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Water Resources of the United States

Wetlands Poster - Grade School Activity


A Wetlands Visit/Create a Wetland


Wetlands are everywhere, so everyone can probably think of a wetland somewhere near their home. This poster depicts a few of the wide variety of wetland types. Wetlands are diverse, and so is the life they support. This activity is designed to emphasize the diversity of life in a wetlands. Students will take part in a read-aloud play and make a mural depicting one wetland type.


After completing this activity, students will be able to describe a small part of the diversity of life that exists in a wetland habitat by identifying some plants and animals that can live there.


"A Wetlands Visit" read-aloud story (adjacent poster panel).
One copy of the poster "Wetlands: Water, Wildlife, Plants, and People."

For each student:
One copy of "Wetland Life" (adjacent poster panel)

Crayons or markers, scissors, glue, one piece of paper: 8 1/2 x 11, or light-colored construction paper.


  1. Make one copy of the panel entitled "Wetland Life" for each student.

    Gather student materials.

  2. Display a copy of the poster on the wall where the students can see it.


  1. Assign students in your class to each of the "parts" in the cast of "A Wetlands Visit." Their roles are to say their lines (words in parentheses) whenever their parts are mentioned.


    Wildlife photographer (Say cheese! click)
    Footsteps (squish, squish)
    Canada geese (honk, honk)
    Moose (clomp, clomp, clomp)
    Water strider (move arms silently like a water strider)
    Mallards (quack, quack)
    Water (gurgle, gurgle)
    Mosquitoes (buzzzzz)
    Beaver (slap!)
    Read the story "A Wetlands Visit" aloud, pausing for the sound effects of the cast. After the "play" is finished, explain that the freshwater wetland just "visited" would be found in northern States in a forested wetlands but that every child in the United States has a wetland somewhere near home. Besides a diversity of animals, many types of plants also are found in wetlands. Ask the students if they have ever had a chance to explore a wetland.
  2. Give each student a sheet of blank paper. Review the definition of a freshwater wetlands Tell the students to draw any fresh water wetland background scene on the blank paper, using the poster as an example. Hand out the pictures from the panel titled "Wetland Life." Then the students can cut out their plants and animals and glue them down in their scenes to create a freshwater wetland picture. They also can draw in other wetland plants and/ or animals. The wetland type descriptions located on adjacent panels provide a "key" to matching the plants and animals displayed on the "Wetland Life" panel with representative wetlands.


  1. Which animals in the wetlands scene would you find near your home? Why or why not? Which animals could live in another habitat? Which do you think could only live in a wetland?
  2. What can we say about wetlands and the life they support?


If there is a wetland nearby, take a field trip so the students can look for the wetland plants and animals in their neighborhood wetlands Have the students list animals they might see there, draw pictures of the animals, and make another wetlands scene. Take reference books for identification of the plants and animals that live in the wetlands.

(Adapted from Nature Scope Wading into Wetlands, "Creating a Scene" and Alaska Wildlife Curriculum Wetlands and Wildlife, "A Wetlands Visit")

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