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May Worksheets



International Day for Bio Diversity



What Is Biodiversity?
Print What Is Biodiversity? Reading Comprehension


Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.94

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    bioengineered, cross-pollination, etc-on, evident-eggs, skyrocket, best, standing, blight, crimp, biodiversity, currently, mutual, organic, heirloom, killers, brink
     content words:    Hawaiian Nene
What Is Biodiversity?

By Mary Lynn Bushong
1     Imagine being able to look at the whole world and seeing green grass spread out before you. Nothing but grass as far as the eye can see and beyond. The whole world covered in grass. No trees, no flowers, just grass. How would that affect the other life forms that currently exist?
 
2     If the whole world were covered with one kind of plant, how would that affect the diversity of lives that could be supported compared to what is supported now? Any living thing that needed trees would be gone. That would include most birds and many other kinds of animals. It would put a big crimp in the lives of most people, too.
 
3     History gives us lessons on how important biodiversity is for people. In the 1800s, the poor of Ireland grew and ate potatoes for their staple food. In a single day, a child might eat 25 potatoes. A man would eat more than twice that amount! One variety of potatoes in particular grew especially well and produced huge amounts. It was planted almost exclusively until the potato blight hit, ruining the crop year after year. Millions of people starved to death, and many more died of illness that their hunger-weakened bodies could not fight. During this time many people, especially young adults, chose to immigrate to other countries. The diversity of life had been compromised and became unbalanced - with tragic results.

Paragraphs 4 to 9:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable





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