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Lesson Overview

What makes a cranberry bog an ecosystem?

Lesson Plan:








This lesson is a guided comparison between a cranberry bog and a local site. It extends students’ understanding of the cranberry bog, and prompts them to appreciate it as an example of an ecosystem. It also provides an opportunity to extend your existing curriculum’s lessons about organisms, habitats, and/or ecosystems.

Whether students live in cranberry growing regions or nowhere near bogs, they may be able to make better sense of the bog study by comparing it to a familiar part of their environment. Therefore, just as “Welcome to the Bog” asked students to make careful observations of a bog ecosystem, this lesson invites students to look thoughtfully at their own surroundings in order to compare and contrast the cranberry bog with their local ecosystem.

In “Welcome to the Bog,” the computer screen provided a frame around images of the bog, providing a focal point for student attention. Similarly, in this lesson, students view their real environment through cardboard frames—thereby zooming in one particular “image,” a focal point within the larger site. They then use many of the same questions from “Welcome to the Bog” to understand their own ecosystem before completing a Venn diagram about both sites.

Students also record their own free-form notes in a paper journal.