Lesson Overview

Study the characteristics of rangelands by interpreting the clues found in nature.


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Lesson 4

Reading the Range

Did you know that it is possible to “read the landscape”? Reading the landscape is a little different from reading a book though. Instead of reading words, you will be reading clues and making inferences by trying to decide what the clues can tell us about the land. These types of clues can be found wherever there is nature! Biologists, range managers, and other scientists read the landscape to determine the health of the land.

What leaves clues? Animals leave many signs when they live in an area. Climate influences the living and non-living parts of the land, and leaves many clues. You will be able to find some clues by looking closely at types of plants, the soil, animal signs such as tracks and scat, weather, erosion, weathering, damage to plants, or other signs.

STEP 1
Listen to the story “Can You Read the Range”. Record any clues you hear and what you think may have caused these clues on your worksheet.


STEP 2
Search for your own clue(s) in nature. Work with a partner or small group at your school, or individually from any location outdoors.


Step 3
Write a question about your clue(s) on a paper tag, similar to the way Nora did in the story.


Step 4
Search for evidence that will help you figure out the answer to your question. If you can’t answer your question right away, decide what you can do to help you figure it out.


Step 5
Guide your class to your tag and share your findings. Record their clues and discoveries on your worksheet.

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