Hagerman Diorama
computer exercisesuggested grade levels: 7-8

view Idaho achievement standards for this lesson

Scientists tell us that 3.5 million years ago the Hagerman area climate was much wetter. With a wide range of vegetation, it probably provided a large amount and variety of plant species to support many animals as well as the predators that fed upon them. This activity will allow students to explore the kinds of wildlife that was common in the area during this time period.

1. Students will use the Digital Atlas of Idaho.
2. Students will learn about the natural history of the Hagerman area.

Encourage your students to use the Hagerman Fossil Beds section of the Digital Atlas of Idaho. To get there: Click on Atlas Home, Geology, Parks and Monuments, Hagerman Fossil Beds, Start Monument Module, then on Hagerman Paleoecosystem. Have your students read through the material and encourage them to click on the animals on the main picture so they can read about each individual animal that occupied the area during that time period.

Make a shoe box diorama depicting the paleoecology of the Hagerman Valley as follows:
    1. Take an empty shoe box and cut away one of the long sides.
    2. Paint the outside of the box, or cover it with wrapping paper or construction paper.
    3. On the inside, paint or color a sky, background and foreground with lush vegetation typical of that time.
    4. Then, using twigs, pebbles, dried grasses, clay, yarn, cloth and any other materials that you wish, create a scene depicting the life of the Hagerman paleofauna. Be creative in making your plants and animals with clay or other materials. Try to include as many early animals and plants as you can.

Handouts/Activity links:
These are links to access the handouts and printable materials.
Hagerman Paleoecosystem

Related Lesson Topics:
Geology: Geology Topics

Lesson plan by Vita Taube, 2000
Idaho Achievement Standards (as of 7/2001) met by completing this activity: