Investigating Vermont Landscapes


Investigating Vermont Landscapes — What happens to the land over time and how does this affect Vermont animals?

Read Aloud: The Curious Garden by Peter Brown


  • Blank paper
  • Pencil
  • Markers or colored pencils (optional)
  • Clipboard or something hard to write on outside
  • Internet or other field guides
  • An adult or someone in your family to help
  • Create a map of a natural space outside, somewhere near where you live.
  • Walk around the space outside and draw each thing you find along the way.  
    • Create blocks around areas such as grassy fields, forested areas, water and more natural spaces.
  • Your map might look like this:
  • Next, go back out to those spaces, and see if you can find any evidence that would show humans changed the environment.  
  • Add them to your map.
  • Your map might look like this:
  • Brainstorm what types of changes happened in the environment as it was changed.  
  • Create a chart like this to show what you think happened:
What evidence was there that the land was changed?(CAUSE)How did this changeaffect the environment?(EFFECT)
People cleared the trees and created a meadow (the land was forested)Birds that use a meadow for their home now have a suitable habitat to live
People built a stone wallThe area probably used to be a farm for sheep or other animals; this could have made wild animals move away

  • Next, go back outside again and see if you can find any evidence of animals.  Look for scat, tracks, eggs or the animals themselves!  Add these to your map and label!
  • Lastly, write a paragraph that explains what you have noticed on your explorations.  
    • How has the land changed over time?
    • How have the changes affected the animals?  
    • Don’t forget to provide evidence in your statements!
  • Post your maps on Facebook and tag us @VINS.VT!

Resource for parents:

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