What is the best place for dandelions to grow? In this activity, we're going to find out! A habitat is a place where an animal or plant lives. Some habitats are better suited than others for a particular organism. The habitat includes physical factors such as the soil and lighting, as well as other living things in the area.
In this plant habitats activity, children play the role of an ecologist and take surveys of different areas to discover the best habitat for dandelions. They will set out quadrats, or a sample area in which to measure the abundance of a species, just as ecologists do, so that they can take a population count of the dandelions!
What You Do:
- Make a Dandelion Data Sheet, with columns for the number of dandelions and overall health.
- Choose four or five different areas in which to conduct a survey of the number of dandelions. Make sure the areas chosen are different. Examples might be a sunny place, a shady place, an area with sandy soil, an area with clay soil, a well-drained area or a waterlogged area.
- After finding your area, mark out a 50 cm x 50 cm area. Put the pegs at each corner and then run a string around the pegs to make the border of your quadrat.
- Now, fill in the data in your Dandelion Data Sheet.
- When you are finished with one quadrat, go on to the next one.
- When you have collected all of your data, take a look at what you've found. Which quadrat had the most dandelions? The least? What elements contributed to the differences between quadrats? What habitat is best suited for dandelions?
To clearly see which habitat is best suited for dandelions, show your data on a bar chart with the number of dandelions on the y-axis and a bar for each area along the x-axis.
Lauri Kubuitsile is a former science teacher turned fulltime writer living in Botswana. She taught preschool through high school both in Botswana and in America over the course of 12 years.