Use these lesson plans to help your students understand more about the history,
people, and ecosystems of Madagascar. Each lesson is related to information
contained within this Web site. Watch for regular dispatches from the
expedition that will contain additional related information. Encourage students
to send their questions to expedition members.
About the author
Reen Gibb currently teachers at Brookline High School in
Massachusetts, where she has worked for 20 years. Her teaching experience
includes secondary and middle school biology, secondary school physics, and
college and secondary school chemistry. Ms. Gibb also teaches in the Education
Department at Wellesley College and works as an investigator for a Boston
University Science Foundation grant that focuses on using the computer as a
virtual laboratory in the chemistry classroom.
Madagascar—The Eighth Continent: Students use a world map to locate Madagascar, learn about its features, and compare this
diverse mini-continent to their own state.
The King of Carnivores: Students compare one of Madagascar's few
predators, the fossa, with top predators from other environments to understand
what makes the fossa a successful carnivore. Students also study the mouth
structures of several carnivores to understand their adaptations.
Transect Investigation: Students subdivide an area into transects
and perform a scientific study, determining the N/S and E/W directions in the
transect and recording the transect's biotic and abiotic information. Students
combine their data and as a class make general conclusions and predictions
about the site.
Population Dynamics: Students compare and contrast the population
dynamics of Madagascar to those in the United States, predict some consequences
of the youthful age distribution in Madagascar, calculate percentages of given
population numbers, and represent population age data in pie-chart and
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