Intro to Grasslands
This learning block represents one week’s work. Aim to watch at least one video and choose at least one activity or project to complete.
There are two videos to choose from about grasslands. The first one is better for younger kids, the second one will appeal to older kids. Feel free to watch one, or both!
Now choose an Activity
Grass Head Project
Have fun growing your own grass at home!
You will need:
– plastic cups
– grass seeds
– a window sill
Give your grass seeds a little bit of water each day. Check in with them daily and watch them grow!
Don’t forget to document your project for your portfolio.
Protect Earth’s Most Endangered Habitat
Did you know that the Canadian Grasslands are one of the MOST ENDANGERED ecosystems in the WORLD? Watch the documentary above to learn more about this precious habitat.
– What did you learn?
– What surprised you?
– How did the movie make you feel?
If you have been inspired to help save the Canadian grasslands (and you live in Canada), you can find your Member of Parliament and write a letter to them. Explain why the grasslands are important to you and to the Earth! Save a copy of your letter (and any response you get) to your portfolio.
Use Quadrats to Study Backyard Ecology
In this project you will learn how biologists use QUADRATS to study ecology. If you are lucky enough to live near a grassland ecosystem, you can take a field trip to complete this project. If not, you can use your backyard or any grassy area! Even a small patch of grass will work.
You will need:
– a hula hoop (or any kind of empty frame)
– magnifying glass (if you have one)
– white paper plate (if you have one)
Include your quadrat tally sheets and any photos you take during your observations in your portfolio!
Parts of a Grassland Project
In this project you will make a poster of a North American grassland. This poster may take you more than one day to complete. Try to do a few steps each day until it’s done!
You will need:
– poster paper
– watercolour paints
– white paper
– brown paper
– coloured pencils
Step 1: Prepare your poster. You will need to divide your poster paper into three zones by drawing horizontal lines across it. The top zone will be the SKY. The middle zone will be the GRASS. The bottom zone will be UNDERGROUND. As you complete your project, you will add grassland creatures to each of these areas.
Step 2: Use your watercolour paints to fill in the three areas of your poster. Paint the sky blue, or use sunset colours if you prefer. The grass can be green, yellow or tan. Make the underground area a nice, earthy brown. Like this example. Don’t worry about the animals yet! We’ll add the creatures we learn about to the various zones where they belong.
Step 3: Set your poster aside to let it dry!
Step 4: Watch this video about the American Bison and the next one about Pronghorn Antelope:
These are both large, grazing animals that the grasslands are famous for!
For the pronghorn: simply print, colour, and cut out this pronghorn picture from Super Coloring. (Or, you can try colouring it online before you print.) Then, glue it to the GRASSY area of your poster.
For the bison: Grab your brown paper and coloured pencils. Watch the video below for directions to make a bison! When you are finished, you can cut out your bison and glue her to the GRASSY area of your poster with the pronghorn!
Step 5: Next, you will learn about two important PREDATORS in the grasslands ecosystem. Watch the videos below to find out more about Coyotes and Golden Eagles!
The coyote belongs in the GRASSY area of your grassland poster.
To make the coyote: Print, colour/paint, and cut out this coyote. Glue it on to your poster. Is your coyote trying to sneak up on your pronghorn or bison?
To make the eagle: Trace your hands on a piece of brown paper and cut them out. Those are your wings! Then, do the same with one of your feet. This will be the body and head! Glue the pieces together and draw on any details you like. Like this. Add the eagle to the SKY section of your poster. What might your eagle be hunting for?
Step 6: An important part of grasslands are the small animals that live on the ground and provide food for larger predators. Because there are few trees in grasslands, sometimes these creatures make their homes UNDERGROUND! Watch the video above to learn about Prairie Dogs, mammals who live in underground burrows!
for your prairie dog: Check out this guide to help you draw your own prairie dogs. Draw it on your white paper, colour it, then cut it out. Don’t forget to make a BURROW in the UNDERGROUND section of your poster. Glue your prairie dog inside the burrow!
WOW! You did it! Remember to take a photo of your poster for your portfolio!
Books About the Grasslands
Click on a book to buy it from Amazon. Or, you can ask for them at your local library.