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Module 4 • Flora and Fauna: Case Study: Fact Finder
Activity 4-7.2
2. Tell students they will be solving a “Muskoxen Mystery” as a class
Assessment:
to investigate the disappearance of a muskox population and Upon completion of this
determine what limiting factors are at play! activity students should:
- Identify limiting factors
Divide class into teams of four to five students. Pass out Student
that affect wildlife popu-
Page 4-7.2a “Muskoxen Mystery Story” to each team. Read the
story as a class or in the teams.
lations.
- Work in teams to solve
Pass out Student Page 4-7.2b “Mystery Questions” to each team for the mystery of a wildlife
students to preview. To solve the mystery students must focus on population vanishing
“cause,” “weapon,” and “motive,” while previewing the questions.
(Student Page 4-7.2a
“Muskoxen Mystery
Using Student Page 4-7.2c “Mystery Fact Cards,” pass out one fact
card to each student. Once a student is given a fact card, this card
Story”).
may not be passed on or traded. In order and one at a time, stu-
- Read article and explore
dents take turns reading out their fact card to the class. As fact
the relation between
cards are read, students decide how best to organize the informa-
climate change and
tion and begin to solve the mystery. A possible strategy is to des-
increase in Arctic para-
ignate students as recorders of specific information for the class. sites (Student Page
Discuss the questions as a class or have students address them in 4-7.2d “Arctic Animals
their teams.
Face Stress of Warming
Habitat”).
Using the facts provided, teams answer the “Mystery Questions” to
solve the mystery. Share and discuss results as a class. See Teacher
- Make infomercial to illus-
Notes 4-7.2 “Answers for Mystery Questions” for answers.
trate how climate change
will affect different ani-
3. Pass out and read Student Page 4-7.2d “Arctic Animals Face Stress mal populations (Student
of Warming Habitat.” Researcher Susan Kutz says that “we’re seeing
Page 4-7.2e “Climate
with as little as one-degree increase in temperatures that develop-
Change Case Studies”).
ment in the slug changes from a two-year pattern to a single-year
pattern.” Based on students’ experiences in the muskoxen mystery,
would they draw the same conclusion that Dr. Kutz then draws in
this article? Would this be of possible significance to muskoxen populations? Why, or why not?
4. Share with students Team GoNorth! is working with scientists at the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA) to collect feces samples along the expedition route on the trail, in particular
from caribou and muskoxen. These are then shipped back USDA for testing of parasites to estab-
lish any correlation of parasites moving north or becoming more frequent as a result of climate
change. More detail is available on the science and the cool scientists behind this effort under
Field Research in the Cool Science section of Logistics at PolarHusky.com.
Part II
5. Watch the movie “Arctic Meltdown” available in the Classroom Movies section of the Scrapbook in
Logistics at PolarHusky.com. Reflect on how this segment emphasizes climate and climate change
as a limiting factor. Divide the students into groups of two or three students. Briefly brainstorm
what our role is in conservation of species to prevent extinction as a result of climate change.
Consider the conservation of habitat.
The segment starts with the future extinction of polar bears as a result of climate change. Polar
bears are often talked about when the focus is on climate change. Why might this be?
PolarHusky.com
© NOMADS Online Classroom Expeditions GoNorth! Chukotka 2007 Curriculum 28
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