Students study patterns in the landscape and create maps of vegetation patterns, wildlife evidence, landscape features, and other characteristics. Plants, geological features, and animal evidence are not randomly distributed. They occur in patterns on landscapes in response to environmental conditions and such factors as light exposure, soil type, geological forces, or disturbances. Because the focus of the map is showing distribution and not drawing exact representations of a part of nature, creating maps helps students quickly identify patterns in distribution and sets students up to think about possible causes for the distribution. It also offers a skill and frame to include in future journaling experiences; students can record a small map for context in journal entries focused on other subjects.
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