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        3-5, 13+

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        Oregon | Activity 2.5: Crayfish in Crater Lake National Park

        Students watch a video about the effect of an out-of-control crayfish population on the ecosystem. Students fill in a cause and effect graphic organizer highlighting the decline of the Mazama newt.

        Lesson Summary

        Students watch a video about the effect of an out-of-control crayfish population on the ecosystem. Students fill in a cause and effect graphic organizer highlighting the decline of the Mazama newt.

        This lesson is part of "Great States: Oregon | Unit 2: Map Skills and Oregon’s Geography". This unit includes both an overview of basic map skills and an exploration of some of Oregon’s unique physical features.

        Time Allotment

        20 minutes

        Learning Objectives

        Standards

        4.12: Explain how people in Oregon have modified their environment and how the environment has influenced people’s lives. 

        Supplies

        Directions

        1. Explain to students that disruptions in natural ecosystems can make big changes. The introduction of crayfish to feed game fish (which were also artificially introduced) is leading to a decline of the Mazama newt in the Crater Lake. Tell students they will be watching a video about this problem.

        1. Distribute the Cause and Effect  graphic organizer to students. Have students take notes on the crayfish and their effect on the Mazama newt as they watch the video.

        1. Play the video, Out of Control Crayfish Threaten Nation’s Deepest Lake | PBS NewsHour. [5:30]

        1. Allow students five minutes to finish filling out the graphic organizer.

        1. As a class, discuss some of the causes and effects of crayfish on the decline of the Mazama newt.

        Answer Key:

         

        Cause

        Effect

        Warmer temperatures

        Growth of crayfish population

        Eruption of Mt. Mazama

        Thriving Mazama newt population

        Early conservationists introduced crayfish as a food source for the lake’s game fish

        Crayfish population got out of control

        Crayfish harass Mazama newt

        Mazama newts flee the area

        Other species also diminish

        Crystal blue color diminishes with fewer small organisms around to eat algae

        Climate change leads to warmer temperatures

        Crayfish can move faster

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