For May 1, 2007: In LIVE! On the Prairie, the Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota provides a virtual experience in exploring the prairie. The parts include LIVE! from the Prairie, Build-A-Prairie, Field Guide to the Prairie, Curriculum Goodies, Experience the Prairie, and Researching the Prairie. They also provide materials on teaching ecosystems that match the National Education Standards.
Restore shortgrass and tallgrass prairies by clicking on "Build-A-Prairie." Select the plants and animals that will live in your prairie by consulting the Field Guide to the Prairie. If you select a harmful plant or animal, you will be provided with a reason why and are allowed to make a correction. Watch your garden grow from page to page. At the end of your prairie-building process, there is information about maintaining the garden using prescribed burns.
LIVE! On the Prairie Curriculum Goodies include information about the history of the Dakota Indians and bison. English words are translated into the Dakota Indian name with a pronunciation guide. Click on the Indian name and hear the audio pronunciation in the Dakota language. Other features include a list of Web sites with information about prairies categorized by state and by country and a list of reserves in the U.S. with their phone numbers. Since the prairie is one of North America's great ecosystems and a vital habitat for many plants and animals, this site offers a great resource in understanding and restoring prairies.
Fly over to CyberBee http://www.cyberbee.com for more great Web sites, lessons, and activities to use with students.