- Easier - A prairie is
a region of flat, gently sloping, or hilly land
covered chiefly by tall grasses and not many trees.
Pioneers who first saw the flat prairies of the
American Middle West called them a 'sea of
- Harder - Prairies,
also called grasslands, are one of the main types of
natural vegetation or biomes (Others include forest,
desert shrub, and tundra). Prairies are areas where
either low total annual rainfall (10-20 inches) or
uneven seasonal rainfall favor grasses and herbaceous
plants over the growth of trees. In some locales, soil
conditions or geology also favor grasslands over other
types of vegetation. Therefore, most prairies lie
between desert shrub and forest lands. Prairies are
found on every continent except Antarctica.
- Prairies in North American extend from central
Texas to southern Saskatchewan, including most of
Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, South
Dakota, and North Dakota, and parts of other nearby
states and provinces. Alberta, Saskatchewan, and
Manitoba are the 'Prairie Provinces' of Canada. Today,
most of these prairie grasslands are farms and
ranches. In many locations, overgrazing by livestock
has killed most of the taller grasses.
from the Evergreen Project, Missouri Botanical
- By exploring this virtual biome, you will learn
about the grasslands types and the plants and
animals found there.
- Related Site:
- 2) Grasslands Biome http://mbgnet.mobot.org/pfg/diverse/biomes/grasslnd/index.htm
- Learn about the history of prairies back to
time of creation of the planet.
- Here you find information about the North
American prairie,one of the most endangered
ecosystems on earth.
- Related Websites:
- 2) North American Prairies http://www.runet.edu/~swoodwar/CLASSES/GEOG235/biomes/tempgrass/prairie.html
- 3) Temperate Grasslands
Prairie in Illinois by K.R.
- Site introduces the tallgrass prairie of the
eastern Great Plains of North America. It includes
information on the basics of prairie biology and
formation, the plants and animals, where to find
tallgrass prairie in Illinois, prairie restoration,
- Related Websites:
- 2) Native Kansas Prairie http://history.cc.ukans.edu/heritage/prairie/prairie.html
- 3) Prairies in the Prairie State: Midewin
National Tallgrass Prairie from Openlands
Project and Illinois State Museum
- 4) Tallgrass (Missouri) by J.M. Vance http://www.conservation.state.mo.us/conmag/1996/mar/mr96van.html
- 5) Tallgrass Prairies http://people.uis.edu/braeb1/uisprairieproject/tallgrass_prairies.htm
- 6) Truth About Tallgrass from Tallgrass
- After exploring and learning about
prairies at the websites below, complete
one or more of these projects.
- Pest Or Endangered Species?
Historically, many farmers and ranchers,
and today some suburban dwellers view the
prairie dog as a harmful pest that must be
controlled in order to limit disease and
protect the land. In addition to the
prairie dog sites below, visit:
- 1) Praire Dogs from Cattlemen on
the Hill http://hill.beef.org/policy/prairdogs.htm
- 2) Prairie Dog Debate Is Hardly
Underground by B. Whitaker from Abilene
- 3) Prarie Dogs -- The New Bambi? by J.
- 4) Target Stores Off On Prairie Dogs
by S. Truelsen http://www.fb.org/views/focus/fo99/fo0215.html
- 5) Varmint Hunters Could Save the
Prairie Dog by by E. Quillen
- Then debate the protection of the
prairie dog. Next, switch sides on the
- Create A 'Save The Prairies'
Poster. After exploring several of the
prairies sites including Grasslands,
Wildlife, and Friends
of the Prairie Learning Center, create
a poster that packs a message to its
viewers. Include a slogan and make good
use of color. You may want to include
pictures or drawings of plants and
- Prairie Mural: Prehistory To The
Future. After visiting many of the
websites, making sure to include
The Prairie Pothole Region and
Rediscovering a Fragile Frontier,
choose a location and then plan and create
a mural that begins with a prehistoric
prairie (left side) and extends to the
future. You may want to make a timeline as
part of the planning process.
- Complete A Prairies WebQuest.
Follow or adapt the procedures found at
one of the following webQuest sites:
- 1) Prairies Biome by K. King http://www.cesa10.k12.wi.us/webquest/Eco/prairies.htm
- 2) Prairie Challenge (Grade 4) by V.
- 3) Sarah, Plain and Tall
- 4) Web Quest Prairie Museum (Grade 5)
by D. Mentzel
- Plan A Prairie Restoration
Plot. After visiting Native
Prairie Management Guide, Prairie
Parcel Restoration, and Outline
of a Prairie Restoration make a
complete plan for a prairie restoration
project. Draw a layout and complete a
landscape plan for your project. Develop a
timeline for the project. Calculate the
costs for the first year. Look for
information about seeds, soils, and
planting at Prairie
Seed Mixes, Prairie
Seed Source, and Prairie
Frontier Wildflowers & Prairie
- Life On The Prairie. Select a
plant or animal that lives or lived on the
prairie. Learn all about it, its history,
and the effects of human interaction.
Taking the perspective of your plant or
animal, write a prairie short story about
your life or some major event affecting
- Websites For Kids By Kids
Index (Grade 6)
- This student-produced database includes
animals, plants, book reviews, historical events,
original stories, people, prairie types, and links
- More Prairie Websites
on the National Grasslands in the Northern Great
Plains from the National Wildlife
- The Northern Great Plains National Grasslands
encompass more than 2.4 million acres of land in
North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Nebraska.
These lands, administered by the U.S. Forest
Service, are federal public lands and belong to all
- Related Website:
- 2) Manitoba's Tall-grass Prairie Preserve from
The Green Lane, Environment Canada
of the Prairie Learning
- This center has information on the plants and
animals of the prairie, as well as information on
the restoration and preservation of prairies.
(Prairies and Savannahs)
- This site provides a good overview of
grasslands and lots of links to other related
- This site, provided by a grassroots
organization dedicated to creating awareness of and
preservation of our tallgrass prairie heritage, is
designed to acquaint you with prairies and inform
of their plight as one of North America's most
- This Canadian site provides an overview of the
prairie ecosystem and the human induced stress
factors that are causing or could potentially cause
change (Advanced reading level).
- Once defined by boundless prairie and a myriad
of pothole wetlands, this land knows years of
drought and years of abundant rainfall; searing dry
heat and brutal subzero wind chills; the prairies
can erupt in flame and then next season burst forth
in a profusion of flowers.
Rediscovering a Fragile Frontier by H.
- This aritcle from Zoogoer magazine provides an
overview of the present plight of the prairie and
Can Prairies Be found?
- See a map where prairies could originally be
- Animal & Plant Life of the
- This site from Spring Branch Middle School
describes the ferret and tells of efforts to
reintroduce them in the wild.
- Related Site:
- 2) Saving Species: The Black-Footed Ferret by
K. Hess, Jr. from The Thoreau Institute
Birds in Grassland
- Here you can read the report of a 1966
Department of the Interior Grassland Bird Working
- Discover Nebraska wildlife from the coyote to
the wild turkey to the raccoon.
Animals at EarthWorks
- This links-site connects to several websites
for prairie animals.
Frontier Wildflowers & Prairie Grass
from Prairie Frontier
- This seed company website provides information
about native prairie plants, wildflowers, and
Raptors: A Landowner's Guide
- An online manual on the raptors (hawks, owls)
of Canada's prairies and other grasslands with
information on their conservation.
- Information on restoring animal
of the Prairie Chicken
- Here is a site based on the book 'The American
Prairie Chicken' by Mary Adrian, and retold by a
third grade class in Newton, Illinois.
Prairie Dogs at Home
- (Note: Site is difficult to access, keep
trying - its worth it!) Crawl down the tunnel
and learn about the secret world beneath the plains
where miles of complex underground burrows shelter
prairie dogs from birth to death.
- Other Prairie Dog Sites:
- 2) Conservation of the Prairie Dog
- 3) Save the Prairie Dog? http://www.prairiedogs.org/
- 4) Saving the Black-tailed Prairie Dog and
their Grasslands Habitat from National Wildlife
- Prairie Management and Restoration
of Canadian Prairie Grasslands (A
Landowner's Guide by G.C. Trottier)
- This guide promotes grassland conservation on
private land (High reading level)
Prairie Management Guide by R.
- The guide provides various management
techniques, presents historical factors related to
management, general management guidelines,
discusses grazing, mowing, burning, alien species
management, introduction of native species, and
adjacent land management.
of a Prairie Restoration
- Restoring a prairie is a long term project;
whether it is a backyard or a thousand acres the
time factor is really no different. The process can
be broken into five steps: planning, preparation,
planting, care, and enjoyment.
- This guide is designed for those individuals
interested in restoring an area of land back to
- A Few Teacher Sites
of Prairie Life (Grade 4) by P. Healey, C.
Zinke, R. Dagostino, V. DePriest, & C.
- Here is a multidisciplinary unit plan that
encompasses social studies, language arts, science,
math, music, dance, and visual art.
- This restoration plan is designed for the
colder climate of Minnesota. Grow your own prairie
plot, and explore how these plants use the cold
conditions to thrive.
on the Great Plains (Learning Guide
- In this four-part lesson, students examine the
oncept of geographic region by exploring the
history of the Great Plains.
Activities for Classrooms from Midewin
National Tallgrass Prairie
- Activities were developed by the Chicago
Academy of Science's Education Department with
assistance from Chicago-area school teachers. There
is one activity for each grade level (K-12) in
three categories: Language Arts/Fine Arts, Social
Studies, and Science/Math.
Restoration and Prairie Ecology by G.D.
- Here is a lesson plan for an extended activity
involving hands-on tasks, inquiry lab, authentic
assessment, group/cooperative learning, community
outreach, and field study.
- Smallville Prairie Development
- Here is an interesting project for school
students on the mythical Smallville Prairie.
- Created by
Updated by Nancy