Creating a Local Fieldguide
activity exercisesuggested grade levels:7- 8
view Idaho achievement standards for this lesson

Students will investigate the different species that occur in their area. They could do this as simply as compiling a checklist of species known to be there. If interest and time allows, students could also cut and paste images, maps, and information on each species into a printable field guide. You may wish to divide students into smaller groups. Each group can be assigned a group of species to compile for the guidebook. For example, Group 1 may cover the butterflies of the area, Group 2 could cover the mammals, Group 3 could cover local birds, etc. The information collected from each group will be combined into a class fieldguide.

There Using the Digital Atlas of Idaho, students will:
1.Complete background research, as needed, to determine the list of local species.
2.Collect required information on each species to include in their fieldguide.
3.Work cooperatively with classmates to complete tasks.
4.Compile a fieldguide (or parts of a fieldguide) about their area in the specified format (booklet, PowerPoint, brochure, etc.). are images here.

Time spent on this project may vary depending on available time and requirements of project.

Exercise Outline:
Students will be required to collect species lists, and compile the desired names, images, maps, or information into the required fieldguide format.

I. Each student group should search through their group of species on the Digital Atlas to determine which species occur in their area. This will require looking at the distribution or range maps for each species.

II.   Once species lists are compiled the groups should decide how much information they wish to include for each species. They may wish to download images and maps by right clicking on them. They may wish to include some or all of the text provided on each species or they may choose to simply print an alphabetical list of the species in their area.

III.  Compiling data into guidebook format:
   a. Format will vary depending on instructor, but may include:
          1. cover page:
                  - pictorial clue to content area
                  - title
                  - authors
          2. title page
          3. table of contents
          4. information pages (with appropriate page numbering):
                  - written descriptions / data
                  - photos/ sketches/ tables
                  - maps
          5. glossary of terms
          6. reference section / acknowledgements
          7. index

Note: While all of the Digital Atlas of Idaho materials are available for educational purposes these materials are copyrighted and should not be used for duplication, non-educational, or profit use.

Enrichment Ideas:

Related Lesson Topics:
Biology: Biology Topics

Lesson plan by Shannon Laughlin, DiDi Orr, and Gina Lockwood, 2001
Idaho Achievement Standards (as of 7/2001) met by completing this activity: