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Microhabitats: The Habitat of the Rotting Log

Grade Level: 6-8

Introduction: Students will explore the life that is supported by the microhabitat provided by a fallen tree as they consider the question: Why does a rotting log make a desirable home for certain plants and animals?  Students will examine rotting logs first-hand and will record data about the condition of the wood as well as the animals and plants found on/in/under the log.

Objectives: Students will be able to: (1) describe the microhabitat provided by a rotting log, (2) identify organisms found within a rotting log microhabitat, (3) relate the needs of organisms to the resources provided within a microhabitat.

National Science Standards: Regulation and behavior (C); populations and ecosystems (C); diversity and adaptations of organisms (C); use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data (A); use of mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry (A).

Time: 60 minutes* (5 minutes for Opening, 15 minutes for “Microhabitats in the Cloud Forest”, 35 minutes for “Microhabitats in Your Local Environment”, 5 minutes for Closing.)


Lesson Plan: PDF | DOC

Worksheets: PDF | DOC

Assessment: PDF | DOC

Related Plans:

  1. Soil Basics: Function and Variation
  2. Nutrient Cycling
  3. Microhabitats: The Habitat of the Rotting Log
  4. Water and Decomposition
  5. Plant Rooting Strategies


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