESSON PART A 9 10 11 [option here to explain how to use a VENN diagram, and to hand out individual sheets for students to write on themselves prior to sharing, or invite them to call out similarities and differences] 12 13 [some suggestions for responses] Now we are going to look at some of the creatures that we have in our aquarium. Did you know that all of these creatures can be found along Ireland’s coastline? Galway Atlantaquaria helped to catch these creatures and put them in our aquarium. In some cases they had fish that they had already captured who had babies, and these are now living with us. Prawn [discuss anything you like, some possible points include:] ‐Prawns are crustaceans and are related to crabs and lobsters. ‐They have 10 legs, and they use the front two legs like pincers for picking up food. ‐They eat a lot, and are quite fierce for their size. ‐The common prawn is see‐through! If you look closely you can see all its insides! ‐They can lay up to 4000 eggs at a time, and live up to 5 years. Lots of things like to eat them, so they might live longer in an aquarium where they have fewer predators. DO WE HAVE A PRAWN IN OUR AQUARIUM? Flatfish ‐Flatfish are flat, with both eyes on the same side of their bodies, but they aren’t born that way! They are born looking like normal fish, but when they are still very very small they start to flatten out, and one eye MOVES to the other side of the head. 14 15 16 ‐They like to live at the bottom, hiding in sand to protect themselves from being eaten and to be able to sneak out and catch smaller fish swimming by. ‐They are a very popular fish to eat, and there are many different kinds of flatfish that you might have heard of (in aquariums or in a restaurant!) – brill, sole, turbot DO WE HAVE A FLATFISH IN OUR AQUARIUM? Algae ‐Algae is easy to spot as the green stuff that grows on surfaces or floats on the top of water. It is not just one single thing, but rather a whole bunch of tiny tiny individual algal units all clumped together. ‐Sometimes it is green, but it can be red or brown too ‐Algae is like a plant, and so just like the trees do, algae use sunlight for their own energy, and in doing so make air (/oxygen) for us to breathe ‐Some algae are also a bit like animals, as they can swim and sometimes also eat other algae. ‐but they are not really plants or animals, they are in their own family, called “protists” DO WE HAVE ALGAE IN OUR AQUARIUM? Anemone ‐Anemones are animals, not plants! They have a mouth, right in the centre of all those stringy tentacles, but no eyes. ‐They have poisonous tentacles that they use to catch and eat things. They catch creatures in their tentacles and pull them into their stomach through their mouths. Once they have eaten the bits that they like they spit out the bones! ‐They can’t swim, so spend their whole lives living mostly in one place on one rock. ‐The one in this picture is called a Beadlet Anemone, and is a very common one in Ireland. ‐They can survive for some time out of water, thanks to a slimy coating and the ability to pull their tentacles inside their bodies. DO WE HAVE AN ANEMONE IN OUR AQUARIUM? Hermit Crab ‐Hermit Crabs are found all over the world ‐Unlike other crabs with hard bodies, hermit crabs have soft bodies, which is why they need a shell to live in ‐But as they grow, they need bigger shells! So it is dangerous for them when they leave their home to look for a new one. ‐If you are keeping them in an aquarium, its important to make sure there are plenty of shells of different sizes to choose from. ‐Sometimes hermit crabs will even fight over a good shell! ‐In Ireland they are a common sight in rockpools and on beaches, and generally they prefer company – they aren’t really hermits who like to be alone. DO WE HAVE A HERMIT CRAB IN OUR AQUARIUM? 17 A starfish or sea star ‐they can’t swim and so live on the bottom, travelling around using hundreds of tiny tube feet on the bottom of their big arms. ‐they eat other things that move even slower than they do! Including shellfish like clams, oysters and mussels. They grab their prey using their arms and tube feet and pry the shells open. Once the soft part of the creature is ready to eat, the starfish then push their stomach out through their month, putting the creature in to their stomach, and them bringing their full stomach back into their bodies! ‐we think of them as always having 5 arms, but some types of starfish can have up to 40 arms. It is true that if they lose an arm, it will regrow! And it is also true that the arm that they lose can grow more arms and turn into an entirely new starfish. DO WE HAVE A STARFISH IN OUR AQUARIUM? END OF LESSON PART A VISIT TO GETNS AQUARIUM ACTIVITY 18 [Visit to the aquarium: This would be suggested if there are 6th class “keepers of the blue marbles” to take out smaller groups. Small groups could be going out and visiting the aquarium in the hallway. Spot and record sheets are available to accompany this activity. These sheets can be used both in the classroom to help the students prepare for their trip (using the photograph of the aquarium on the page) and/or at the aquarium itself. ] [OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Book reading: In the aquarium space, books written specifically for this project, by GETNS students, are available. They are also included as part of this pack if reading the books back in the classroom is desired.] START OF LESSON PART B 19 All the creatures in our aquarium, in the ocean, and in the world, are connected in many ways, including in what they eat and what eats them! What is a food chain? 20 Here is an example of just one of the food chains in our aquarium. The algae’s food is sunlight! The prawn eat algae (and lots of other things, they are OMNIVORES) and a big enough wrasse or mullet fish could eat a prawn. Have you noticed any other food chains in the aquarium? [e.g. the prawns might be at the top of the food chain in the aquarium habitat! It is unlikely that any of the fish there are big enough to eat them, in fact, the prawns might be eating the baby fish!] FOOD WEB ACTIVITY 21 22 23 FOOD WEB ACTIVITY When all of the food chains come together, overlap, branch off, a food WEB is created. In nature, creatures eat more than just one thing, and more than just one thing eats them, so a food web results. Let’s make a food web! [See instructions for FEED WEB ACTIVITY] Discuss [ optional points for discussion include] What happened? – the food web collapsed, first the creatures directly linked to the eliminated species, and then those linked to them, and so on Why? – everything in nature exists in careful balance with the things around it. ‐Food webs consists of PRIMARY PRODUCERS (plants that get their energy (food) from sunlight, PRIMARY CONSUMBERS (HERBIVORES), and small and big SECONDARY AND TERTIARY CONSUMERS (OMNIVORES and CARNIVORES). ‐The various levels of a food web are called TROPHIC LEVELS Could this really happen in nature? – Some ecosystems/habitats are more diverse than others – eg they contain a greater number of different species. An example of a very diverse ecosystem, with many different types of things living there, would be a coral reef. An isolated rock pool – e.g. a rock pool with only occasional connection to the sea – would have a lower level of diversity. In general, a more diverse ecosystem is viewed as being more robust and better able to withstand the loss of certain elements of a food web. This is because if one type of creature is lost from that food web, anything that was eating it would have other things to choose from. Can anyone think of any ecosystems a particular food chain might be at risk? (students might know some examples – eg pandas that eat only bamboo, or koalas that eat only eucalyptus, or monarch butterflies as the caterpillars only eat milkweed. They might also discuss specific habitats, like a desert or the arctic, where there are a limited number of different types of creatures) How safe is our aquarium from collapse? – talk about the need for outside intervention! e.g. we have to put food in, why? We have to have filters to clean the water, why? what would happen if we didn’t put food in, or if we didn’t clean the water and algae too over? We are here to add food to our aquarium, so there is little risk of anything dying of starvation, but what happens if we add too much food? [water gets dirty, the environment gets polluted] The aquarium shows us how important balance is in nature. There should be just enough food for everyone, but not so much that one plant or animal takes over OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: short (4 ½ minute) movie, all about balance in nature, “HOW WOLVES CHANGE RIVERS” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa5OBhXz‐Q 24 WHY DO THINGS GO OUT OF BALANCE? WHY MIGHT PLANTS OR ANIMALS DIE OFF OR DISAPPEAR? [Discuss? Here we will be looking at specific natural and human factors that can disrupt a habitat] 25 26 27 28 Nature can have a strong effect on coastlines. Strong winds and storms, and big tides and high waves can wash away sand and rocks and erode cliff faces, changing habitats [Discuss effects of winter storms – does anyone remember any strong winter storms that damaged our coastlines? What did you notice? How do you think the creatures that lived there might have been affected?] People also cause a lot of changes! Look at this cartoon. Notice the dates on the pictures, and the size of the fish (and the fishermen!). What does this tell you? [discuss…50 years ago people were catching much bigger fish because they were there to catch! Now we are catching fewer, and smaller fish, because we have fished so much all the big ones are gone.] Overfishing is one thing that humans do to change the balance in ocean habitats. Fishing too much for the same type of fish, or too much from one particular area, can cause big problems for the entire food web in that area. It is important that governments keep an eye on this, and make strict laws about how big fishing boats fish. It is also important that people have the right information to make the right choices about what to eat. If you eat fish, it is good to know which ones are “threatened” (e.g. at risk of disappearing!) and not eat these ones! It has been a problem for Salmon, but thanks to stricter fishing regulations populations of wild Salmon are coming back. Cod are at risk right now. Generally shellfish like mussels and oysters, flatfish, and mackerel, are pretty good choices for us in Ireland. “Sport fishing” includes fishing creatures out of rockpools! When you go to the beach, it is best to look and not touch, and if you do touch, make sure you leave the creature back where you found it. What happens to the food web in a rock pool if we go fishing half of the creatures out of it?? Pollution is a big problem for the ocean and the plants and animals that live there. There are many different types of marine pollution [can you think of some?] Some important ones include: 29 30 ‐litter pollution – especially plastic! Some sea creatures think plastic is food. Turtles love to eat jellyfish, but plastic bags look an awful lot like jellyfish when they are floating in the water! And plastic stays around for such a long time, so it ends up floating in the ocean for hundreds of years. ‐human and farming waste can get into the water either from being put in there directly or from it washing in off the land. There are many cities all over the world that don’t treat their sewage, so all the poo and waste from people’s homes go right into the land and sea! In fact, Galway city got our first sewage treatment plant only in 2003. Before that, salthill wasn’t as nice a place to swim in as it is today. ‐one of the problems with human and farming waste going in to the sea is that this is food for the tiny plants and algae that live in the water. If they have a lot of food, they grow and grow, and can get so high in numbers that the water turns GREEN and there is no room for any other life! Building and working on the land near the ocean can cause a lot of soil and dirt to wash into the ocean. When a lot of material washes down rivers into the sea, or goes directly into the sea from the coast, it can clog up the water, making it very difficult for sunlight to get through the water for the plants, and clogging up the gills and mouths of sensitive sea creatures that live along the coastline. In the satellite picture you can see the effect of the built city on the coastal water. Notice all that browny coloured water on the right hand side of the map, near to all of the houses? Do you see also the abrupt change in the colour of the water about half way along? That is where a jetty was built out into the sea, blocking the natural flow of water and particles in the water, resulting in material building up along one side of it. Do you think this is good for the creatures trying to make their homes there? Should a better or different plan have been made by the government and the builders before they built the city and that jetty there? We use big ships to move things around the ocean, but sometimes we are moving more than we think! Creatures can hitch rides on boats in the BALLAST WATER. Ballast water is the water that ships take into their hulls to make sure they are heavy enough to not be bouncing and bopping on top of the surface of the water like a cork. They take in ballast water to make themselves just the right weight, and then dump it out at the end of their journey when they get to port, along with whatever creatures might have been taken in too! These creatures can end up in very different parts of the world than where they should be! We call then INVASIVE. Here you can see a picture of a King Crab. It is huge! They normally live in the Pacific Ocean, but they are taking up residence in the Atlantic ocean, probably after hitching a ride in the ballast water of a big ship. They are INVASIVE. They are a big problem, as they are a big predator, eating much of the food that smaller crabs normally eat, so the smaller ones are slowly dying off. Should the people in charge of big boats be more careful about what gets in to ballast water? END OF LESSON PART B ROCKPOOL STORY DICE ACTIVITY 31 32 33 34 ROCKPOOL STORY DICE ACTIVITY TIME [See instructions] END OF LESSON REFLECTION Some suggestions for discussion included in activity instructions. Me and the Sea presentation and activities were all put together by the GETNS 6th class students of 2013/2014 as part of the BEAST! project, with teacher Barry, and the help of scientists from the Ryan Institute and artists from Baboró.
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