A short game, to help understand different conditions occurring in habitats found on and around offshore wind turbines and how animals and plants specially adapted to these conditions are distributed accordingly. This activity is part of the habitats and adaptations lesson plan resource.
Area for background (by projection or large drawing), Life Around the Turbines Power Point presentation, a set of species cards, bluetack or drawing pins. A background and set of species cards are available for download below.
Relevance and Aims:
Running the Activity:
Introduce the concept of habitats. What is a habitat? Explain that a habitat is the place where an organism lives and that provides everything needed for survival. What requirements are there for survival? Discuss the children’s thoughts and understanding of habitats, and write key vocabulary on the board. What habitats can you think of?
Explore the different habitats found in an offshore windfarm and explain about the adaptations needed to survive in each ‘zone’. How are different animals suited to their habitat? Find out more about the different habitats and species which may be found there.
Project on the classroom wall the ‘backdrop’ provided representing a virtual monopile and surroundings. Alternatively, draw a large picture that includes a monopile and the different habitats found around it. Begin by discussing with the class what the different environmental conditions may be in each of the habitats shown and perhaps how plants and animals may need to be adapted to live there.
Share the printed cards among the class and ask them to pin the species on the turbine! The cards each depict a different species, and have clues as to which habitat it lives in. The children take turns to place a species card in the suitable habitat.
There are several different habitats including open water, in the air/on the water, the seabed around the monopile and several habitats on the structure itself. Some species may live in more than one habitat, while others will only occur in a specific place. Discuss why this is, and talk about interdependence. (For example, the common starfish will follow the rising tide to find prey such as mussels, but could also be found feeding at the base of the structure).This leads on to discussion about food chains and food webs and can lead on to other activities on food chains and food webs.
Habitats and Adaptations activity sheets are also available to complete the lesson and for further development.