Grade Level: 6-8
Introduction: Plants are an important part of every ecosystem on Earth and must defend themselves against herbivory by consumers within their ecosystem. In order to survive, grow, and replicate, plant species have evolved a tremendous variety of defenses. Through examination of local plants, as well as plants within the tropical montane cloud forest of Monteverde, Costa Rica, students will generate a new understanding of the necessity and usefulness of plant defense mechanisms.
Objectives: Students will be able to 1) explain the defense mechanisms utilized by plants 2) identify defense mechanisms utilized by plants within the cloud forest 3) compare mechanisms to organisms in local ecosystem.
National Science Standards: Structure and function in living systems, Populations and ecosystems, Diversity and adaptations of organisms, Scientific Inquiry
Time: 50-60 minutes (5 min for opening, 25+ minutes for directions and stations, 15 minutes for Defense Box discussions, 5 min for closing)