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Measuring Light in the Cloud Forest

Grade Level: 6-8

Introduction: Sunlight is an important resource in the tropical montane cloud forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica. Students will collect data on the quantity of sunlight penetrating different locations within the cloud forest and relate this data to the percentage of green plant growth observed. Students will also have an opportunity to study a light gap within the forest, comparing the information they previously gathered with this important site.

Objectives: Students will be able to 1) make observations about sunlight availability within the cloud forest 2) predict the impact of sunlight availability on plant growth 3) collect data and create conclusions regarding the relationship between sunlight availability and plant growth in the cloud forest.

National Science Standards: Populations and ecosystems, Scientific inquiry

Time: 45 minutes (5 min for opening discussion, 10 min for initial observations and directions, 15 min for Understory & Canopy data collection and analysis, 10 min for Light Gap data, 5 min for closing)


Lesson Plan: PDF | DOC

Handout: PDF | DOC

Related Plans:

  1. Tools and Techniques of Field Work
  2. Science and Hypothesis Testing
  3. Cloud Catching
  4. Measuring Light in the Cloud Forest


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