Grade Level: Middle and High School
Science Content Standards: 6.2, 8.2
High School Biology Enrichment Standard: Ecology
Social Studies Standard: 10
Language Arts Content Standard: 1.2
Description: The Connecticut dioramas were developed with the help of one of the founders of the science of ecology, G. Evelyn Hutchinson. These dioramas allow the students to visualize complex food chains, niches and biomass.
The modern issue of maintaining the biodiversity of individual species and their environments is clearly illustrated in these magnificent dioramas. Most of the Yale Peabody Museum's dioramas show real places that can be visited, except for the upland bog diorama, a habitat so fragile that even one class visit would cause damage that would be noticed 25 years later. Discussion of the bog, with its beginnings in the Ice Age, will explain that each environment has a unique ecological history that humans cannot properly reproduce once destroyed. These issues are also discussed using distant habitats, such as the rainforest. Students will understand that these issues are important even in their own backyards.
Photo/Image (top): The Cold Bog diorama of the Great Mountain Forest near Norfolk, in Litchfield County, Connecticut, features a snowshoe rabbit (Lepus americanus). Background by J. Perry Wilson; foreground by Ralph C. Morrill.