Welcome to the Everglades Literacy Project Teacher’s Toolkit. Select the grade below and download the curriculum. If you need assistance accessing the Everglades curriculum, please call (786) 249-4430 or e-mail email@example.com.
Theme: The Everglades is a special place that is home to plants and animals.
Lesson 1: What is the Everglades?
Students will be introduced to the Everglades, learning about this special place for plants and animals that is unlike anywhere else on Earth. They will watch a presentation on some of the animals that live in the Everglades and start working on their Everglades Class Book.
Lesson 2: Everglades Animals
Students will revisit the Everglades discussing the similarities and differences between some of the animals that live there. They will also be working on their Everglades Class Book.
Lesson 3: Who Lives in the Everglades?
Students will review some of the animals that live in the Everglades by looking at an interactive presentation. They will also do a sorting activity of animals that live in Florida and that do not live in Florida.
Theme: There are vital relationships between habitats, plants, animals, and water in the Everglades.
Lesson 1: Everglades Animal Exploration
Students will learn that animals communicate through their senses. The students will use their knowledge and imagination to vocally and/or physically imitate wildlife of the Everglades.
Lesson 2: The Everglades – Florida’s Treasure
Students will be introduced to the relationships between the plants and wildlife that live in different habitats of the Everglades. They will sort cards of plants and animals that live in each habitat.
Lesson 3: Water For Us All
Students will look at the different places water comes from and the different ways humans use water. They will label different water bodies and match pictures of human and animal uses of water.
Theme: Alligators and other wildlife play a huge role in the wet and dry seasons of the Everglades ecosystem.
Lesson 1: Don’t Feed the Gators!
Students will read a book on the importance of American alligators and listen to a short play which demonstrates the dangers of feeding wild animals.
Lesson 2: Everglades Seasons
Students will act out an ecodrama occurring in an alligator hole during the dry season. Each student will play a role of an animal that depends on the alligator hole. Students will identify the American alligator as a keystone species that enables other species to survive.
Lesson 3: Wet Season / Dry Deason Fish Relay
Students will run a relay race imitating parent Wood Storks feeding their babies; one team during the wet season, the second team during the dry season.
Theme: Highlights the habitats, flora, and fauna of the Everglades.
Lesson 1: Classifying Everglades Animals and Their Habitats
Students will learn that animals can be classified into six major animal groups and become familiar with representative Everglades animals from all the major groups and with five different habitats of the Everglades where these animals live.
Lesson 2: Everglades Habitats – Plants of the Everglades
Students will learn about and become familiar with the different habitats of the Everglades and the plants that live there.
Lesson 3: Hurry for a Habitat!
Students will use a relay race activity to reinforce knowledge gained in Lesson 1, the different habitats of the Everglades, and the flora and fauna found in each one.
Theme: Highlights the producers, consumers, and food chains in the Everglades ecosystem.
Lesson 1: Food Chain Gang
Students will learn about specific Everglades producers, consumers, and food chains by role-playing.
Lesson 2: Wanted – Alive!
Students will learn about the endangered animal species in the Everglades. Students will also create a poster on an endangered species.
Lesson 3: I’m in Big Trouble!
Students will play a game that demonstrates how animal populations can be negatively impacted by humans.
Theme: The effects of habitat loss and the introduction of exotic and invasive species.
Lesson 1: Incredible Shrinking Habitat
Students will become Florida panthers, white-tailed deer, and motor vehicles in an active, tag-like game to simulate the disappearance of Everglades habitat.
Lesson 2: Invasive Species
Students will examine the effects of exotic and invasive exotic species in an ecosystem through research. Students will be able to explain how an exotic species can harm native species or habitats.
Lesson 3: Fishy Business
Students will examine the effect of exotic species on an ecosystem by role-playing both a healthy food chain and a food chain that has been impacted by Mayan cichlids.
Theme: Exploring the watershed and geology of the Everglades.
Lesson 1: Kissimmee-Lake Okeechobee-Everglades Watershed
Students will be able to find locations and waterways pertinent to the Kissimmee-Lake Okeechobee-Everglades (K-O-E) watershed on a map after watching a video and reading a story.
Lesson 2: A Drop in the Bucket
Students will recognize the concern for water quantity and water flow to the Everglades through a demonstration and activity.
Lesson 3: Florida’s Limestone-Tums for Our Water and Soil
Students will conduct a controlled experiment to determine the effect Florida’s limestone has on the pH levels of Florida’s water and soil. Students will compare limestone’s effect to that of other rocks and minerals found naturally in Florida. At the end of this investigation, students should be able to articulate the effect limestone has on the pH of water in Florida, the importance of this phenomenon, and a basic understanding of the process by which limestone affects pH levels in water.
Theme: Exploring the wetlands, groundwater, and aquifers of the Everglades.
Lesson 1: Discovering What Wetlands Do
Using a model, students will learn how wetlands in the Everglades function and why it is important to protect them. They will then be presented with a selection of objects to investigate as metaphors for the natural functions of wetlands.
Lesson 2: The Everglades and Aquifers
Students will explore what an aquifer is and the important relationship of aquifers to the Everglades and southern Florida. Students will create a model of an aquifer.
Lesson 3: Groundwater Pollution
Students will use the aquifer model from the previous lesson to discuss pollution and the effects that pollution can have on the Everglades.
Theme: Human impacts on the Everglades ecosystem.
Lesson 1: Sponging Off the Everglades
Students will participate in an activity that allows them to represent the water being used by humans in different capacities, from the Everglades/southern Florida. The students will focus on ways to conserve water and discuss why water conservation is important to the Everglades.
Lesson 2: Threats to the Everglades
Students will evaluate different benefits (ecosystem services) that the Everglades provides to humans. They will also look at some of the threats that impact the Everglades which are endangering different plants/animals and ultimately us.
Lesson 3: Everglades Dilemmas
Students will be given different “water dilemmas” regarding the Everglades. They will be tasked with analyzing different scenarios, selecting what action they would take related to these water dilemmas, and justifying their reasoning.
Theme: Environmental Factors of the Everglades
Lesson 1: The Heart of a Watershed
In small groups, students build a model landscape to illustrate the uniqueness of the Kissimmee-Lake Okeechobee-Everglades (K-O-E) watershed and use a model to demonstrate how alterations have affected it.
Lesson 2: Parallels
Students trace the latitude of the Everglades and different locations around the world, comparing the weather, climate, and other environmental factors of the K-O-E watershed with those of other land masses on or near the 28th parallel.
Lesson 3: Survival
Students will learn about Everglades ecosystems as they “travel” through the plant communities of the Everglades watershed.
Theme: Adaptations in Everglades Ecosystems
Lesson 1: Living on the Edge
Students gather information about different species of mangrove and the ways in which they are adapted to live at the edge of the ocean, in a coastal community. Students construct models to demonstrate how mangroves help protect shorelines and contribute to the growth of the peninsula.
Lesson 2: Designing a Perfect Beast
Students become “bioengineers” and use the engineering process to design a “perfect beast” that is adapted to a specific Everglades ecosystem.
Lesson 3: Crossing Lines
Students learn about the concepts of “ecotone” and “edge effect” and create a diagram to represent organisms in two ecosystems and an associated ecotone.
Theme: Water Use and Society
Lesson 1: Tragedy of the Common
This is a simulation that allows students to explore how the common usage of a potentially renewable resource can lead to its exploitation. Students will complete an activity, a data sheet, an analysis of the data, and discuss how the concept of the ‘commons’ relates to southern Florida’s water resources.
Lesson 2: A Question of Quantity
Students will look at a typical water conservation plan and analyze it from the viewpoint of various stakeholders.
Lesson 3: A Question of Quality
Students will learn about water quality management for the Everglades and will analyze sample data from a Stormwater Treatment Area.
Theme: Everglades Restoration
Lesson 1: Everglades Restoration
Students explore the costs and environmental impacts of land development and restoration.
Lesson 2: Our Changing Watershed
Using the Restudy, students will evaluate the conditions of our watershed that prompted the development of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) and evaluate whether they think CERP addresses these issues.
Lesson 3: A Look at CERP
Students will analyze information about various current and ongoing CERP projects and report on the progress that is being made.