National Teacher Enhancement Project


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This project can serve as the organizing structure for prairie study.

Why Study a Prairie?

There are many reasons supporting the importance of this unit of study. The engaged learning and problem-based components enable the students to actively participate in their learning while acquiring learning skills necessary to properly function in tomorrow's technological society incvluding computer/Internet proficiency.

Students will understand the important role prairies played in our history and the significance that restoration may provide for future generations. Students can learn that:

Particles and Prairiesis an excellent resource for midlevel classes.

Research Information

Students must develop a substantial knowledge base about prairie ecosystems. Information may include but is not limited to:

Students may use the Internet, computers, results from quadrat studies, library resources and Fermilab data to gather information for their class presentation. They may contact other students and experts in the field.

Building Skills - Schoolyard Quadrat Study

In order to research and understand data for this unit, students must know how to compute percentages, use a spreadsheet and be familiar with quadrat studies. Students gain understanding by completing a school lawn quadrat study to inventory exactly what is found in a square meter of schoolyard. They record plants, flowers, animals, soil and litter, enter data in a spreadsheet and make graphs for interpretation from the spreadsheet.

Doing Research - Prairie Quadrat Study

Background information for using the Fermilab prairie data site.

Student Pages

To streamline class work, you may want to print out some of these pages in advance.

Online Resources - Student Page