Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/Middle School/Benchmark 4
Benchmark Question: How do communities of living things
change over time?
Focus Question: What evidence of succession can you
observe in your community?
Using videos, pictures,
field trips, or other suitable resources, students will view examples of
forests or grasslands showing the stages of succession:
- Areas that have been burned
- Areas burned ten or more
- Areas not burned in
Pairs of students will
identify examples of plant communities in different stages of succession.
Students should look for the following stages of succession:
- Grasses and non-woody
- Grasses, woody, and
- Grasses and shrubs, with
young tree saplings (stem less than 1/2")
- Ground vegetation and young
trees (stem 1/2" - 2")
- Mature trees (stem 2")
can still be under canopy
Next, each pair of students
will draw a flowchart showing the stages of succession that were observed.
(Extension: Students can
explore other examples of succession:
- Pond succession
- Plowed field left
- Barren rock in a lava flow
- Natural disasters such as
the Mt. St. Helen’s eruption and controlled burn mishaps in
Yellowstone National Park)