Into the Marsh

Adopt a Cranberry Marsh

Students learn about the features of a successful bog and use that information to adopt a cranberry marsh.

Lesson Overview

What are some key factors that contribute to a successful cranberry marsh?

In this lesson, which requires two to three class sessions, student pairs assume the role of prospective cranberry growers and select, from three different options, a marsh to adopt. Later, in Challenges Await You, students will attempt to manage their chosen marshes successfully, making decisions about how to respond to events that come up during a typical 12-month growing cycle.

In the process of their marsh selection, students will be introduced to some key factors that help determine the success of a marsh: the local site of the marsh, climate and weather in the area, and various resources available to the marsh owner. For each of these factors, guiding principles for selecting a promising site are provided by a marsh “expert”. In addition, specific detail about each of the three marsh options is provided. At the end of the lesson, students receive feedback on their choices in the form of an “assessor’s report” and are given the opportunity to change their marsh selection, based on that report.

A student graphic organizer initially serves as a record so that student pairs can document the information they learn about each marsh. The graphic organizer will later be used to help students assess the relative strength and weakness of each site. In addition to completing their personal graphic organizers, students will contribute to a class record, where they weigh the pros and cons of each marsh site. Finally, students will formally make their marsh selections. To support that choice, students will complete a written assignment (Berry Blog) and provide rationales for their decisions.