Activity 3: Rain Forest on a Budget
Materials & Setup
In Advance Student Assignment
- Assign the Student Page “Water in the Rain Forest—What Goes In and What Comes Out” (pp. 45-53) as homework.
Class Period One
- “Water Budget for Windward Haleakalā” acetate (master, p. 44)
- Overhead projector and screen
For each student
- Student Page “Water in the Rain Forest—What Goes In and What Comes Out” (pp. 45-53)
Four sets of the following materials for the demonstration
- Cardboard box, 17 inches long x 12.5 inches wide x 12.5 inches high (or similar)
- 33-gallon garbage bag
- Household sponges—enough to cover the bottom of the box
- Board or dish drainer to put under box
- Leafy branches (leaves one to two inches long)
- Plastic 1/2-gallon jug with small holes drilled into the side (not the bottom, because you have to put water in it without letting it run out) or a garden watering can
- Catchment container at open end of box
- Four measuring beakers of the same size\
Class Period Two
For each student
- Student Page “The Waters of Kāne” (pp. 54-55)
For the demonstration
- Same four sets of materials from Class Period One
Class Period One:
1) Discuss student responses to the Student Page “Water in the Rain Forest—What Goes In and What Comes Out.” Use the “Water Budget for Windward Haleakalā” acetate as you are discussing question #3.
2) After the discussion, show the water budget acetate again, and ask students what they think would happen to each of the water budget elements if the understory and forest floor vegetation and/or canopy layers were disturbed or removed from the rain forest.
3) Do the “Rain Forest in a Box” demonstration following instructions in the teacher background (pp. 40-42). This demonstration helps students visualize what happens to the forest soil layer as rain falls in an intact rain forest, as well as one in which the understory and forest floor vegetation and/or the canopy layers have been removed.
4) After the demonstration, divide the class into four groups. Each group should select one water budget element and design an experiment to test their hypothesis about the effects of clearing the rain forest on that element. They will be conducting these experiments during the next class period. Encourage students to use the same materials as you used for the demonstration. If a group needs additional materials, students should bring them to the next class.
Class Period Two:
1) Provide each group with one set of “Rain Forest in a Box” materials. Have them conduct their experiments by:
- Writing the question they are trying to answer, as well as their hypothesis;
- Writing a description of the methods they will use to test their hypothesis;
- Setting up and conducting the experiment;
- Recording results; and
- Writing their conclusions.
2) Have groups share their methods and results with the rest of the class.
3) As homework, assign the Student Page “The Waters of Kāne” and/or one or more of the journal writing topics.
- What is the likely effect of rain forest degradation on human water supply from the Haleakalā rain forest?
- What do you think would happen to the rain forest if people started pumping large volumes of ground water from the East Maui Watershed? How could you test this hypothesis?
- What are some ways to reduce the growing demand for water from the Haleakalā rain forest? What can you do personally to contribute?
- Do you think surface water should be diverted from East Maui streams for agricultural and household use in Central, Upcountry, and East Maui? West and South Maui? Why or why not?
- Student Page “Water in the Rain Forest—What Goes In and What Comes Out” (teacher version, pp. 37-39)
- Participation in class discussion and demonstration
- Design, conduct, record-keeping, and reporting of experiment
- Student Page “The Waters of Kāne” (teacher version, p. 43)
- Journal entries