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Habitats of North Dakota

Riparian Activities

Debate Ideas

Have students debate the pros and cons of developing homes and businesses along a river from the viewpoint of the animals, the plants, the watershed, and the people and businesses involved.

Formal Debate Guidelines

Argument Chart


Using the US Geological Survey site, have students select a fish found in North Dakota waters to illustrate it and write a story about using the facts found at this site.

Children's Literature Checklist

Japanese Fish Printing or Gyotaku (guy-oh-ta-koo)

gyo = fish; taku = impression

Materials Needed:

  • Fish replica
  • Black ink, fabric ink, or tempera paint
  • Newspapers
  • Cardboard
  • Paper towels
  • Paper or fabric for printing
  • Foam brayer or brushes


  1. Cover the surface of your work area with newspaper or cardboard.
  2. Place fish replica on the newspaper.
  3. Squeeze a small amount of ink/paint on a small piece of cardboard.
  4. Coat foam brayer with ink/paint and roll ink evenly onto fish replica.
  5. Cover any ink/paint on work area with clean newspaper to prevent unwanted ink/paint blotches or specs from getting on your printing paper or fabric. NOTE: If using fabric, fabric ink must be used.


  1. Holding onto the edges of printing paper, place the paper on top of the inked fish and do not move the paper once it is placed on the fish. When using fabric, gently press and roll from top to bottom.
  2. Place the palm of one hand over the paper/fabric that is covering the fish’s belly. Try not to move the hand to prevent smudging. Press as much of the fish as possible to get every part of the fish covered.
  3. After pressing the entire fish, carefully peel off your paper/fabric.

Map Skills

Have students locate on a North Dakota Map all the major rivers in North Dakota.

Venn Diagram

Have students choose any two/three North Dakota species of fish found at the Game and Fish site and have them complete either a Two - Circled Venn Diagram, or Three - Circled Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting the different fish.


Using the webquest entitled The Fresh Water WebQuest as a guide, have students work in small groups of five to complete a webquest.

Writing Activities

Have students illustrate, label, and describe in complete sentences one of the following statements that is a part of the definition of riparian areas:

  1. Green, vegetated areas on each side of streams and rivers
  2. Purify water by removing sediments and other contaminants
  3. Reduce the risk of flooding and associated damage
  4. Reduce stream channel and stream bank erosion
  5. Increase available water and stream flow duration by holding water in stream banks and aquifers
  6. Support a diversity of plant and wildlife species
  7. Maintain a habitat for healthy fish populations
  8. Provide water, forage, and shade for wildlife and livestock
  9. Create opportunities for people to fish, camp, picnic, etc.
  10. Create “green zones” of water-loving vegetation along waterways, streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and springs