The Tropical Rainforest
a Web Quest by
Andrew S. Basler
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Teachers | Credits
The tropical rainforest is the most diverse ecosystem on earth. Nearly 90 percent of the world's animal and insect species are found in rainforest environments. Because of the diversity, the rainforest has multiple food chains that form a giant food web. Within the food web, every species is dependent on other species. If just one animal is wiped out, the web could break down. Preserving the rainforests' diversity begins with protecting the forest from deforestation.
Your task is to use the internet to research animals that live in the rainforest. You will then make a food web on a poster board, including all the animals you researched. You will model your food web on the design below, including 2 species for each group, amphibians, insects, mammals, etc. Do not research decomposers. You may simply include them as a group on your web. After you are done with your food web, you will give a short presentation to the class explaining which animals you picked, and which are crucial for the survival of the rest (keystone species). Your grade will be based on the food web and your short presentation. Before beginning the process, check out the Evaluation Rubric so you know what you're grade will be based on.
1. First, your teacher will show you the IMAX dvd "Tropical Rainforest." Pay attention to the relationships between animals discussed in the movie.
2. After the movie, your teacher will break you up into groups. Each group needs to use the links below to research animals of the rainforest. Every member of the group needs to contribute, and the work will go faster if divided up. Also, use the Google search engine to perform your own internet searches.
Rain Forest Animals
Google Search Engine
3. Remember that you need to have at least two animals for each group. After you have chosen your animals, get a poster board, and model a food web after the above example. The arrows connect prey --------> to predators.
4. After making the food web, with your group decide which parts are the most crucial to the survival of all. Which of your animals are keystone species?
5. Finally, you will give a 5 minute presentation to the class, presenting your food web, and justifying the choices you made. In addition, identify the keystone species and the potential consequences of removing those species.
Your grade will be based upon the following rubric:
|Oral Presentation Rubric||Possible Points||Self-Assessment||Teacher Assessment|
|Complete food web with 12-15 animals.||40
|Presentation was well planned and coherent. (Evidence of rehearsal)||10
|Justified choices made, identified keystone species.||40
|Evidence of group cooperation, every member contributed.||10|
|Total Possible Points||
Note that the majority of your grade is on the completion of the food web, and the presentation. Also, 20 points total depend on presentation skills, and group co-operation. Ask your teacher for clarification if you have any questions.
The trees of the rainforest provide the foundation for the complex ecosystem. There are unique animals that live in every part of the forest, from the canopy to the ground. These animals interact and relate to form food webs, which includes all species of the rainforests. Because all of the animals are connected, they share the dangers of over forestation. If just one species goes extinct, the system as a whole is hurt and must adjust to survive. Protecting this ecosystem begins with conservation.
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Grade Band: 6 - 8
Tennessee State Curriculum Standards:
6th Grade: 2.2 Examine the competitive relationships among organisms within an ecosystem
3.1 Recognize relationships within food chains
6.3.tpi.5 demonstrate how food chains are linked together to form a complex food web
8th Grade: 2.3 Identify the major biomes of the world
8.2.tpi.2 describe the niche and habitat of an organism within an ecosystem
Preceding and Ensuing Events of Instruction:
Before beginning this web quest, the teacher should show the IMAX dvd "Tropical Rainforest" (45 min.) After showing the movie, have the students read the evaluation portion of the web quest and go over the grading guidelines. The teacher will need to divide the students into groups, and provide them with the materials necessary to make their food webs on poster board. After the web quest is completed, the teacher might want to have a class discussion on what the students learned, and how food webs interact. This web quest could be expanded to a study on environmentalism, conservation, etc. Also, during the web quest, the teacher needs to help the students search the internet. Before beginning, the teacher might want to go over some internet search strategies for search engines such as Google.
Purpose of Web Quest
To enhance student knowledge and understanding of the rainforest ecosystem. To enhance student understanding of food webs, food chains, and other interspecies relationships. To promote the use of the internet as a valuable research tool. To promote group and teamwork skills. To promote oral presentation skills. To promote critical thinking skills by making priorities and choices for food web.
Enchanted Learning (2004). Tropical Rainforest Animals. Retrieved February 6th, 2004 from www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/rainforest/animals/Rfbiomeanimals.shtml
Google (2004). Search Engine. Retrieved February 6th, 2004 from www.google.com
Slingshot. (1992). Tropical Rainforest [dvd]. Imax: Toronto, Canada.
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