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Extinction! Biodiversity Lab

11-13 yrs old

14-18 yrs old

Animals

Climate & Environment

Science

Explore the lab to learn core concepts of biodiversity then apply your knowledge to reveal the processes behind the five threatened species biomes.

avatar Submitted By: Minecraft Education

August 9, 2019

Skills

  • Citizenship
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking

External References

Minecraft World File

Download the world and open with Minecraft: Education Edition. You'll find this resource in your Templates, under Create New.

Wild Classroom - Biodiversity Toolkit

The activities in the biodiversity toolkit provide students with an understanding of the importance of nature and how all living things are connected.

What is biodiversity?

Why it's under threat and why it matters.

Living Planet Report 2018

Published by WWF every two years, the report brings together a variety of research to provide a comprehensive view of the health of the Earth.

Wild Classroom - Biodiversity Toolkit

The activities in the biodiversity toolkit provide students with an understanding of the importance of nature and how all living things are connected.

Supporting Files

Student Worksheet


Designed to help study their chosen biome. At the end of the lesson, class can present or discuss their case study as individuals or in a group.

Teacher Worksheet


This worksheet will assist you with example answers and the in-game location of relevant information.

Learning Objectives

  • NGSS: MS-LS2-4 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics: Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations
  • Students learn about the concept of biodiversity
  • Students understand genes, species and ecosystem as components of biodiversity
  • Students understand the relationships and interactions of biodiversity in an ecosystem (food webs and trophic pyramids)
  • Understand what an ecosystem and a biome are and how they function
  • Understand ecological niche - the role of a species and how it is adapted

Guiding Ideas

This project was developed in partnership with World Wildlife Fund. Explore an exciting new Minecraft world created by Naturebytes as well as three new lessons designed to help you teach about biodiversity and its importance to our planet's past and future.

Introductory questions:

  • What is biodiversity?  Explore online.
  • What is the biodiversity crisis?
  • Can you describe the different types or components of biodiversity - genes, species, ecosystems, biomes and what do they do?
  • How does biodiversity function? What is the relationship between species, across ecosystems and how does energy flow between them.
  • All of life is connected through biodiversity and its relationships - what impact do you have on biodiversity?

Student Activities

Introduction (in-class) (2 mins)

Introduce the students to the lesson with the following:

  • ‘You’re going to explore the Extinction! Biodiversity Lab to discover what biodiversity is and why it is so important to the balance of life on Earth.’
  • ‘We share our planet with millions of other living organisms. Biodiversity includes the variety of all forms of life; from genes at the microscopic level, to different species and ecosystems. We are part of biodiversity and we exist because of it. The relationships between species, and the relationships among species and their environment are crucial to maintaining balance in the environment.’
  • ‘Explore the lab and biomes fully - speak with the in-game scientists and hear from real-life biodiversity champions before choosing one of the featured biomes to research and reveal the secrets behind it’s biodiversity and the balance of life’.

Provide the students with the ‘Biodiversity Lab: Student Worksheet’ (see Supporting Files). Ask them to complete it for ONE of the chosen biomes as they explore the Biodiversity Lab. At the end of the lesson students can present or discuss their case study as individuals or in groups.

The ‘Biodiversity Lab: Teacher Worksheet’ (see see Supporting Files) will assist you with example answers and the in-game location of relevant information.

Minecraft Biodiversity Lab (small groups or individuals) (30 mins)

Ask students to explore the biodiversity lab. Their exploration should involve speaking with scientists and interacting with the boards and video links to complete the worksheet. Exploration can be student led but to find the necessary information to complete the worksheet, student exploration should:

  • Speak to the NPC info desk - learn about variety of life and extinction threat
  • Explore the genes info - to learn about genetic diversity
  • Explore the Arctic info - to learn about food-chain, food-web and trophic diagram
  • Explore the Grassland Biome info - learn about ecosystems and biomes
  • Explore the Forest Biome info - learn about species adaptations
  • Explore the Ocean Biome info - learn about relationships between species
  • Explore the Mountain Biome info - learn about ecological niche
  • Explore the Biome Map info - learn about biodiversity connectivity on a global scale

In class discussion and presentation (individual or groups) (15 mins)

As a class use the biome world map to locate the points or regions where you think all five of the featured biomes are located. Ask each group to present their case study using their worksheets.

Ask students to compare your local environment, locate it on the biome map and pick a keystone species to discuss it’s biodiversity.

Ask students to discuss where they as individuals fit into their local ecosystem and on a global scale. What impact do they have on the current biodiversity crisis and what impact would they like to have on biodiversity.

Performance Expectations

This lesson will enable students to:

  • Demonstrate an appetite for understanding biodiversity and endangered species
  • Pay attention to detail when exploring a blend of information sources: text, video, NPCs, in-game species, biomes and displays
  • Appreciate the balance of biodiversity and the role that humans and they as individuals play
  • Use critical thinking to explore different themes across the labs and biomes and apply to their chosen biome, to complete the provided worksheet (see external resources) including:
    • Name of the keystone species
    • Habitat description
    • Food chain/web and labelled trophic diagram
    • Ecological niche
    • Species adaptations
    • Benefits of the species and the biome
    • World biome map with each lab biome and your local biome located
    • Create a description of how your local ecosystem works
  • Understand how biodiversity processes and relationship work on a global scale and an ability to apply these concepts to themselves and their local environment.

® ‘WWF’ and ‘World Wildlife Fund’ are WWF Registered Trademarks. © 1986 Panda Symbol WWF.

Skills

  • Citizenship
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking

External References

Minecraft World File

Download the world and open with Minecraft: Education Edition. You'll find this resource in your Templates, under Create New.

Wild Classroom - Biodiversity Toolkit

The activities in the biodiversity toolkit provide students with an understanding of the importance of nature and how all living things are connected.

What is biodiversity?

Why it's under threat and why it matters.

Living Planet Report 2018

Published by WWF every two years, the report brings together a variety of research to provide a comprehensive view of the health of the Earth.

Wild Classroom - Biodiversity Toolkit

The activities in the biodiversity toolkit provide students with an understanding of the importance of nature and how all living things are connected.

Supporting Files

Student Worksheet


Designed to help study their chosen biome. At the end of the lesson, class can present or discuss their case study as individuals or in a group.

Teacher Worksheet


This worksheet will assist you with example answers and the in-game location of relevant information.

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