Sustainability Resources for Teachers | BIODIVERSITY

For more information on the topic of biodiversity, check out the University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Systems' Biodiversity Factsheet.

 

 

 

 

 

The curated collection below contains 8 videos, 2 podcasts, and 3 games/activities. To access the resource, click on the image below the resource title.

Videos:

Resources: Welcome to the Neighborhood - Crash Course Kids #2.1


Grade Level: K-5
Duration: 3 minutes 15 seconds
Description: This video introduces students to the concept of resources. Students will learn that all the resources humans need to survive come from the surrounding environment. Additionally, they will better understand the goods and services that ecosystems provide.

 

Biodiversity and ecosystems


Grade Level: 6-12
Duration: 3 minutes 26 seconds
Description: This short video introduces biodiversity using simple examples and analogies. Students will learn what biodiversity is and why it is important. Additionally, this video explains the three levels of biodiversity: genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecosystem diversity.

 

Why is biodiversity so important? - Kim Preshoff

Grade Level: 3-8
Duration: 4 minutes 18 seconds
Description: This short video from TED-Ed illustrates the importance of biodiversity. It defines biodiversity as being composed of ecosystem diversity, species diversity, and genetic diversity. Students will learn that ecosystems rich in biodiversity are more resilient but if certain keystone species are eliminated, the consequences can be dire.


 

What is biodiversity? | Natural History Museum

 Grade Level: 3-8
Duration: 3 minutes
Description: This short video from the Natural History Museum defines the terms biodiversity and ecosystem. Using the example of a kelp forest, the video explains the importance of preserving biodiversity. Students will learn what they can do to help protect the essential biodiversity of the planet.


 

Urban Habitat: Biodiversity in Our Cities: Video | Nature Works Everywhere


Grade Level: 6-12
Duration: 4 minutes 27 seconds
Description: This video from The Nature Conservancy, provided by PBS LearningMedia, discusses biodiversity in cities and what kinds of ecosystems exist in urban areas. Students will learn how city gardens can be mini-ecosystems nourishing city residents and fostering biodiversity.


 

Are We Living In the Sixth Extinction?

Grade Level: 6-12
Duration: 9 minutes 11 seconds
Description: This video from PBS Digital Studios' It’s Okay To Be Smart discusses previous mass extinctions and the mass extinction of today. Students will learn what human activities are at the root of the sixth mass extinction and how severe the problem of biodiversity loss is for our planet.


 

5 Human Impacts on the Environment: Crash Course Ecology #10


Grade Level: 9-12 (may be suitable for younger audiences with a long attention span)
Duration: 10 minutes 37 seconds
Description: This video from Crash Course offers a more in-depth look at biodiversity. Students will learn about ecosystem services, the importance of biodiversity, deforestation, desertification, global warming, invasive species, and overharvesting.

 

Ecosystem services and Biodiversity - Science for Environment Policy


Grade Level: 9-12
Duration: 5 minutes 36 seconds
Description: This video was created by EU Environment. Students will learn to identifies different types of ecosystem services, stresses their importance, and outlines the economics that play into biodiversity loss. It discusses how humans place value on the earth's natural resources and how we can account for the often-overlooked benefits of these resources.

 

Podcasts:

1 Million Animal And Plant Species Are At Risk Of Extinction, U.N. Report Says

Grade Level: 9-12
Duration: 3 minutes and 41 seconds
Description: This short NPR segment details the findings of a 2019 U.N. report. Students will learn about he U.N. report revealed that close to 1 million species of plants and animals are at risk of extinction and outlined what human activities threaten the world's remaining biodiversity. This NPR story provides students with context for why conserving biodiversity is urgent.

 

What Does A Healthy Rainforest Sound Like?


Grade Level: 9-12 (may be suitable for younger audiences with a long attention span)
Time: 12 minutes and 47 seconds
Description: This episode of Short Wave from NPR discusses a new method of measuring biodiversity. Students will learn how scientists are accounting for biodiversity in rainforests using audio.


 

Games/Activities:

Biodiversity Bingo

Grade Level: K-3
Duration: 60 Minutes
Description: Biodiversity bingo invites students to go outdoors to search for different living things on a bingo card. When they find one of the items on their bingo card, students will cross it off with the goal of crossing out five in a row. BINGO! Through this fun activity, students will learn to recognize and appreciate the biodiversity in their environment.
A video of students completing this activity can be found here
 

Bird Academy Play Lab

 
Grade Level: 1-12
Duration: Varies
Description: This website from Cornell University offers various games that students can use to explore the biodiversity of birds. playing games and completing virtual activities, students will learn about topics including the evolution of birds, the anatomy of birds, the variety of bird songs, and the unique feathers of different bird species. 

 

 

Three Levels of Biodiversity


Grade Level: 6-12
Duration: Varies
Description: This is an interactive guide to biodiversity. Students will learn what is meant by the terms genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecosystem diversity.