Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Conservation Critters Anonymous, Etc.

Wilma Horton
Miami-Dade County Schools


Students access one of the designated Everglades National Park Websites to understand the intricacies of conservation and relationship balance of flora to fauna.


The student uses graphic organizers and note-making to clarify meaning and to illustrate organizational pattern of texts.


-Examples of organizational charts drawn on board.
-Computer lab with access to the Internet
-Paper and pencil for students
-Optional crayons and drawing paper for drawing
-Tape recorder
-Learning log (folder or composition notebook reserved for daily paragraph(s) the last ten minutes)


1. Tape the two animal sounds from Websites (teacher's personal selection).
2. Make sure each computer is Internet ready.
3. Determine computer usage rules and discuss with students.
4. Conduct two guided mini-discussion sessions.
5. Arrange guest speakers or field trips if desired.
6. Reinforce predetermined behavioral conduct rules.


1. Prior to class, record on cassette tape recorder the mating call of the alligator and great egret and play the tape for the students as they enter class (recorded from site and looped).

2. Demonstrate graphic organizers (such as the Venn diagram and concept map) on board and tell students that they will be creating their own graphic organizers in today's lesson.

3. Lead mini-discussion about conservation definition and examples. Key question to be answered by students after research--Why is the Everglades important to South Florida and the world ecosystem?

4. Pair students at computers, and they read in whispering voices to each other (using jump in reading strategy) information on designated Websites. List on board behaviors the expected while at computer in cooperative learning environment. Each teacher must draft their own.
Examples might be--take turns reading, visit only web sites listed, assist partner in completing graphic organizers, use indoor whispering voice when reading or discussing relevant information, all in class communication must be centered around the Everglades and its conservation. Gently remind those off task once, then give them predetermined time off computers if student does not adhere to previously discussed expected behaviors.

5. Circulate among students to ensure that they are filling out their graphic organizers and on task. Smile often.

6. Give students new partners to discuss and compare graphic organizer data. Instruct each to add or delete information as needed with new partner.

7. Optional. Repeat previous step once more (for ESOL or ESE students).

8. Lead mini-discussion about habitat definition and examples.

9. Encourage students to select a favorite animal and plant and draw it, using true to life colors.

10. Encourage students to write about the new things that they learned about conservation in their learning logs.


The graphic organizers will formatively assess students, noting facts about conservation in the Everglades. The student is successful when two or more interesting previously unknown facts are noted on the graphic organizers.
The learning log will formatively assess students on identifying three or more ways to conserve the Everglades (the focus question of the lesson.)
Satisfactory cooperative learning evaluation will be determined by teacher through on-task behaviors and positive student interactions predetermined in class mini discussion prior to onset of cooperative learning experience. Computer usage rules/behaviors are printed and posted on classroom wall and reviewed.


Field trip suggested for those classes in the nearby vacinity. Virtual field trip is suggested for those classes unable to travel (site provided in this plan). If available, guest speakers or videos may be included.

Web Links

Port Everglades Environment (Info about manatee)
Respect for Nature

Photo Survey of Everglades
Everglades Photo Tour

Photo Survey of Everglades
The Everglades Village

Why restore an endangered wetland ecosystem? Word search game and current info on price tag of undoing what was done five decades ago.

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