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Grades K-3 (Ages 5-9)
Students are introduced to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Through a hands-on simulation, students explore how birds are affected by oil and how wildlife rescuers help oiled birds.
Grades 5-8 (Ages 10-14)
Geography, Social Studies, Science
Students learn about wildlife diversity in the Gulf of Mexico, including different species of birds that live in or migrate through the Gulf of Mexico. Students identify bird species’ feeding behaviors and dietary needs based on physical attributes. They discuss migration, the effects oil may have on migrating birds, and what can be done to help migrating animals when there is an environmental disaster like an oil spill.
Grades 9-12 (Ages 14-18)
Language Arts, Geography, Social Studies, Science
Students read about oil spills and the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. They geo-locate the Deepwater Horizon spill and use a diagram to investigate the diversity of flora and fauna in the Gulf of Mexico. Then students discuss how oil adversely affects wildlife, watch a video and read an article about wildlife relocation, and discuss the ethics and possible environmental repercussions of animal relocation.
Grades 1-3 (Ages 6-9)
Students categorize photos and other representations of organisms as plants, invertebrates, fish, birds, reptiles, mammals, or amphibians. Then they use a diagram of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem to identify species that live in the Gulf of Mexico and categorize them.
Grades 6-8 (Ages 11-14)
Students learn about the basic ecology of mangrove ecosystems. They build a model to understand how a black mangrove breathes in an anoxic environment. Then they simulate an oil spill in their mangrove model to investigate how the black mangrove tree is affected by oil.
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Illustration courtesy National Geographic Magazine
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