Exploring Environmental Change

Part II: Looking at Coastal Environments

5. Let students know that they will be seeing a video that shows examples of a Pacific Northwest cold-water environment, a New England coastal environment, and a Hawaiian tropical environment. Divide the class into groups of three or four students and assign each group one of these coastal environments. [Depending on the size of your class, you may end up having several groups assigned to the same region.]

Before showing the video, brainstorm with students the types of things they should observe and record to illustrate a particular environment (animals, plants, soil, water, food sources, shelter, other structures, and interrelationships, for example). Encourage them to think about what they were looking for when they observed their own environment. Write these categories on the board or on another piece of chart paper. Then show the Living on the Coast video. Ask students to take notes about the things they see for their assigned coastal environment.

6. Pass out another poster board to each group. Have students find two or three examples of connections in their assigned environment based on what they observed in the video and what they already know about this particular environment. If time permits, students can do additional research as needed using the Internet or reference books. When they finish, have the groups present to the rest of the class so that everyone can see examples from all three environments.