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Teaching Guide
Educator Notes
Growing Prairie
Indentifying Species
Follow Your Nose

*TEACHER NOTE: You can substitute disposable cups or other containers for the flowerpots. Initial set-up should require about 20-30 minutes. You'll need to allow about three weeks to grow the grass seeds.


  1. How did the environment of the three flowerpots differ? (Each pot was exposed to a different amount of light)
  2. Which of the three pots had the best growth? (the pot that received the most sunlight - grazed scenario)
  3. From your observations, how might ground cover affect the successful growth of seedlings? (Although answers may vary, students should uncover a connection between the amount of light and the success/health of the seedlings. The more light, the more lush the plant growth.)
  4. How can this activity be applied to bison grazing? (The mostly filled-in grid represented plant growth that had not be cut back by bison and fire. This thick growth lowered the light levels for the seedlings and produce a less lush growth. In contrast, the unmarked grid represented the cover that had been cut back by the bison. This sparse canopy allowed the most light to reach the plants. Plants bathed in sunshine were the most lush.


 Biology/Life Science:
 Biodiversity, Life Cycles, Ecosystems, Energy

 Science As Inquiry-Content Standard A
 Students should develop abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry,
 Students should develop an understanding about scientific inquiry
 Life Science -Content Standard C
 Students should develop an understanding of structure and function in living systems
 Students should develop an understanding of regulation and behavior

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