By: Katie Hsu
“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” ~ John F. Kennedy. People have been asking for a change, why can’t they start the change? Changes can happen everywhere. Little kids, big kids, adults and even our elderly can make a change. There really is no age limit. We explored the change that was started by young children about our age in 2 books called Night of the Spadefoot Toads and Hoot. The boys and girls that made a difference were Roy, Ben, Mullet Fingers, and Beatrice. In both Night of the Spadefoot Toads and Hoot, they talk about how children made a difference for the environment and our own good. Both took a lot of effort and did get to a point where they wanted to give up. This essay will show how both stories have similar themes of never giving up, dedication and everybody can make a difference.
In Night of the Spadefoot Toads, it talks about how a boy named Ben was new at his school. His name was Ben and he lived in the desert before he moved. He loved the desert and it was hard to get use to frogs and snakes, when he was more of a lizard and cactus kind of person. He didn’t make any friends except this weird boy named Ryan. When Ben decides to go to his teacher Mrs. Tibbet’s house and help, people laugh at him because they think it was awkward to help a teacher. Ben overheard a conversation between Mrs. Tibbet and her sister in law, Mrs. Turner. Their conversation was about how Mrs. Turner was going to sell the land and destroy the endangered Spadefoot Toad species. Ben was very worried and wanted to help them, so when the night of when the Spadefoot toads come out, Ben and Mrs. Tibbets watched as it might be the last night they peep all together. Ben really has to finish a report that he needs to hand it. The next day, because of what happened last night, Ben becomes the most popular kid in the class. Finally, when the times come to the day where the vernal pool will be removed, Ben finally convinces Mrs. Turner with a picture, of Jenny and Ryan holding frogs. This changes Tabitha Turner’s mind because the picture reminds Tabitha of her dead brother and how the kids feel about the vernal pool reminds her of what she felt.
The book Hoot is about Roy, Beatrice, and Mullet Fingers (aka Napoleon Bridger) trying to stop the construction of a very famous pancake company, called Mother Paula. They wanted to save the burrowing owls. The pancake house is harming the owls because they are building the pancake house on top of the burrowing owls’ homes. They had a chance to protest at the groundbreaking ceremony. They created a human barricade so that Chuck Morris, the vice president of the company, would not get to harm the burrowing owls. Since they saw that Roy and Beatrice along with the girls’ soccer team, one by one, the children started from the crowd at the ground breaking ceremony started joining the barricade. Surprising the actor that played Mother Paula joined the barricade!
In the story, Night of the Spadefoot Toads, Ben usually had a passion for all the desert animals in the deserts Tucson, Arizona. Then, after he met Ms. Tibbets, his science teacher at school and went into the forest that has a path that connects to the backyard of Ben’s and Ms. Tibbet’s house, he came to love forest animals. One day, he overheard the conversation Ms. Tibbets had with her sister in law, Mrs. Tabitha Turner. He heard them arguing about the disagreement of whether they should sell their house and the land, as written in Mr. Tibbets will, or not. Ben emailed the Endangered Wildlife Species Conservation to inform them about the spade foot toads and what will happen to them if they don’t stop the construction. Ben also made a report for Ms. Tibbet’s sister in law to stop the construction and destroying the home of an innocent endangered animal. This shows determination to stop the construction. Even if it is a little thing, he still did make a difference that saved a family of frogs that maybe in the future would be a place where many Spadefoot Toads have once lived. He also made a change and a difference for his own good. This story goes along with the theme: Everybody can make a difference and determination.
In the book Hoot, Roy did about the same thing with saving the environment, he just did it with burrowing owls instead of frogs and he did it with 2 other people: Beatrice and Mullet Fingers (Napoleon Bridger). This was because Mullet Fingers noticed the problem when he ran away from school and camped near the construction of the Mother Paula’s Pancake House. Therefore, because of this, the 3 of them (Roy, Beatrice, and Mullet Fingers) decided to put a stop the construction from happening to bury the poor owls in their homes forever. Everybody started protesting and Mullet Fingers did a lot of illegal things, such as signing into the hospital with a fake identity because he needed a lot of help because he is in pain because he was bitten by the dogs because he wanted to save some owls. This also shows determination in making a difference. This shows the similarities. One similarity is that, just like Ben, he was trying to save the spade foot toads but instead, it is burrowing owls. They also did try really hard and had many failures so when they realized the groundbreaking ceremony was their last chance and a perfect one to protest. They had determination; this is shown when they formed a human barricade to stop Chuck Morris from hurting Mullet Fingers. They did not want the company to bury the owls in their burrows alive. This also shows how you should always know that you could make a difference, no matter what age you are.
“You can't go through life and leave things the way they are. We can all make a difference, and if I die today, I know I made a difference.” ~ Gene Simmons was a musician. You can make a difference, what size and shape doesn’t matter. Also, having determination is half the battle. Both characters show this in the way they act and in the way, they solve the problem. It stands out. So everybody, it doesn’t matter what age and what size, and with a lot of dedication, you can always make a difference.
By: Varivashya Poladi
Most people say nothing’s wrong with our world. But they’re wrong. In both books, Night of the Spadefoot Toads and Flush, problems occur. And they are both related to the environment. In the book Flush, by author Carl Hiaasen, the main problem is the fact that Dusty Muleman, the owner of a gambling/casino boat, is dumping the sewage off the boat into the ocean illegally. The Night of the Spadefoot Toads, by Bill Harley, deals with the extinction of habitats, vernal pools, for Spadefoot Toads. Books like this show the obstacles characters face to give justice to the environment and the life that lives in it.
Night of the Spadefoot Toads and Flush share similar themes and topics such as the environment. One theme they share is do what you can in your hands to protect the world, but don’t go too far. This theme applies to Night of the Spadefoot Toads because in the book, Ben Moroney decided that he had to do something when he found out that a pretty rare species of toads/frogs, such as the spadefoot toads, live only in vernal pools. There was a vernal pool near his favorite teacher’s, (and his only favorite) house, and when he was let known that spadefoot toads actually lived there and that was their only habitat left around the area, he was devastated because Mrs. Tibbets’s, the teacher, sister was taking the property down to build some houses there and get some money. He had to do something, mainly because these animals were depending on him and he missed his animal life from back home in Arizona so he talked to environmentalists and his teacher and even argued with the land developer and the man, Hank Lindsley, from the Natural Heritage Program. So, this shows me that he was desperate to do something and he did everything in his reach.
Flush relates to this because in the book, Noah’s dad made a big mistake by trying to sink the Coral Queen, the casino. But Noah didn’t make the same mistake when he realized his dad’s accusation against Dusty Muleman was right. The text says that he couldn’t settle the argument between his heart and his guts. He didn’t go too far to just eliminate the problem; he just plain tried to get evidence and red-handed proof that Dusty was throwing human waste into the oceans. Noah’s dad went too far and out of limits even for an adult, but Noah didn’t and he solved the problem. This is why it’s do what you need to for right, but don’t go too far.
Something that is also a similarity is that in both texts is that it’s not about the issue being illegal, it’s standing up for the environment and protecting the world. For instance, at one point Ben didn’t even care if Mrs. Tibbets said to lay off and that if it was illegal. ““But it’s not fair!” he screamed. He had to do something, he just knew it.” it’s stated. He just went on and tried to convince Tabitha Turner, the woman who wants to sell the property. This goes for Noah’s situation too because Noah didn’t care if it was illegal to throw trash in the ocean. “I don’t care! It’s wrong and I know it!” he yells at his sister. This makes me think that Noah has a heart and he will do what he likes, just like his dad, but this time he was thinking. Noah wants to do the right thing in the right way.
In conclusion, both texts are really similar environmental-wise. Both characters and scenes are related to the environment and they both have a goal in the book to save a species, except Noah protects all sea species. Having heart that wants to treat animals, environment, and humans fair is far greater than having any gambling boat or money.
By: Grace Yang
Rachel Carson: Pioneer of Ecology and Rain Forest Food Chains are both great books. They both share similarities and . On the other hand, there are also differences between these two stunning books.
Some differences between Rachel Carson: Pioneer of Ecology and Rain Forest Food Chains are that Rain Forest Food Chains talks more about more specific kinds of animals while Rachel Carson: Pioneer of Ecology is just about Rachel Carson’s life like a biography. Though in Rachel Carson: Pioneer of Ecology, Kathleen V. Kudlinski talks about Rachel Carson’s life and her love for nature, it doesn’t apply as often than in Rain Forest Food Chains because Rain Forest Food Chains is specific in what they want to express in their thinking in the concept of “nature”. For example, in pages 14 and 15 of Rain Forest Food Chains, it talks about air plants and a specific flower called the bromeliad. An example to show and support how Rachel Carson: Pioneer of Ecology are different is on page 23 is that Rachel would spend her summer at Woods Hole, Massachusetts and then earn a master’s degree at John Hopkins.
Some similarities between Rachel Carson: Pioneer of Ecology and Rain Forest Food Chains are that they both talk about preserving nature while you still can. As Rachel would have put it, “But man is a part of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.” Both stories connect because they are both talking about saving nature and how humans should care about Earth before it disappears. A connection I can make is to The Inconvenient Truth when Al Gore mentions that if someone doesn’t step up, who knows what will happen to all kinds of life Earth has sustained for over thousands and thousands of years.
In conclusion, the two books Rachel Carson: Pioneer of Ecology and Rain Forest Food Chains are similar and different in some ways. The lesson is: Save the environment before it is too late. “The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster.” Rachel Carson says.
Written By Joey Ong Edited By Katie Hsu
Did you ever feel like you were in a cage, and people were training you and they were feeding you. Even though they are feeding you, being kept in the zoo for money and shows isn’t right. I know this because on the website, http://www.peta.org/living/entertainment/reality-zoos/, it states “Some animals are so unhappy that they risk their lives in desperate attempts to free themselves. At the Dallas Zoo, a gorilla named Jabari tried to escape by jumping over the walls and moats of his enclosure, only to be fatally shot by police. A witness later confessed that teenagers were taunting him by throwing rocks.” This shows that the gorilla wanted to be free because he didn’t want people to “gawk” about him, listen to children bang on the windows, or have cameras flashing in his face. I would agree with Jabari if I were him. I wouldn’t want people giving me rude comments behind my back, and flashing pictures.
Even though animals did nothing, the zoos keep killing or hurting them. I know this because on the website, http://www.peta.org/features/zoo-animal-abuse/#/, it shows a giraffe with blood on the head, and the caption says “Because this giraffe was killed and fed to lions when he had outlived his “usefulness.” I would just walk up to the person that killed the giraffe and yell, “WHY DID YOU KILL THAT POOR GIRAFFE??? AND FEED IT TOO LIONS????? WHAT WAS HIS USEFULNESS???? WHY WOULDN’T YOU LET HIM LIVE????? SO WHAT IS THE ZOO IS OVERCROWDED WITH ANIMALS! YOU CAN’T JUST KILL AN ANIMAL JUST BECAUSE HE HAD “OUTLIVED HIS USEFULNESS”!!” That is what I would say because the giraffe was only 2 years old. How could someone kill a 2 year old giraffe? And how could someone outlived his usefulness when he is only 2 years old?
In the website, http://www.captiveanimals.org/news/2010/03/10-facts-about-zoos, it states “In 2003 the UK government gave permission for the capture of 146 penguins from a British territory in the South Atlantic (Tristan da Cunha). Those who survived the seven-day boat journey from Tristan to a wildlife dealer in South Africa were sold to zoos in Asia” This is wrong because they are taking animals away from their natural home. This is wrong because in zoos the workers feed the animals by just giving the food to them. But if the workers do that, then the animal won’t know how to hunt when it is set free. This is because the worker is giving the food, but when animals are free they are suppose to hunt of their food THEMSELVES. So, after the zoo sets the animal free, the animal won’t know how to properly hunt, and starve and die.
On the website, http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-we-keep-animals-in-zoos, it is a online debate to see if animal should or should not stay in zoos. I agree mostly to the people who think that animals shouldn’t be kept in zoos because they need to be free in the wild instead of locked up in “animal jail”. Also, who cares if the animal get eaten by a predator, that is just the way life goes. This website is good because you can vote on which side you will choose. And you can leave your opinion on what you think is right.
In conclusion, I think that animals shouldn't be in zoos because animals are suppose to be free, and guess what? They do no crime, nothing bad at all, and they end up at animal jail! They get stared at, they get blinded by all the flashing going on. They don't move that much because it seems like there is nothing that they could do there. They get a punishment for roaming around free. Zoos do bad, horrible things to animals, even though it isn’t even the animals fault. If an animal tries to escape it isn’t the animals fault because the reason that the animal wants to escape is because it wants freedom and it can’t take it anymore so the animal attempts to escape and ended up dead. So I think that animals should allowed to be in zoos.
By Samriti Sharma
When you see a tiger you would want to scream and run away and kill it, right? But then, look into this tiger cub’s eyes and say you want to kill it. Now that was hard. Believe it or not that tiger who you ran away from and wanted to kill started out like this. For thousands of years animals have been hunted. But the thing that is the worst to me is that hunters kill big strong animals to show off skills. Would you want to die because someone wants to show how skilled they are?
Tigers are just one of the animals who are hunted almost to extinction. Just like you and me, tigers are living beings with feelings and lives. But tigers bodies are used for medicine. As it says at http://www.earthisland.org/, “For millennia, medicine men across Asia have ascribed magical powers and healing properties to the tiger, and, somehow, the cat became a universal apothecary. Nearly every part, from nose to tail—eyes, whiskers, brains, flesh, blood, genitals, organs —is used to treat a lengthy list of maladies.” i don’t think you would want to be cut up in little bottles or people to eat/drink.
In conclusion, sport hunting is cruel and unnecessary. It wrecks the health of the animals causing the food chain to collapse. People are killing animals because they want to. Who should ever die because someone wants to? How could you like into an animal’s eyes and say you want to kill he or she. We should at least the tiniest bit of respect for any creature. You don’t have to have a liking to animals to know that killing animals for a race is horrible. So the next time you see a piece of ivory carved into a decoration, think about the animal who died for that creation.
Kean University Continuing Education
Implementing the Science Standards K-4
Plants and Animals in the Environment
Plants and animals interact with each other in the environment. They also interact with the environment itself. The plants and animals depend on each other.
Animals and humans depend on plants. Animals need food, protection and shelter. In human terms, food, clothing and shelter.
- Plants are used as sources of food and goods for humans.
- They can be used for shelter.
- They provide shade for protection from the hot sun.
- Humans use plants for fuel. We also use plants to make cloth, dyes and medicines.
Some people use plants and plant material as decoration to make themselves attractive.
Animals and humans depend on other animals. In the food chain, some animals eath other animals and use them for food. Humans also use animals as sources of food and clothing.
Plants benefit from animals.
- Animals are used by some plants to disperse seeds.
- Some animals can eat other plant-eating animals.
- Bees and other insects help pollinate flowers.
- Earthworms aerate the soil so that the roots of plants can better obtain oxygen.
Relationships between animals and plants are complicated. The food chain begins with the Sun shining on plants. The plants use sunlight for energy to make food. The plants are at the base of the food chain.
The plants are eaten by various types of animals. A particular type of plant may be eaten by more than one type of animal. In addition, a particular type of animal may be eaten by different types of animals. Some food chains share components. A given plant or animal may be found in more than one food chain. These interconnected food chains form a food web.
Examples of food chains and food webs
A food chain always derives its energy initially from the Sun. Writing a food chain this way would be as follows.
Sun ---> corn plant ---> cow ---> human
Students at the K-4 level are expected to remember about the Sun as the source of energy and write it at the beginning of each food chain. Scientists remember that all energy comes from the Sun so they generally begin each food chain with a green plant.
The following set of food chains might be expected in a coastal area of New Jersey near the shore where there are marine creatures, predators and humans.
algae ---> mollusk ---> human
algae ---> mollusk ---> bird
algae ---> sandworm ---> fish ---> bird
algae ---> sandworm ---> fish ---> human
microflora ---> sandworm ---> fish ---> bird
microflora ---> sandworm ---> fish ---> human
microflora ---> arthropods ---> bird
microflora ---> arthropods ---> fish ---> bird
microflors ---> arthropods ---> fish ---> human
It can be seen that these individual food chains share components (fish, bird, human) and they also share common pathways (sandworm ---> fish or algae ---> mollusk). They can be put together to form a food web as shown in the figure below.
In this figure, the algae and microflora are at the producer level and the mollusk, sandworm and arthropod are at the primary consumer level. The other consumers may be at different levels depending upon the nature of each of the food chains in which they participate.
Interactions in the community
A community consists of all of the plants and animals in a given area. All these plants and animals depend on each other. The plants in the community provide food. They use sunlight to produce food for themselves and the community. Only plants can produce food. Consult Pyramid of Energy in Ecology for additional information.
The food pyramid relationship
When the food supply changes, the sizes of the populations of organisms depending on that food supply change. For example, if there is plenty of water and abundant rainfall there will be good growth of plants. The populations of animals depending on these plants will increase. On the other hand, if there is a drought, there will be a smaller supply of plants. The animals depending on these plants will decrease in population as a result of the decrease in the plant population.
Properties of the ecosystem
Thee are some components of the ecosystem that are important to animals.
- presence of natural enemies
- temperature and rainfall
Some animals will migrate from one place to another in order to meet their needs. A permanent change in the ecosystem could cause an organism to become an endangered species.
Human needs and the environment
The environment is impacted by humans. When human needs impact the environment, the result can be beneficial or detrimental. Humans use parts of other organisms for food and clothing. Some animals are used as pets for humans for enjoyment or protection. Animals can be used for asistance when compensating for disabilities and to perform work or provide recreation.
Humans can control and alter the environment. Farming by humans increases the amount of food by encouraging plants to grow by cultivation. Humans can also control the environment to compensate for disabilities. Humans can permanently damage the environment. The resources and minerals that are removed from the ground are not renewable.
- Pictures of plants and animals
- Science Journals
1. At the outset students discuss the different habitats or ecosystems in the area of the school and in New Jersey. Among others, we have the forest habitat in northwest New Jersey, the Pine Barrens, the shore, and urban environments and habitats including parks.
2. Students work in groups or individually. They select a plant or an animal that is common in the community and study it. They write about it in their Science Journals. Some examples:
- oak tree: uses sunlight to grow and food, makes acorns (oak tree seeds), provides habitat for birds and squirrels
- squirrel: lives in the oak tree, eats acorns.
3. Students combine their individual studies to determine the relationships between the different plants and animals they have studied.
1. Students make presentations to the class about the plants and animals they studied. In their Science Jorunals, all students write about the plants and animals in the environment.
2. Students develop food chains based on the relationships they have discovered between the plants and animals. Example:
Sun ---> oak tree (acorn) ---> squirrel
3. Students make posters about their food chains using pictures as illustrations.
4. Once the individual food chains are completed, they are studied by the class to see if there are any common organisms and pathways. The food chains are then combined into a food web. They draw the food web in their Science Journals.
1. Students investigate other ecosystems and habitats that they have not studied or that are not found in New Jersey. They make diagrams in their Science Journals to illustrate the food chains and make them into food webs.
2. Students investigate the marine environment and the food chains that are present in the ocean. They learn that the ocean will be called upon to provide more and more food in the future, a field known as aquaculture.
3. Students investigate nutrient cycles in the environment. They learn about the role of the bacteria and fungi of decay in the process of recycling organic nutrients in the ecosystem.