Activity #4: Discuss Questions and Note the Answers (45 min)

Roll out the banner of the roots and leaves of the Prairie Plants.

  • What adaptations did prairie plants have to make in order to survive the harsh environment of the prairie ecosystem?
  • How did the plants know what to do?
  • Why do you think these plants in the prairie are so different?
  • How do the characteristics you have named for each prairie plant help the plant to adapt to its environment?
  • Why do you think so many people and states are trying to rebuild the prairie?

Cause & Effect Questions:

  • Why did many settlers decide to move to the prairie?
  • The settlers saw the fertile soil of the prairie and they plowed the land. What were the effects both good and bad?
  • Because the prairie is dry and windy, what happened after the prairie was plowed?
  • Think of several reasons why the buffalo almost became extinct.
  • Construct an argument that plants have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

“I have been wondering ever since I began to learn about all the adaptations that the prairie plants make, how do these plants know what to do so they can survive? Anyone wondering the same thing? Do you have any ideas?”

Wait for ideas.

“Before we go, turn over your Notes from the Prairie sheet. On the back of your journal, write down why you think these plants in the prairie are so different. After that, still on the back of your journal, label ‘Prairies Are Being Rebuilt Because’. The question we are going to answer is, ‘Why do you think so many people and states are trying to rebuild the prairies?’ As a class, we are going to come up with five good reasons why. Write them down as we find them.”


  • All ecosystems contribute to the balance of the natural world
  • It is a safe haven for plants and animals
  • Having no ecosystem could lead to the extinction of many animals and unique plants
  • Its plants roots that are contained in the soil helps to stop erosion
  • It is a beautiful picture as the wind sweeps over the prairie rustling and swaying all the grasses
  • The plants take in carbon dioxide and give us oxygen).