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Louisiana’s coastal wetlands are disappearing at an alarming rate. The loss of this rich ecosystem will be devastating to both the state and the nation. The wetland challenge is a crossword puzzle designed to familiarize students with key terms and concepts. It can also be used as a springboard for meaningful and engaging classroom discussions. (see questions in parentheses) It can be used to support a unit or project on wetland conservation as well.First, have students read an article that outlines some of the key issues. Examples can be found at America’s Wetlands (http://www.americaswetland.com/custompage.cfm?pageid=257), National Geographic (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0410/feature5/) and others. Next, break students into groups of three or four. Provide them with a dictionary and give them 20+ minutes to answer as many questions as possible. When they are finished, help with any unanswered questions. Finally, save time to discuss some of the bigger questions: What are the natural and human causes of wetland loss? What are the benefits of wetlands? What can we do to restore and protect them?
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