Create a Mangrove Tree
Salt shaker2 branches of mangrove leaves*
Gallon of sandWax PaperPropagules*
Gallon of water2 broom handlesFigurines of crabs and small fish*
*If material items are not readily available, substitute pictures and drawings.
Students will better understand the characteristics, functions and uniqueness of the mangrove.
30-60 minutes depending on length and depth of discussions.
- Fill bucket half way with sand and water.
- Choose a volunteer willing to be dressed as a red mangrove.
- Have him/her place only one foot in the bucket. (Foot in the bucket simulates high tide; foot out simulates low tide).
- Sprinkle salt into bucket. Discuss salinity levels, freshwater mixing and salt balance.
- Have the volunteer hold the leaves in his/her hand; leaves should face the sun.
- Tape wax paper on arms. This represents the waxy cuticle of the leaves; discuss salt balance.
- Prop the volunteer's arms with the broom handles. Discuss root system and prop roots.
- Add fish and crabs to bucket. Discuss role as a habitat for many organisms.
- Volunteer holds and releases propagules.
- Discuss role of propagule and dispersal.
NOTE: This demonstration works best as a review activity. Have the students cite the characteristics of the red mangrove and dress the volunteer with the materials appropriate for the particular simulation.