Ecosystems Science Magazine for Kids and Classrooms Tap into

Tap into
Learning
Volume 2: Number 2
March/April 2009
Science Magazine
for Kids and Classrooms
Ecosystems
Check out our website:
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com
Books, Links, Teaching Guide
In this Issue:
*Biomes around the World *Biodiversity
*Adaptation by Plants and Animals *Ecosystems
*Food Chains *and much more!
Our Mission
The mission of Spigot Science Magazine
is to help children understand how and
why the world works and to inspire young
minds to be curious and thoughtful
stewards of the world that will be theirs
one day.
From the Publishers
It’s true. Science is all around us. Actually
we live in science: inside a niche that’s inside a
habitat, that’s inside an ecosystem, that’s inside a
biome. We both live in the Deciduous Forest
Biome. Here in our biome we enjoy all four
seasons. We love making snowmen in winter,
planting our gardens in spring, collecting the
colorful leaves of fall, and playing on the beach
and in the ocean in summer. Right now we are
awaiting the arrival of spring. (See poem, p.14.)
Last summer, Dave visited several
different biomes in Alaska. He saw icebergs
calving (see WATER issue, p.20) and a rainforest
where it is cold. He came back with lots of
pictures and a great interview (see p. 17). It got
us thinking…what other biome have we ever
seen? Up until now we hadn’t realized that the
ocean itself is a biome. Getting ready for this
Ecosystems issue, we learned that the ocean is
one huge biome made up of many ecosystems.
Valeria lives about a half hour from that
gigantic biome—the Atlantic Ocean at the Jersey
shore. She took her dog, Star, there to pose at the
Ocean Biome (see picture below). Learn about
other biomes in two articles on pages 10 and 13.
In this issue you’ll also find a lot of
information about how energy is used in the food
pyramid (p. 7) and how you can discover
habitats. You’ll learn about the snow geese in
Valeria’s backyard habitat on page 9.
There is so much more about biomes,
ecosystems, habitats, and niches in this issue.
Spigot Science Magazine
Important Legal Information
Spigot Science Magazine is owned and operated by
Daval Publications, LLC
PO Box 103
Blawenburg, NJ 08504
David Cochran, EdD, Publisher and
Chief Learning Officer
Valeria B. Girandola, MSEd, Publisher and
Editor-in-Chief
Official Website: http://www.spigotsciencemag.com
Email address: [email protected]
Staff writers: David Cochran, Valeria B. Girandola
Editorial Consultant: Nathaniel Hartshorne
Photo/Graphic Credits
Cover photo and many other pictures in this magazine are from
Microsoft Media Elements and their inclusion complies with
the terms of their permitted use.
Dave Cochran
Valeria Girandola
Publishers
Additional credits are cited on the pages where pictures appear.
Ponder is a trademarked entity owned by The Ponder Group,
LLC. It is used with permission.
Publication Schedule
Spigot Science Magazine is published online five times per
year in September, November, January, March, and May. It is
a free magazine.
Copying/Using Articles
Articles from this publication may be used in schools or
homeschooling without permission. Articles may not be
distributed for commercial use without the written permission
of Daval Publications, LLC.
V. Girandola
Copyright © 2009. All rights reserved.
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com
Star
2
March/April 2009
Volume 2, Number 2 ~ March/April 2009
Connections Across the Curriculum
In this Issue
Social Studies
From the Publishers ..................................... 2
Alaskan Wildlife Center
Saves Animals for Study ................... 17
A Potpourri of Pictures from
Kroschel Films Wildlife Center ........ 19
Ellen Swallow Richards
An Early Ecologist
By Susan MacDougall ............................. 20
Scientists Are People Too........................ 21
Science
Think Like a Scientist.................................. 4
Divisions of Our Earth ................................ 5
Energy in the Food Pyramid ........................ 7
Seen and Unseen Habitats
in My Backyard
By Valeria Girandola ................................. 9
Geography
Health
Our Body, Our Ecosystem....................... 22
World Biomes ............................................ 10
The Arts
Math
The Peaceable Kingdom ......................... 23
Sing about Ecological Niches ................. 24
Too Many Rabbits,
An Ecosystem Gone Crazy ..................12
Books
Ecosystems Book Reviews
By Dr. Patricia Richwine .......................... 25
Language Arts
Spigot Theater—Biomes ........... ................13
Next Issue Preview
By David Cochran
A Deciduous Forest Eco-Poem
By Valeria Girandola ................................. 14
Omnivore Match..................................... ...15
Drop It– A Word Game........................... ...16
Changing Earth ..........................................27
When you see a picture of
Ponder in Spigot, you’ll know
it’s time to think about what
he’s saying.
Look for BOLD words throughout Spigot. These
are vocabulary words you should learn. If you don’t
know them, look them up online or in a dictionary.
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com
3
March/April 2009
Science Connection
Think
Like a
Scientist
Activities
1. Take pictures of
your ecosystem:
vegetation, weather,
land, and animals.
Take the same pictures
each month. Note the
similarities and
differences.
2. Follow the growth
of plants in your
classroom through
pictures you take.
3. Make a photo essay
of a field trip or a
science project.
SPIGOT -
Scientists today have an amazing
tool to use to help them capture and
save their discoveries. It’s the camera!
Scientists use cameras to document
their discoveries, to prove their
hypotheses, and to present their findings
to others. Since science is all around
us, everyone can use the camera to
think and act like a scientist.
In 1871, a professional
photographer, William Henry Jackson,
traveled with a survey team that was
exploring and mapping the West. With
his camera he took pictures of the land
formations of the Yellowstone area in
the Wyoming Territory. At that time no
member of Congress had ever seen
Yellowstone. They had only heard
amazing stories of wildly colored
springs, magnificent waterfalls and
strange rock formations in an almost
mythical ecosystems. (See Ecosystems
on the next page.)
Because of Jackson’s splendid
photographs of Yellowstone’s unique
ecosystem, in 1872, Congress
designated Yellowstone as the first
national park in America. Jackson’s
photographs helped to save a majestic
ecosystem for posterity.
Taking pictures gives us a great
way to show changes. Certainly you
have pictures of yourself taken through
the years. When you line them up, it’s
fun to see how you have grown. Taking
pictures of a garden throughout the year
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com
4
shows how weather, flower and plant,
and sun and shade changes. On the
next field trip you take, make sure you
have your camera along. Take pictures
along the way, write about them, and
share them. You’ll be thinking and
acting like a scientist.
.
Colin Faulkingham
Wikipedia Commons
Old Faithful geyser in
Yellowstone National Park
March/April 2009
Science Connection
Divisions of our Earth
EARTH
The Earth is made up of many different places—high mountains,
deep ocean gorges, rainforests, and deserts. These places have
different geographies (physical features like mountains and plains)
and climates (weather patterns including temperature, precipitation,
and wind). In each of these places, there are plants and animals that
interact with each other.
BIOME
A biome is a large area that has similar plants, animals, and climate.
Scientists mostly agree that there are at least ten large biomes on our
planet Earth. Think about how unlike a desert and a rainforest are.
Deserts are very dry, getting less than 20 inches (51 cm) of rainfall a
year.
Rainforests, however, are very wet with a lot of precipitation –
between 50 to 260 inches (125 to 660 cm). Both of these biomes are
very warm, but the plants and animals that live there are very different
from each other. You might find a cactus plant in the desert, but you’d
never find a macaw, the brightly colored parrot of the South American
rainforests, flying there. You’d find lush, tropical trees with lots of
animals in the rainforest, but you’d never see a desert animal like a
sidewinder rattlesnake there. Biomes have unique types of plants,
animals, climates and geographies.
ECOSYSTEM
Plants and animals support each other in communities called
ecosystems. This word is a combination of ecology and system.
Ecology is the study of the relationship between living things and
their environment. A system is a group of interdependent parts that
together make a working whole.
An ecosystem is an area where plants and animals rely on each
other to live and reproduce. An ecosystem can be very small, like
in a tiny pond where plants provide food for fish and frogs or very
large, like the Arctic, where polar bears and sea lions live by eating
fish and other wildlife.
Continued on next page
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com
5
March/April 2009
Science Connection
Continued from
page 5
HABITAT
A habitat is like a neighborhood where things live. It has a suitable
arrangement of food, water, shelter, and space in which an animal can
live and raise a family. Within one ecosystem there may be several
habitats, some where certain animals or plants live, and others where
different species live.
NICHE
A niche is what a particular species does in its habitat. It is how it uses
its environment to live, grow, and protect itself. It is its place in the community to which it belongs. Many different organisms can live side by side
in any one habitat. But no two species can occupy the same niche in the
same environment for a long period of time without depleting the resources
available to both.
In all natural environments, both living and non-living things interact. A stone may be the home of lichens
which grow on them. Ants may live in certain non-living soils. All of the Earth’s ecosystems are connected to
each other and they are always changing. Change is one of the big features of our world. As the world
changes, plants and animals adapt to new environments. This change is what makes life so exciting.
Activity
Studying Your Environment
Learn more about your own environment.
1. Go to: http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/
world_biomes.htm
Eco-Humor
2. Describe the biome where you live. What are the
climate and geographical features like?
3. Describe an ecosystem in your environment.
What kinds of plants and animals are found
there?
4. Describe a habitat in the ecosystem where you
live. Who lives there?
5. Describe a niche within that habitat.
6. Make a diagram, picture chart or other graphic
organizer to show your environment to others.
Tomcat: What do you call the
habitat where you live?
Mouse: It’s my Eek-o-system.
~~~
Molly Mouse: I hear you’re going to college to
learn how to scare cats.
Marvin Mouse: Yeah. I’m studying Eek-ology.
~~~
Make up a few ecology jokes of your own. What
do you think a biome might say to an ecosystem or
what might a habitat say to a niche? Have fun!
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com
6
March/April 2009
Science Connection
Energy in the Food Pyramid
"When we tug on a single thing in nature, we find it attached to everything else"
John Muir,
Founder of the Sierra Club, dedicated to protecting and restoring the quality of the natural and human environment.
Living organisms need energy
to live. Plants need energy to grow
leaves, and animals need energy to
breathe and move about. The
source of all energy for plants and
animals is the Sun, the star in our
solar system. The Sun transfers its
energy by light rays to the Earth. It
heats the Earth and, through the
process of photosynthesis, causes
plants to grow. Plants are the
producers of food for all other parts
of the food chain.
Secondary Consumers
Some animals eat only other
animals. These are called
carnivores. (From carno, meat;
voro, to eat) They get energy that is
second-hand. Their energy comes
from the other animals that got their
energy from the plants. These
animals are called secondary
consumers, and they feed on
primary consumers. A snake that
eats a grasshopper and a cat that
eats a mouse are secondary
consumers.
Tertiary Consumers
Animals that eat secondary
consumers (the snake and the cat)
are not only carnivores. They are
also called tertiary consumers.
Green grasses, fueled by the Sun’s energy, These animals are often larger and
are at the bottom of the food pyramid.
there are fewer of them. Lions are
an example of a tertiary consumer
because they eat other larger
animals.
Primary Consumers
Small insects and mammals eat
Some animals eat both plants
the plants. Sometimes large
and animals. These are called
animals eat plants, too. Animals
omnivores. (From omni, all; voro,
that only eat plants are called
to eat.) Bears eat fish, other
herbivores. (From herba, plant;
animals, and grasses. Turtles eat
voro, to eat.) When an animal eats crickets and algae.
a plant, energy and organic matter
are transferred from the plant to the Balanced Ecosystem
animal, giving it energy and
For an ecosystem to work there
nourishment to live and grow.
needs to be the right mix of plants
Animals that eat plants are called
and animals so that energy gets
primary consumers. A planttransferred properly. If there are
eating insect, like the grasshopper, not enough plants, there will be
is a primary consumer. Other
fewer primary consumers, even less
animals like mice, deer, and rabbits secondary consumers, and almost
are also primary consumers.
no tertiary consumers.
Lions are examples of tertiary
consumers.
Even though not all the energy
is transferred between levels of
the food pyramid, it isn’t totally
lost. It changes to heat in the
atmosphere. Energy can never
be lost; it can only be changed
from one form to the other.
This is the Law of the
Conservation of Energy. See
the ENERGY issue of Spigot,
Jan/Feb 2009, at
www.spigotsciencemag.com.
Continued on next page
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com
7
March/April 2009
Science Connection
Continued from page 7
These food levels look like a
pyramid. The large base of the
pyramid represents the primary
consumers. The smallest number
of consumers is at the top.
At each level some energy is
lost. This is because each time there
is a transfer of energy from one
level to another, not all the energy
is transferred to the animals. Some
of the energy from the animal that
is eaten goes to the animal that is
eating it and some of the energy is
lost as body heat. Some energy is
lost from plants as they give off
heat and oxygen.
Primary consumers give off
heat energy, so there may be only
half of the original energy left for
secondary consumers. In turn, the
secondary consumers give off more
energy, so the tertiary consumers
receive the least amount.
Animals always depend on the
next level down on the pyramid for
food. If the producers (plants) were
to suddenly disappear, all the
animals on the rest of the pyramid
would die. If the next level down is
abundant, the animals will thrive.
In a lush tropical rainforest there
are plenty of plants. Many animals
are able to live there because of the
large amount of energy in the food
pyramid.
In a dry desert, there are few
plants, so there are some primary
and secondary consumers, but few
tertiary consumers.
To keep an ecosystem in
balance there needs to be many
plants, many primary consumers,
fewer secondary consumers, and
the fewest tertiary consumers. This
allows the system to have the most
energy at the bottom so that the
animals at the top will have enough
energy to live.
Activities
1. Go to these web sites to learn
more about the food pyramid:
http://www.arcytech.org/java/
population/facts_foodchain.html
or http://www.vtaide.com/png/
foodchains.htm.
Draw a blank pyramid and divide it into three levels - primary, secondary, and tertiary.
Do some research in books or
on the Internet to write examples of plants and animals that
are at each of these levels.
2. Create a story, song, poem,
or video that explains how the
food pyramid works.
Ponder
Humans are at the top of the
food chain. We’re tertiary
consumers.
Why is it important for
humans to be concerned about
what happens to all the levels
below us on the food pyramid?
Tertiary
Consumers
Secondary
Consumers
Primary
Consumers
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com
8
March/April 2009
Science Connection
Seen and Unseen
Habitats in My Backyard
By Valeria Girandola
In the back
away is the low
fields over my
clay pot feeder I
fence, I see a cloud
have just made
of white snow geese
them for birds that
settling onto the sod
stay close to the
fields, cold and
ground to eat. Little
hard in the winter
sparrows and
air. Actually I hear
juncos hop about
them first. Their
making tiny bird
gaggling high in the
prints in the snow.
skies swoops closer
Scrappy blue jays
and closer. I run
dart into the party
with my camera
causing a flutter of
hoping to get the
wings. The primary
perfect picture of
colors of the red
their circular
cardinals, blue jays
settling on the sod.
V. Girandola and goldfinches are
After a while,
so bright in the
These snow geese flock together in the winter months and when they
they lift into the air, migrate.
snow. Gray
again a white cloud,
pigeons watch from
and move into the skies, still circling. I know that
bare maple tree branches. When others seem to have
when I go by the lake in town they will be sitting on
finished, they glide down from their perches to partake
the cold ice as still as statues.
of the spread below. Daily I set out my bird feasts. In
Under the oak trees lining the driveway, wood
summer my feathered guests keep my garden free of
mice nibble on the scattered acorns. A sparrow hawk insects. Like faithful friends we watch out for each
glides in from the back field searching for a tasty
other.
tidbit. Inside the oak, wasp-like ichneumon flies wait
to dine on spring caterpillars as they feed on the young
Activities
green leaves.
1. Use a camera. Make a photo essay of a habitat in
Closer in my backyard, I spy flashes of red, then
a backyard, park, or forest near you.
yellow in the tall snowy pines surrounding my garden.
I know the bright red cardinals and their soft brown
2. Make a clay pot feeder
mates will soon be coming to my feeders. So will the
Get a large clay flower pot and a large clay
yellow goldfinches. My binoculars are ready to treat
saucer.
my eyes, as the birds feast on the seeds I set out for
With the help of an adult, glue the saucer to
them. My bird feeders are swaying in the winter
the bottom of the overturned pot.
winds. They are filled with sunflower, thistle, and a
Let the glue dry for a day or two.
host of tiny millet seeds. A square of suet, offering
Decorate with outside paint, or leave it plain.
nutritious warmth and energy, hangs from vines on
Fill with seeds and put it outside where you
the trellis. For my ground-feeding guests, I have
swept a spot bare. There is a scattering of all I have to
can see it.
offer, a smorgasbord for the birds. A little farther
This also makes a great plant or candle stand .
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com
9
March/April 2009
Geography Connection
World Biomes
Different Climates, Different Geographies
Jim Conrad, Naturalist, http://www.backyardnature.net/ecogo.htm
The major biomes of the world are shown in colors.
Depending on the book you read or the web site you visit,
you may find different names for the biomes of the world.
Scientists and geographers don’t always agree on the names
of the biomes or where they begin and end..
What is important is that we understand how biomes and the
plants and animals that live in them differ from others around
the world.
For this article we used the biomes listed in Usborne’s
Science Encyclopedia. Some names on the map are different
from the names we use in this article.
The world is generally divided into areas that have the
similar kinds of climates and geographies. These separate
areas are called biomes. They have similar plants and
animals, similar makeup of soil, and are about same height
above sea level. They are named mainly by the kinds of
trees and bushes—the vegetation—that grow there. We
will explore eleven biomes in this article.
Tundra
The land in northern Europe, Asia , America and
Greenland is cold, vast, and treeless. Six months of the
year the sun does not rise. Temperatures are around -30
degrees F. It is impossible to grow vegetation in the
permafrost subsoil. Polar bears, caribou, and grey wolves
live there.
Coniferous Forest
This is the largest biome of the world. Most of the wood
that is used in paper making comes from the pine trees in
Alaska, Canada, northern Europe and northern Asia. There
are other cone-producing trees, such as spruce, hemlock,
and fir, growing there. Another name for the biome is the
Taiga. Moose, the snowshoe rabbit, and the horned owl
live in this climate. The winters are very cold. Many of
the animals survive the winters by migrating or hibernating.
Tropical Rainforests
There are rainforests in the Amazon River area, Central
America, West Africa, Western India, Southeast Asia, and
Australia. There is abundant precipitation and year round
warmth. The amount of sunlight that plants get on three
levels of the forest is the limiting factor of plant life.
Precipitation is about 100 inches a year. Temperatures are
over 64 degrees F. Both animals and birds have bright
colors, sharp patterns, and loud voices and eat many large
fleshy fruits. Elephants, tigers, chimpanzees, king cobras,
toucans, and vampire bats live here.
Tropical Grasslands
This biome is located along the equator in Latin America,
Africa, Asia, and South America. There are 70 inches of
rainfall each year. More than 15 million species of plants
and animals thrive in this biome.
Continued on next page
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 10
March/April 2009
Geography Connection
Continued from page 10
Anteaters, jaguars, macaws, and parrots are only a few of
the animals. The lands of the tropical forests are becoming
endangered. People have cut and burned the trees for
firewood, for building materials, for making paper, and for
farming and grazing of animals.
Deciduous Forests
Trees that lose their leaves in winter grow here. In the fall
the leaves cover the ground and provide rich nutrients for
the fertile soil. This mild temperate zone stretches across
the eastern part of North America, the middle of Europe,
and eastern China All kinds of forests are filled with plant
and animal life. The bald eagle lives here along with the
black bear, deer, squirrels, rabbits, raccoons, woodpeckers,
and cardinals.
Oceans
The ocean biome covers 80 percent of the earth. Most of
that is salt water. Algae, seaweed, and bacteria grow in the
water. Crabs, barnacles, clams, flounder, and mussels live
near the shore. Whales, swordfish, octopi, dolphins, and
tuna live farther out in the ocean. There are no insects in
the ocean. The biome is characterized by changing
amounts of light and temperature.
Polar Areas
The climate is very harsh. There are cold temperatures, to
5 degrees C, and high winds. There are no trees to provide
shade. Plants are a combination of algae and fungi called
lichens. Small floating plants (algae) in the ocean supply
food for any animals, fish, and whales in the waters. Seal
and penguins migrate here. Blue whales, the largest
creatures living on the planet, along with Minke whales and
Desert
Humpback whales, are found off the shores. They feed on
There are deserts on every continent on our planet.
One-fifth of the land’s surface has very little rainfall. Two tiny krill.
of the hot and dry deserts are the Arabian and the Sahara.
Two cold and dry deserts are the Gobi and the Antarctica
deserts. Little or no plant life, except cactuses, grows on
the deserts because there is no water. Snakes, lizards, some
frogs, and toads live there, along with the camel and the
emperor penguin.
Temperate Grasslands
Grasslands exist around desert areas. They are also hot and
dry. But, have enough rainfall to support the grasses and
some flowering plants. The grasses are home to large and
small herbivores. They are used for cattle grazing and
cereal crops. The land of this biome is also known as
prairies, veld, savannas, steppes and pampas. Prairie dogs,
giraffes, zebras, and lions live there.
Scrublands
This biome is found in the west coast of the United States,
the west coast of South America, and the Cape Town area
of Africa and central Australia. The winters are mild and
wet; the summers hot and dry. Densely growing evergreen
scrub oaks, plants with hard leaves, pines, and cork and
olive trees grow there. The flat plains, rocky hills, and
mountain slopes are home to small nocturnal animals,
chipmunks, coyotes, komodo dragons, and in Australia, red
kangaroos and wallabies.
Mountains
Mountains are found on all the continents in two great
belts: The Circum-Pacific and the Alpine – Himalayan
chains or ranges. It is very cold and windy there. The land
is usually treeless; however, at lower elevations some
forests do exist. Mountain animals include the goat, the
puma and the yak.
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 11
Activities
Go to
http:www.enchantedlearning.com/
biomes/ or another site of your
choosing. You will find information
there to help you do any of the
activities below.
1.Research the world biomes and
color them in on a world map. Label
and color code each one. You can
find a free world map at:
http://www.eduplace.com/ss/maps/
world.html
2. Choose one biome. In a shoebox
construct a diorama of the elements
of the biome: land forms, vegetation,
climate, plants, animals, etc. Present
the project to the class.
March/April 2009
Math Connection
Too Many Rabbits
An Ecosystem Gone Crazy
Releasing 24 rabbits
on his property in
Australia seemed like a
good idea to Thomas
Austin in 1859. There
were no rabbits in
Australia, so he brought
some from Europe. He
planned to hunt them for
food.
What Mr. Austin
didn’t realize is that the rabbits had no natural
predators, so they could live without anything killing
them for food. The other thing that Mr. Austin didn’t
Wikipedia
realize is that rabbits reproduce a lot. One doe (a
This gulley in South Australia was formed because rabbits ate
female rabbit) usually has three or four kittens
the grasses that held the soil in place.
(babies) in a litter. She can also have five or six litters
in a year. (4 kittens X 5 litters = 20 more rabbits per
Meanwhile, the rabbits continued reproducing.
doe per year.)
This ―ecosystem gone crazy‖ experienced devastating,
If half of the rabbits produced by the doe are
unintended consequences of Mr. Austin’s good idea to
female, they each could have another 20 rabbits per
release 24 rabbits on his property in 1859.
year. Yikes! Before long, there would be rabbits
everywhere. In a balanced ecosystem, predators
would kill and eat many of the offspring, so the
Activities
population would be much lower.
That’s not what happened in Australia. In fact, it
1.Continue the math problem started in this article
was the complete opposite. Before long, the country
to figure out how long it would take to get from 24
was overrun with millions of rabbits. There were so
rabbits to a million. Remember each rabbit can
many rabbits that people built a huge rabbit-proof
produce 20 rabbits a year, and half of them are
fence to try to keep them in one area. It didn’t work
female.
very well.
3.Humans don’t reproduce like rabbits, but the
It Gets Worse
world population is growing. Look at the world
Just having too many rabbits was only the start of
population statistics at
the problem. All those rabbits were primary
http://www.worldometers.info/ . Look at the
consumers so they needed plants to eat. (See the
sections on the site called World Population and
article Energy in the Food Pyramid, p. 7.) They
the Environment. What is happening in each
roamed around the countryside finding food and
section? What does it mean?
destroying large areas of grasslands. This affected the
other animals that needed grass, so they began to run
3. Australians have tried many things to reduce the
short of food and their populations began to die off.
rabbit populations, but there are still millions of
Grasses hold the soil in place, so another result
rabbits in certain sections of Australia. What
was the erosion of soil. When it rained, the soil
would you do to get the ecosystem in balance in
washed away. With less soil, even fewer things grew.
Australia?
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 12
March/April 2009
Science Connection
Spigot Theater
Biomes
by David Cochran
another way to think about biomes
A world divided by climate and geography
Mountains and deserts, polar caps and jungles
Supporting life so diverse and special
Unique and related biomes
Deciduous forests thrive near coasts
Shrubs and trees and animals live together
Sometimes fighting for space to survive
With hot dry summers and mild winters
Tundra with soil so thin and cold
Plants, not forests, on windy plains
Shallow roots anchor in permafrost
Life in short supply in these northern places
Deserts high and low
In mountains and plains
Sometimes scorching hot, sometimes cool
Always very dry
Coniferous forests in latitudes high
Cold and evergreen for year-round color
Animals flourish in summers warm
But migrate or hibernate in winters cold
Temperate grasslands with seasons of life
Warm and dry in the summertime
Cold, wet winters rejuvenate life
Plants and animals abound
Tropical rainforest teeming with life
Located near the Earth’s equator
Hot and wet all year round
Plant and animal diversity at its richest
Scrublands warm and windy
Dry summers with wet mild winters
Home to small plants and trees
Nocturnal animals thrive
Tropical grasslands open and wide
Wet so often, but sometimes dry
Few trees with room to roam
Home to many animals
Mountains towering high
Thin air and cold temperatures,
Some plants, all of them short
A place where few dare to go
Continued on next page
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 13
March/April 2009
Language Arts Connection
Continued from page 13
Ocean biome least known of all
Covering most of the Earth
Rich marine life in salty brine
Far more diverse than we understand
Polar caps in the north and south
Icy regions, cold and dry
Devoid of plant life
Ice-covered ground
A Deciduous Forest Eco-Poem
Biomes covering all the Earth
Providing ecosystems for plants and animals
The very core of our lives
Keeping us alive to think and act and love
What are March and April like in your ecosystem? We anxiously await spring after
Groundhog Day, February 2nd. The question we
always ask is…
Activities
1. Do a choral reading with different people reading
different stanzas.
2. Pick one stanza (one biome). Using the Internet
or books, find more information about that biome.
Draw or find a picture to show what the biome
looks like. Hold it up as you read the stanza of
the poem.
3. Take the part of a biome. Use creative dance or
movement to show (interpret) what the biome is
like. For example, you might move quite a bit if
you are the rainforest, but there may not be a lot
of movement in the polar region. Dance your part
as the stanza about your biome is read.
4. Make your own biome poem. If you are really
adventuresome, add music and sing it! You could
even make a music video of it.
5. Create an artwork such as a drawing or diorama
to show your biome.
Ponder
Is It Spring Yet?
By Valeria Girandola
―Is it spring yet?‖ cries the crocus, poking up
through soft moist earth.
―Is it spring yet?‖ chirps the robin, scratching
closely in the dirt.
―Is it spring yet?‖ peeps the peeper, from away
down by the stream.
―Is it spring yet?‖ ask the snowflakes. ―Time for
us to turn to rain?‖
―Is it spring yet?‖ honk the snow geese, sitting
coldly on the ice.
THEN…from the west wind wafts a soft breeze.
One by one the snow geese rise.
Warming raindrops hit the cool earth, bringing
drinks from cloudy skies.
Peepers cluster on the stream bed.
Robin red-breast finds a worm.
Crocuses begin their blooming
―SPRING IS HERE!‖
The whole world sighs.
Note: Peepers are little frogs, no bigger than the tip of your pinkie. They sit together
near ponds and streams, or ditches, singing little
―peeps‖ in the very early spring. They sound
like tiny bells.
Activity
Compare the article, World Biomes,
p. 10, with the Biomes poem on p. 13. What
did you learn about biomes from each type of
writing?
SPIGOT -
V. Girandola
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 14
Write a poem about your ecosystem. What is
happening in your ecosystem now? Take
pictures with your camera to illustrate your
work.
March/April 2009
Language Arts Connection
Omnivore Match
Animal List
pigs
cows
monkeys
bears
sheep
crows
squirrels
chimpanzees
hawk
snake
groundhogs
moose
mice
fox
penguins
turtles
frog
grasshoppers
humans
cats
raccoons
spider
jellyfish
lion
tiger
dolphins
rabbits
beaver
chickens
deer
alligators
goats
Directions: In the space below write the names of animals in the Animal List next
to the type of food they eat. Answers are on page 25
Herbivores
(Plant eaters)
Carnivores
(Meat eaters)
Omnivores
(Plant and animal
eaters)
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 15
March/April 2009
Language Arts Connection
Drop It
A Word Game You Can
Play Anywhere
Drop It First read the word clue. Guess the word. Read the Drop It
clue. Guess the shorter word. Do both words make sense?
Example: A four-letter word meaning to get bigger. Drop it and it
means something you do with an oar. Answer: GROW, ROW
Take turns finding the answers and then make up some of your own.
Word Clues
First Word
Drop It Clue
Shorter word
1. A four-letter word meaning
the king of the Jungle
Drop it and it is an atom
that has an electrical
charge.
2. A four-letter word meaning a
sheep-like animal with curving
horns
Drop it and it is a cereal
grain.
3. A three-letter word meaning
a male sheep
Drop it and it is a form of
the verb to be.
4. A four-letter word meaning a
large, four-legged, furry animal
that lives in the woods
Drop it and it is
something on the side of
your head.
5. A three-letter word meaning
a farm animal
Drop it and it means
ouch.
6. A four-letter word meaning
the kind of soil on a beach
Drop it and it is a word in
this sentence.
7. A five-letter word meaning
something lichen grows on
Drop it and it means a
certain kind of sound.
8. A four-letter word meaning
the opposite of cool
Drop it and it is a body
part.
9. A five-letter word meaning a
place beyond the Earth’s
atmosphere
Drop it and it means the
speed at which you move.
10. A five-letter word meaning
the smallest amount
Drop it and it is where the
sun rises.
Answers are on page 25.
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 16
March/April 2009
Social Studies Connection
Alaskan Wildlife Center
Saves Animals for Study
An Interview with Stephen Kroschel
Interviewer: David Cochran
G. Morgan
Steve Kroschel holds a rescued linx.
Last summer, on my trip to Alaska, I toured the Kroschel Films
Wildlife Center in Haines, Alaska. It is filled with many species of North
American wildlife. Meeting Stephen Kroschel and learning about the
animals there and their stories was an unforgettable experience. It was
great to get in touch with Steve again for this interview. I’m happy to
share this adventure and photographs with our Spigot community. DC
Kroschel Films Wildlife Center is a privately held collection of
animals that have been rescued from the wild. It has been around for
almost 40 years. Stephen Kroschel, the owner, was born and raised in
Minnesota on a farm where he cared for wild animals. He has always
liked wild creatures, and it makes him happy to see people enjoy the
wildlife he protects. He has made a lifelong commitment to wildlife and
education for the general public through his films and live presentations.
DC: How does keeping animals in
a center help them?
Learn more about the Kroschel
Films Wildlife Center at: http://
www.kroschelfilms.com/
SPIGOT -
that wolverines need pure, vast
wilderness areas to be healthy and
survive. Humans need that clean,
SK: Keeping animals at the center clear land to survive, too.
helps them directly and indirectly.
The Arctic National Wildlife
First of all, many animals that are
Refuge is one of the last
here would have been destroyed by strongholds on Earth for the
authorities because they were either wolverine. Its survival is
orphaned or abandoned. Secondly, endangered by pollution, oil
when others see these animals, they development, and other man-made
then become interested, excited,
threats.
entertained, and moved to protect
them and their natural
DC: What does the loss of habitats
environments.
do to animal populations?
For example, at the center, there
are tame wolverines that we can
SK: The loss of habitats can have
handle. Wolverines are an
bad effects on wild animals. It can
extremely secretive and rare animal even eliminate entire wildlife
of the north. They are very
populations. Loss of habitats is a
misunderstood. But here, people
sign that humans are selfrealize what an enchanting animal destructing as well. It doesn’t
species they are. Our visitors learn
Continued on next page
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 17
March/April 2009
Social Studies Connection
Now, on my return, many ponds
have no frogs at all and the
orchestra of nature in springtime no
longer holds the same kind of
concert. Why? Because of the loss
of habitats.
DC: We hear a lot about the
warming of the climate. This is
sometimes called global warming.
How is this affecting animal
populations in Alaska?
SK: Global warming is affecting
animal populations in Alaska in
G. Mooney
slow and subtle ways. As the tundra
A porcupine snacks on some fresh
gets warmer, the willow and spruce
leaves.
trees begin to grow there. This
causes a loss of species such as
seem as if we humans are
lemmings. These animals are an
threatened when we live
important part of the food chain for
comfortably and have lots
other animals such as arctic foxes,
of food, but we are. An example of weasels, wolverines, bears, and
how man-made resources can kill
snowy owls.
habitats is electro-magnetic
Polar bears are also having
radiation. The radiation from
problems. They have to work far
electric lines can confuse migrating harder to find seals to eat because
birds and kill or lower the immune the ice pack where they hunt is
system of insects. Modern
disappearing.
agricultural methods, which take
nutrients from the soil and pollute
waterways, can also harm wildlife.
Eventually, humans suffer from
disease, climate change, urban
sprawl, overpopulation, crime, and
economic collapse when habitats
are destroyed.
DC: Have you noticed changes in
the habitats of animals and plants?
SK: Yes! For example, I have great
memories of the many species of
wildlife that I saw where I grew up
in rural Minnesota some thirty
years ago. I remember the unbroken
forests, ponds, and swamps with
bird life whose songs filled the air
G. Mooney
This playful wolverine is
in the springtime. I remember the
endangered and has survived
swamps with a thundering
because of the Kroschel Wildlife
crescendo of singing frogs.
Center.
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 18
Because of warming, bark
beetles are creating problems. They
used to die off in winter, but now
they survive the warmer winters
and kill the trees of the forest.
Animals south of the Arctic Circle
need these forests to survive. We,
of course, also need the forests.
And everybody knows that trees
produce oxygen for every living
thing to live!
DC: What can we do to protect
our ecosystems?
SK: What we all can do in our daily
lives is learn to live sustainably.
This means living so that we can
help plants, animals, and humans
and their habitats survive. We need
to educate ourselves about how we
can do that, and then set an
example for others to follow.
Here are some examples of little
things we can do that can make a
difference:
Plant trees
Grow our own food
Use agricultural methods that
do not use chemicals
Avoid using plastics and other
oil-based products.
Use sustainable means of
transportation and avoid using
fossil fuel.
Encourage recycling of
aluminum, paper and plastics.
Encourage family planning
Amazingly, all the above
protects the ocean environment,
which is the biggest factor of all in
ensuring oxygen production and
neutralization of organic waste. The
ocean holds the keys to the weather
and climate.
DC: Do you have any other things
we should think about?
It's not a bad idea to be nice to
Mother Nature! Without her, none
of us would be here today. :-)
March/April 2009
Social Studies Connection
A Potpourri of Pictures from the
Kroschel Films Wildlife Center
G. Mooney
Mario, Steve Kroschel’s assistant,
leads a rescued wolf to greet
visitors.
D. Cochran
Mario hold s a hawk that is ready to take off.
G. Mooney
Garrett Kroschel, Steve’s son, holds
an adult female pine marten that he
has raised at the Wildlife Center.
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 19
G. Morgan
This grizzly bear cub was rescued
after its mother died in the wild.
March/April 2009
Social Studies Connection
Ellen Swallow Richards
An Early Ecologist
by Susan Macdougall
Wikipedia Commons
Ellen Swallow Richards
The word ecology was
first used in Germany to
describe the household of
nature. Mrs. Richards
applied it to humans and
their environment.
SPIGOT -
Ellen Henrietta Swallow
Richards (1842 –1911) accomplished
amazing things in her lifetime. She
believed that a clean environment
was very important in our lives. She
created the word ―euthenics.‖ This
means the improvement of the
environment inside and outside the
home.
In 1892, in a speech to a group of
scientists, Mrs. Richards discussed
ecology as the relationship of
organisms to their environment. With
this, she began the home ecology
movement which became known as
home economics. It showed the
importance of good nutrition, proper
clothing, physical fitness, sanitation,
and home management. In the late
1800s few women worked, and she
wanted women to know the
importance of having a good
environment in their homes.
Ellen Swallow (her maiden
name) became the first woman
admitted to a scientific school. She
was accepted as a special student to
the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology (MIT). As a student,
she studied thousands of water
samples from streams throughout
Massachusetts. This became one of
MIT’s most important projects. She
also did pollution research and told
people about the need for sewage
treatment plants.
She created a Women’s
Laboratory at MIT but wasn’t paid
for her work. She taught courses in
chemistry, mineralogy, and biology.
She was later given a paid faculty
position.
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 20
Mrs. Richards wrote the first
health-food cookbook and was very
active in public health issues. She
organized the first school lunch
programs to be sure children were
well fed. She set up model kitchens
to teach working class families how
to eat well and inexpensively. She
showed one of these sample kitchens
at the World's Columbian Expo in
Chicago in 1893. She also wrote
many books.
Ellen Swallow Richards believed
in education and opportunities for
women throughout her life. She was
a trail-blazer for women in helping
people in the late 1800s learn about
the importance of keeping a healthy
environment.
Activities
1. Look at the article Scientists Are
People Too on the next page. Pick
one of these scientists to learn more
about. Using the Internet or books,
list at least 10 facts about the person
you choose. Write a story or do a
presentation to explain their importance to others.
2. Learn more about Ellen Swallow
Richards and other important
women at: http://
www.distinguishedwomen.com/
biographies/richards-es.html. Do a
creative project to show the importance of Mrs. Richards or another
woman at this site. Express your
ideas through writing, painting,
drawing, poetry, music, or video.
March/April 2009
Social Studies Connection
Scientists
Are People Too
Timeline of Famous Ecologists
The word ―ecology‖ was first used
just a little over 100 years ago. Back
then, botanists (scientists who study
plant life) mainly described and
classified plant life in the environment.
However, Dr. Eugenius Warming
(1841 – 1924), a Danish botanist, in
his book Plantesamfund, completely
changed the study of botany. Writing
about communities of plants, he
invented the field of plant ecology.
Here are six scientists who have added
their findings to the growing science of
the ecosystem.
1913 Henry Cowles (1869 – 1939)
is considered the first American
ecologist. Always carrying his
notebook and camera, he carefully
observed the grasses, flowers, and
trees around Lake Michigan. He noted
the different kinds of soil, changes in
climate, weather, and lengths of time
for vegetation to germinate and grow.
In his published papers, Cowles noted
patterns of change in the natural plant
environment.
1927 Charles Elton (1900 – 1991), 1973
a British biologist, also held a degree
in zoology. He was one of the first to
study animals in their habitats. While
observing the relationship between
living creatures and their natural
environment, he discovered what he
called the food chain. Food for all
animals starts with plants and moves
up through lower animal life to
humans. The species at the bottom of
the food chain is always greater in
number than the species at the top. He
called this the pyramid of numbers.
1935 Arthur Tansley (1871 –
1955), a British botanist and
ecologist, introduced the concept
“ecosystem” as a basic unit of nature.
Before his work, scientists were
studying individual species. Tansley’s
work focused on habitats where the
environment as a whole, with both
living and non-living elements,
affected the life of all within.
George Evelyn Hutchinson
1916 Frederick Clements (1874 – 1957
(1903 – 1991), an English born
1945) made careful, detailed
observations of the plant growth in
grasslands as he drove his mule train
across Nebraska. He found changes in
the land brought on by nature
(tornadoes and fires), by humans (cart
tracks and plows), and by animals
(herds of cattle). In these bare spots,
new plants grew, died, and were
replaced by other kinds of vegetation.
He called this the succession of
plants.
SPIGOT -
American zoologist developed the
theory of the ecological niche. This is
a place that meets the needs for a
species to be able to tolerate the
physical environment, get energy and
nutrients, and avoid predators. These
are all measurable qualities. This is
also a way to compare niches of
several species.
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 21
Bob May ( 1936), an
Australian physicist, noted during the
1970s that acid rain was harming forest
and lakes. Overfishing was emptying
our lakes. May used mathematical
tools to make ecological forecasts
about natural resources. Using models
to predict the future, scientists can
now plan how to maintain forests,
lakes, and soils to sustain life and
avoid extinction.
Activity
1. Number these developments in
the order in which they happened:
___began using models to plan for
future protection of the
environment.
___by studying communities of
plants, he basically invented the
study of ecology.
___found in the relationship
between plants and animals in the
environment there is a food chain.
___elements in the ecological niche
are labeled and measured.
___patterns of change were
observed in the vegetation of plant
communities.
___‖ecosystem‖ is recognized as
the basic unit in nature.
___in many bare spots on the land a
succession of plants takes place.
2. Make a timeline showing the
development of the study of
ecosystems in the environment from
the ―communities of plants‖ to the
―models that predict the future.‖
March/April 2009
Health Connection
Our Body,
Our Ecosystem
Our body is our ecosystem. Its many parts
interact with the environment so that we can live
healthy, active lives.
The human body reacts to what we put in it just as
a pond might react if a frog jumped into it. If the
pond has a lily pad for the frog to sit on, and some
dragonflies for the frog to eat, the pond is in balance.
It works well. If, however, it has pollutants like oil in
it, the pond will not be in balance and the frog, lily
pad, and the dragonfly will all eventually die.
Just like the pond, if we put things in our bodies
that are changed into energy and help us move and
think better, our system will be in balance. If,
however, we put toxins, or poisons, in our body, we
will unbalance our ecosystem.
Toxins that upset our ecosystem include drugs,
alcohol, and smoke from cigarettes. These are
foreign to our bodies and interfere with its normal
process of energy conversion. When smoke goes into
our lungs, the impurities in the smoke get trapped
there. We have trouble breathing and adding oxygen
to our circulatory system.
Drugs and alcohol cause our metabolism, the rate
at which we burn calories, to act unnaturally.
Alcohol slows metabolism down, while some drugs
rev it up temporarily. This upsets our natural process
of converting food to energy. Our body then can
experience weight gain, loss of energy, or even
disease.
Toxic substances can also affect our movement
and thinking. People who have too many drugs or
alcohol in their system become impaired. They can’t
think or act in a normal way. They sometimes act
dangerously and can even hurt themselves or others.
Our human ecosystem isn’t just affected by what
we eat, smoke, or drink. It is also affected by how we
think. Our brain controls how we think and behave.
If we get upset and feel stressed, we can get sick or
SPIGOT -
have less energy. We can even become very
unhappy. If we are thinking and feeling well, we
have a lot of good energy.
Ecosystems work best when all the parts support
each other. That’s also important for our body
ecosystem. It’s important to keep all our systems in
balance. If we eat healthy foods, exercise, avoid
toxins and germs, and keep in a happy frame of mind,
our ecosystem will be in balance. Staying physically
healthy and mentally happy helps us make the most
of our lives.
Activities
1. Make a list of all the foods you eat for three days.
Decide how good these foods are for you. Do they
give you energy and help you keep active or do they
have too much sugar, fat, or salt in them? Decide
whether you should change what you eat to keep your
ecosystem in balance.
2. Make a poster or slide show about how our bodies
are like an ecosystem.
3. Go to http://kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/fit/
fit_kid.html. Read the suggestions for keeping your
body healthy. Use the main points to do a survey of
at least 10 people. Which of these suggestions do
most of the 10 people follow? Which ones do they
follow least? What do you think these results show
us? Discuss this with others.
.
PONDER
What are at least three things you do to keep your
human ecosystem physically healthy, mentally
happy, and in balance?
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 22
March/April 2009
Arts Connection
The Peaceable Kingdom
The Peaceable Kingdom, Edward Hicks (1780 -1849)
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Edward Hicks was a famous American artist who painted in the nineteenth century. He liked to paint
animals, both wild and domestic, from several different ecosystems together in one picture. Study the
picture and discuss these questions:
1. Which biomes/ecosystems are represented by these animals from The Peaceable Kingdom?
lion
bear
bull
tiger lamb goat
cow wolf ram
leopard humans
panther
cougar
2. What do you think the Native Americans and the Colonists are doing in the left side of the
painting? Why?
3. What do you think the meaning of this picture is? Why?
4. Could this picture happen in nature? Why?
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 23
March/April 2009
Arts Connection
Sing About Ecological Niches
Over in the Meadow, written in
1800 by Olive A. Wadsworth, is a
song that is fun to sing and act out.
It’s all about a habitat—the
meadow—and the different niches
where animals live. Little toads in
the sand are learning to wink and
blink. Little fish in the stream are
learning to swim. Little bluebirds in
a tree are learning to sing. Little
Over in the meadow,
muskrats in the reeds are learning
In the reeds on the shore
to dive. And so on.
Lived an old mother muskrat
And her little ratties four
Listen to it at:
"Dive!" said the mother;
http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/lyrics/
"We dive!" said the four
overmeadow.htm
So they dived and they burrowed
In the reeds on the shore
Over in the Meadow
Over in the meadow,
In the sand in the sun
Lived an old mother toadie
And her little toadie one
"Wink!" said the mother;
"I wink!" said the one,
So they winked and they blinked
In the sand in the sun
Over in the meadow,
Where the stream runs blue
Lived an old mother fish
And her little fishes two
"Swim!" said the mother;
"We swim!" said the two,
So they swam and they leaped
Where the stream runs blue
Over in the meadow,
In a hole in a tree
Lived an old mother bluebird
And her little birdies three
"Sing!" said the mother;
"We sing!" said the three
So they sang and were glad
In a hole in the tree
SPIGOT -
Over in the meadow,
In a snug beehive
Lived a mother honey bee
And her little bees five
"Buzz!" said the mother;
"We buzz!" said the five
So they buzzed and they hummed
In the snug beehive
Over in the meadow,
In a nest built of sticks
Lived a black mother crow
And her little crows six
"Caw!" said the mother;
"We caw!" said the six
So they cawed and they called
In their nest built of sticks
Over in the meadow,
Where the grass is so even
Lived a gay mother cricket
And her little crickets seven
"Chirp!" said the mother;
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 24
"We chirp!" said the seven
So they chirped cheery notes
In the grass soft and even
Over in the meadow,
By the old mossy gate
Lived a brown mother lizard
And her little lizards eight
"Bask!" said the mother;
"We bask!" said the eight
So they basked in the sun
On the old mossy gate
Over in the meadow,
Where the quiet pools shine
Lived a green mother frog
And her little froggies nine
"Croak!" said the mother;
"We croak!" said the nine
So they croaked and they splashed
Where the quiet pools shine
Over in the meadow,
In a sly little den
Lived a gray mother spider
And her little spiders ten
"Spin!" said the mother;
"We spin!" said the ten
So they spun lacy webs
In their sly little den
Activities
1. With a group, learn a verse.
Make scenery to show your
animal and its niche. Practice
your performance, then present it
with all groups together.
2. Make up a new verse.
3. Illustrate each niche.
March/April 2009
Books
Ecosystems Book Reviews
Dr. Patricia Richwine
Common Ground: The Water,
Earth, and Air We Share by Molly
Bang, 1997, Blue Sky Press/
Scholastic.
Sharing the air we breathe, the
water we use, and the Earth where
we live seems so simple. At least it
was before so many of us lived on
the planet. Now we have serious
choices to make if we are going to
preserve our natural resources for
generations to come. Common
Ground ends with a common
question, ―…what will stop us from
destroying our whole world?‖
One Well: The Story of Water on
Earth by Rochelle Strauss, 2007,
Kids Can Press.
It isn’t so hard to imagine one
global well because all the water on
Earth is connected as if from only
one source. Where is all this
water? How is it used, misused,
recycled, and conserved? Why do
SPIGOT -
we need water? How do plants and The Dictionary of the Environment
animals use water? Which
and Its Biomes by Chris Myers,
countries use the most water? And 2001, Franklin Watts.
finally, what can you do to preserve
The environmental regions of
and protect the Earth’s water?
the Earth, or biomes, are unique
and also connected. In more than
300 entries from Acid Rain to Zoos,
read about your own biome as well
as many far-away places and the
plants and animals that inhabit
them. Discover how you live and
where you live are diverse yet
linked to species and habitats
around the world.
World of Wonder: The Food Chain
by Frank Staub, 2004, Creative
Education.
Adaptation by Alvin Silverstein,
Our bodies, like those of other
Virginia Silverstein, & Laura
animals,
don’t make food. Most of
Silverstein Nunn, 2008, Twentyus are omnivores because we eat
First Century Books.
both plants and animals. How
many other omnivores can you
How do people survive in so
many different habitats? We adapt name? What is your favorite
to the conditions. Our brains give animal food? What is your favorite
plant food? Try to draw a food
us an advantage over other living
things. But plants and animals also chain that leads from those foods to
you.
adapt in many ways. Some, like
deer, can run fast. Some, like
These books are
algae, can live underwater. And
some, like tigers, have sharp fangs.
available through
Learn how living things adapt to
Amazon at our
seasons, to day and night, and to
web site.
extreme surroundings. What do
you do to adapt to your changing
environment?
Answers for: Omnivore Match, p.15
Herbivores: grasshoppers, mice, rabbits, deer, beaver, moose, cows, sheep, goats, groundhogs
Carnivores: fox, frog, snake, hawk, spider, lion,
tiger, cats, penguins, alligators, jellyfish, dolphins
Answers to Drop It, p.16
1. Lion- ion 2.Goat- oat
3. Ram- am 4. Bear- ear
5. Cow- ow 6. Sand-and
7. Stone- tone 8. Warm- arm
9. Space- pace 10. Least- east
Omnivores: bears, turtles, monkeys, squirrels, pigs,
crows, humans, raccoons, chimpanzees, chickens
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 25
March/April 2009
Books
Food Chains by Theresa
Greenaway, 2001, Steck-Vaughn.
Have you ever played the game
Predator & Prey? If so, you know
how a food chain works. All living
things need food. Herbivores eat
only plants. Carnivores eat only
other animals. Think about the pets
you and your classmates have. Are
they herbivores, carnivores, or are
they omnivores who eat both plants
and animals like most humans do?
Many food chains are connected to
form food webs. You can play the
food web game in this book.
The Most Beautiful Roof in the
World: Exploring the Rainforest
Canopy by Kathryn Lasky, 1997,
Gulliver Green.
Once a Wolf: How Wildlife
Biologists Fought to Bring Back the
Gray Wolf by Stephen R.
Swinburne, 1999, Houghton
Mifflin.
Go along with scientist Meg
Lowman as she studies rainforests
all over the world. Imagine being
one of her two sons and learning to
climb to the rainforest canopy to
explore with your mother. Don’t
touch the tarantulas and watch out
for deadly snakes!
Did wolves get a bad name
from Little Red Riding Hood and
The Three Little Pigs? Wolves
were once killed and their habitats
destroyed until they became an
endangered species. As biologists
realized the importance of these
predators, wolves have been
reintroduced in places such as
An Island Scrapbook: Dawn to
Idaho, New York, and Yellowstone Dusk on a Barrier Island by
National Park.
Virginia Wright-Frierson, 1998,
Simon & Schuster.
One Good Apple: Growing Our
Food for the Sake of the Earth by
Catherine Paladino, 1999,
Houghton Mifflin.
Are you eating harmful foods?
You probably don’t think so. But
consider the pesticides and
chemicals that are used to grow and
produce our food. Now think about
what those poisons do to us when
we eat them. Organic farmers don’t
use pesticides and chemicals. Find
out what you can do to help grow
organic food.
The Wonders of Biodiversity by
Roy A. Gallant, 2003, Benchmark
Books.
Learning about biodiversity is
fascinating but can also be
frightening. According to this
author, extinction caused by
biodiversity loss is more serious
than either global warming or
pollution. Although the number of
animal and plant species in the
world is unknown, their rate of
extinction appears to be increasing.
What happens to the ecosystems
when plants and animals become
extinct?
Drawings and field notes help
bring the inhabitants of this barrier
island to life. Learn about insects,
fish, birds, and other animals that
inhabit the marshes and ocean. See
how you might make a scrapbook
about your own vacation trip or
about your own backyard.
Coming Soon in Spigot
Changing Earth—May 2009
Telescope 400th Anniversary—
September 2009
Design—November 2009
Cells—January 2010
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 26
March/April 2009
SPIGOT -
http://www.spigotsciencemag.com 27
March/April 2009
`