1. Discuss – What is an ecosystem? Tell students they will be “visiting” a cranberry marsh today. Instruct them to be careful observers so that they can discuss what they see. Break them into their small groups. Distribute images or instruct students to navigate to the student resource, Image Set.
2. Provide students approximately 5 minutes to informally observe and discuss the images in their small groups.
3. Tell students to select 3 or 4 images to focus on.
4. Direct students to respond to the questions on Student Worksheet, Welcome to the Marsh. Allow approximately 20 minutes for activity.
5. Ask groups of students to share their responses in a class discussion.
- If groups generate differing responses, try to come to a classroom consensus. If not, consider creating a question about this point for the Cranberry Question Wall. (Of course, the teacher may opt to answer the question instead.)
- Record student questions from Item 10 on the Student Worksheet on the Cranberry Question Wall.
6. Review the concept of an ecosystem with the students. Ask students to identify the features of the cranberry marsh ecosystem and how each feature might contribute to the overall health of this ecosystem.
Close the lesson by asking students if any of questions previously posted on the Cranberry Question Wall might have been answered during this lesson.