From a Great Plains perspective, students will read background information about the physical characteristics of cranes, where they live, raise their families, and spend their lives. We'll look at pre-selected websites which will help us answer these questions. Then we'll summarize the content of each SIG and share our information with others in our team. Finally, we'll work as a team to complete a product which will show our teacher and decision-makers what we've learned from our research. If the reading level is too difficult, please ask your teacher for assistance.
Sites which everyone will read are
Links to cranes and facts (Nebraska Game and Parks Commission)
Sandhill Cranes (NGPC)
Intro to the Platte River Atlas (Allan Jenkins, Ph.D. Department of Economics, UNK)
This exercise helps familiarize you with the internet, search engines, and topic summary. After reading these sites, be prepared to share what you've learned with the class. Find out exactly what your teacher expects of you in this Lesson.
Your teacher has found some appropriate sites on the internet for this assignment. You and your classmates will be divided into seven research teams, based on Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and their Roles in this Cranes Lesson.
You and your teammates will be assigned one of the following Groups to research on this topic. Visit each of the URLs (Universal Resource Locator - web address) in your assigned Group and take notes on the main ideas from each place you visit on the web.
Rio Grande Nature Center
Sandhills Cranes' Staging Area
Spring Migration of Birds in Nebraska
Group 1 (Scientists : biologists, geologists, geographers - those who study cranes and their environment)
Group 2 (Hunters, Fishermen, farmers and ranchers - those who spend times out of doors and influence cranes' habitat)
Professional hunters / fishers
Radar Productions "We know waterfowl !"
From Greater Canada Geese to Sandhill Cranes
Group 3 Environmentalists - (those who want to protect the cranes and their habitat)
Wings over the Platte
Rio Grande Nature Center
Birding and Sandhill Cranes
THE NATURE CONSERVANCY Ecological information concerning the Platte and other wetlands
Group 4 State, local and federal agencies - those who make decisions about cranes and their habitat)
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Great Plains Region
Nebraska Natural Resource Districts
county or municipal planning board
Group 5 (Businesspeople - those who want to make money from tourism and trade)
River City Nature Chasers Wood River NE Crane tours/canoe tours
Follow The Sandhill Cranes
Group 6 (Citizens : students, retired people - who want to learn more about cranes)
Sandhill Cranes lessons created by Overton Public Schools
Crane Viewing Protocol If you are lucky enough to visit the cranes...
Land Trust Alliance The national leader of the private land conservation movement
Group 7 Miscellaneous
Overland-Trails list Historians who study emmigrant trails and crane stories
The importance of rainwater for cranes Nebraskaland magazine, March 1996.
While reading the content at these web sites, take appropriate notes on paper and in computer text files. Perhaps some of your team will research the sites while others might type the notes and prepare them for the next step. Be sure to check with your instructor for details. The study of cranes can be a daunting task, which is why you and your team have been asked to reseach only one SIG. The larger task of understanding this important topic has been chunked into smaller, manageable sizes.
At this point, the issue which you and your team must address is
What does your SIG contribute to our understanding of cranes, their habitat and their future?
Print only the graphics (illustrations, maps and charts) which best describe the main idea. You are reminded of the Copyright Issues we've discussed. If you use information (facts, quotations and graphics) created by others, you must cite (give the author's name, the document's title, organization's name, URL, and date) in your final product. Again, you must obtain written permission to publish someone else's work. Your instructor can assist you in drafting a letter requesting permission.
Each member of your team must now contribute what you have learned while visiting the SIG you were assigned. Share your knowledge with your teammates. Often the topic is so complex, you'll need to examine the details in order to reach an agreement in your team. To show your teacher what you've learned, you and your team must create a product (such as HyperStudio Stack, a tri-fold brochure, a poster, a game, a play, or an online document) to demonstrate what you and your teammates have learned from this activity. You must obtain permission from your teacher before you actually begin work on your product. At the end of this activity, you and your team will share what you've learned with the class.
Go back to the Big Question and look for examples in which the websites (URLs) you visited actually address the Big Question. What are the main ideas? Are these ideas examples of fact or opinion? How do you know? After your idea for a product has been approved by your teacher, go ahead and work on it. Refer to notes on paper and on floppy disk. Try to make certain you have all of the important facts. When your product has been completed, your teacher will approve your final step.
From the websites you've visited and the Real World Feedback lists shown below, select three individuals who are willing to receive your final product and to evaluate it for you. Confirm your potential list of recipients with your teacher before you contact these individuals. Work on this will all the members of your team. Your product will be sent by email or postal service to three people for their comments. You must contact three people and ask that they respond by email or in writing as soon as possible. Your teacher can help you create a letter of request to send them.