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Lesson Plan #: AELP-ECL0203
Submitted by: Dr. Richard Oakes Peters
Email: docdk39@hotmail.com
School/University/Affiliation: Augusta State University (GA)

January 25, 2001

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Adult/Continuing Education


  • Science/Ecology

Duration: Five 50-75 minute sessions

Description: In school and at field-based sites, students investigate the characteristics and history of wetlands; the importance of wetlands to the establishment of cooperative living habitats; and the impact of wetlands upon Man’s lifestyles, available supplies of selective foods, and his built environments.

Goals: As a result of conducting this research-oriented investigation, students will understand: the nature and characteristics of wetland environments, the effects of wetland environments upon the overall health of the total lifespace environment, types of wetlands flora and fauna, and the geographical location of wetlands in the local community/surrounding region.


  • Students will conduct research activities in the classroom and at selected field-based sites.
  • Students will interact with wetlands environments.
  • From community resource people, students will learn about the importance of wetlands to the total lifespace environment of the community/surrounding region.
  • Students will discuss and debate strategies to protect wetlands from Man’s intrusion and thus their eventual destruction.
  • Students will study the ecosystem of a selected wetlands site.
  • Materials:

    • books (see References below)
    • magazines ( National Geographic , etc.)
    • atlases, maps, and globes
    • computer software
    • Internet sites
    • films, filmstrips, slide/tape presentations, videos, PowerPoint presentations
    • overhead transparencies
    • community resources (people, places, things, events, processes)
    • construction paper, tape/glue, scissors, stapler, thumbtacks, crayons and color markers, paint, butcher paper
    • transparency sheets — to make overhead projector visuals
    • 8mm/16mm motion picture cameras
    • still photography cameras (35mm)
    • video tape equipment
    • water, dirt, sand, vegetation, and straw or hay
    • a tabletop or piece of plywood


  • Cooperative Living Habitat(s): – Geographical locations within which Man and Nature coexist and mutually prosper from their associations.
  • Interlocking Dependency – The inextricable link that exists between Man and Nature on earth.
  • Lifespace Environment – The geographical/physical location in which an individual exists — at any given moment in time. One’s lifespace environment changes as he/she moves about from one geographical location to another.
  • Procedure:
    A biome is a major community (flora and fauna) located on a specific continental sub-division of the geosphere (solid portion of earth). Biomes are defined by combinations of physiognomy (vegetation structure) and environment. Students investigate wetlands in the classroom, in lab classes, and at field-based sites (whenever possible) — bogs, marshes, swamps. Community resource guides introduce students to the characteristics of wetlands — pointing out flora, fauna, the composition of the soil, etc. Data is collected using water sampling kits, graphic media devices (cameras), sketches and maps of the region, observations in logs, etc. Print/non-print materials and resources are used for data gathering purposes. Assessment: Students demonstrate acquired knowledge and research skills by conducting lab studies of water and soil samples from wetlands, creating audiovisual presentations about wetlands sites, writing reflective essays, constructing a tabletop diorama, writing poetry, composing songs, and writing term papers. Students also demonstrate knowledge through discussions concerning the importance of wetlands in the web of life and the impact of wetlands upon the quality of the total lifespace environment of the community/surrounding region.

    Useful Internet Resources:
    * The Nature Conservancy

    * Environmental Protection Agency

    * North American Association for Environmental Education

    * Audubon

    * Friends of the Everglades

    * Wetlands International

    Other References:

  • Chabreck, R.H. (1988). Coastal Marshes: Ecology and Wildlife Management . Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Etherington, J.R. (1983). Wetland Ecology . London, ENGLAND: Edward Arnold.
  • Larson, R. (1995). Swampsong: A Natural History of Florida’s Swamps . Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida.
  • Lyon, J.G. (1993). Practical Handbook for Wetland Identification and Delineation . Boca Raton, FL: Lewis Publishers.
  • Mitsch, W.J. and J.G. Gosselink. (1989). Wetlands . New York, NY: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
  • Myers, R.L. and J.J. Ewel (ed). (1990). Ecosystems of Florida . Orlando, FL: University of Central Florida Press.