Ancient Giants: Coastal Redwoods of California
Image credit: Allie Caulfield
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Identify specific adaptations that allow redwoods to survive well in their environments
Gain awareness of a species that only exists in California
Use weather and landform patterns to predict ranges of where coastal redwoods live
How are redwoods able to grow so tall and live for so long when most other trees can't? In this program students take on the role of working as ecologists. Their mission is to solve the mystery of the giant trees by collecting evidence from different tree specimens using various scientific tools and practices. Students will rotate through investigation stations that focus on how trees have adaptations to deal with pests, fire and water issues that exist within a tree's environment.
Science and Engineering Practices
- Planning and Carrying Out Investigations: Make observations and/or measurements to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence for explanation of a phenomenon or test a design solution.
Disciplinary Core Ideas
- LS4.C: Adaptation: For any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
- ESS2.D: Weather and Climate: Scientists record patterns of the weather across different times and areas so that they can make predictions about what kind of weather might happen next.
- Structure and Function: The shape and stability of structures of natural and designed objects are related to their function(s).
Related Performance Expectations
Remember, performance expectations are not a set of instructional or assessment tasks. This field trip activity is just one of many that could help prepare your students to perform the following hypothetical tasks that demonstrate their understanding:
- 3-LS4-3: Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.