“Farlandia” – A Ficticious Ecosystem

Multi-media Interactive Web Site Lesson Plan for Science
Grade Level: 5th grade coed
Topic: Ecology
Software used: MS Publisher 2000, Web Wizard

T2T CONTRIBUTOR: Submitted by Dr. Pelham Mead ED.D., Past Technology Coordinator and now Adjunct Professor at Pace University, Pleasantville, NY in Web Development and the Internet.

FarlandiaLast year I was a technology coordinator at a K-8 school in Emerson, New Jersey, and this is one of the lesson plans I developed with the 5th grade science teacher. The topic was Ecology and each student was to research an assigned ecological environment. Students were broken up into pairs and began to research the following eco-systems:

*Rain forest ecosystem
*Desert ecosystem
*High country mountain ecosystem
*Grassland plains ecosystem
*Marsh wetlands ecosystem
*Broadleaf forest ecosystem
*Pine Bog ecosystem

I helped several students draw a map of an imaginary country using MS Paintshop. We saved the picture as a .gif image and then put little icons (pictures) of typical plants or animals and include text to describe the eco-systems.
We then added one page for each of the ecosystems and saved the whole file as a Web site. I showed the students how to link the ecosystems labels on the map to each of the corresponding ecosystem information pages. We saved that work and also added sound wav files to each page that seem appropriate to the ecosystem in jungle sounds for the wet forests, frog sounds for the marsh
ecosystems, etc..

The major part of the project was for each of the student groups to research and type up one page in MS Publisher and save it with clip-art included. Each of the pages were copied onto the blank pages already created in the web site and re-saved as a web site when all was done.

We published the 9 page web site to a free ISP (Geocities) and also published it to a file on the school LAN system for an Intranet web site as well as an Internet Web Site. The Unit concluded with a demonstration in class by each of the student teams showing how the map linked to their informational page.

We called the imaginary country “Farlandia.” It was a fun experience for all involved and the parents of these fifth graders were able to view their work on the internet. The whole unit took about six classes spread out over one month.