Can Wolves and Deer Change Rivers?

The Grade 2s have been inquiring into how human activities can challenge plant and animal survival. In particular, we are thinking about the concept of causation and the interconnectedness of living and nonliving things. The students were given the question: Do you think wolves or deer can change the geography of the land?

After much discussion about the meaning of the word geography and landscape, the students shared their answers:

  • Yes, wolves can change the geography and landscape by eating the plants. Animals will not have food and the wolves will drink a lot of water.
  • I think wolves can change the earth, but I am not sure how they do it.
  • They do eat other animals, but they cannot change rivers.
  • They might eat animals who normally eat trees, so there will be more trees.

Next, we watched the video below, How Wolves Change Rivers.

We stopped the video frequently to summarize and sequence the events described there. The student’s level of comprehension was incredible considering how quickly the video moves along. They were clearly captivated by the subject matter and very keen to understand.

We wanted the students to reflect on their thinking about our original question: Can wolves or deer change the geography of the land?  It was interesting to see how that thinking changed.

Now we think….

  • Yes, they can.  When the wolves killed the deer, the deer moved out of the area where they used to eat. Plants grew bigger and other animals came back. Beavers came back and built dams. The dams changed which way the water flows.
  • And the forest grew back five times bigger because the deer were chased away (they used to eat the leaves on the trees).
  • The plants hold up the soil so the mountains and hills do not fall into the river.  That is also changing geography.


See the albums before for other photo highlights from our week…

Research Using Nonfiction Texts

using nonfiction text to research

Rehearsing for our Performance at the Senior’s Center

2M rehearsing for visit to the Senior's Center




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *