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John Muir: biodiversity

Subject area: Sciences, social studies

Experiences and outcomes: SCN 3-01a, SCN 4-01a, SOC 3-08a

The aim of this lesson is for your pupils to find out about biodiversity and food chains by playing a board game created by The Woodland Trust as part of their Nature Detectives programme of activities. The game teaches you how to complete the food chains in the correct order.

Before you begin, ask your class to look through the John Muir graphic novel and read the section The Mountains Are Calling Me, up to page 81.

Print the Ancient Tree Game board, counters and instructions.

Pupils should note down everything they find out about biodiversity and food chains on the Biodiversity worksheet.

The Biodiversity worksheet includes information about the Eco Schools Green Flag Award. Ask your pupils to read about and discuss this award and then present their findings about biodiversity to your school’s Eco-Schools committee representative.

Reflecting on learning

Had learners considered how:

Learners can:

Useful resources

The Open University’s OPAL Biodiversity Survey (this will open in a new window)

To explore biodiversity with your class further take part in The Open University’s OPAL Biodiversity Survey.

The survey explains that biodiversity is the variety of life and hedgerows can be important havens for this, both in the countryside and in our cities.

By taking part in the OPAL Biodiversity Survey and contributing their results, they can help the Open University find out more about the hedges in their local area as well as enabling them to learn more about this habitat and its importance to wildlife.

Eco-Schools (this will open in a new window)

If your school does not have an Eco-Schools committee already, it's easy to set one up! One of the requirements to become an eco-school is to explore biodiversity in your locality, so the work carried out by your pupils as an activity linked to the John Muir graphic novel can also contribute to this award. Discuss this idea with your class and apply on their behalf if you have a group who agree that they would like to take things forward.

Ultimately by taking part in Eco-Schools your school could be awarded a Green Flag.