Wild Mississippi!


6th Grade Science --- 2022 

Mr. Will Burford


Animals of Mississippi WebQuest: 

Did you see a wild animal on your way to school today? Do you know what this animal eats and what kind of habitat it likes? Do you know what role this animal plays in its ecosystem? In this unit, we are discussing the animals found in the great state of Mississippi. It is important for us to learn about the animals that live in our state because it is so easy for us to visit places where they live. In some cases, many of these animals can be found in your own backyard! Once we have a great understanding of what animals live in our state, we can apply that knowledge into how ecosystems function in nature! 

Before you move into the assignment, watch this video on ecosystems! 







In this assignment, you will be placed into groups of 6. Each member of the group will research an animal that is found in the state of Mississippi. Each group member will be assigned to research either a mammal, reptile, bird, fish, insect or amphibian. Each group member will have an animal of a different class to research (i.e. mammal, reptile, bird, fish, insect, or amphibian). Once you have selected an animal from your class, you must use your computers to complete research to determine the following information about your animal. 

Common Name

Scientific Name 


Where is it found in MS? 

Is it endangered? 

One interesting fact about the animal


Next, you will answer the following questions 

Have you seen this animal before? If so, where? 

What role do you think this animal plays in its ecosystem? 

Did you learn anything new about this animal today? 


The steps that you need to follow to complete this WebQuest will be found under the Process section. 



1. Choose an animal 

In order to choose an animal, copy these links into your search bar and read through these websites for help in making a selection 






https://www.insectidentification.org/insects-by-type-and-region.php?thisState=Mississippi&thisType=Bee,%20Ant,%20Wasp%20and%20Similar (Site has links to each insect class) 


After you have selected an animal for this WebQuest, write the name of the animal in the blank below:

Animal Name: ___________________________________ 


2. Animal Information

To find general information about the animal you have chosen, go to the following link


In the top left corner of the iNaturalist page there is a search bar, type in the name of the animal you selected.

Once you have found the page for your chosen animal, read the information on the page and fill out the following information 

Common Name:

Scientific Name:





3. Animal Range

To determine the range of your animal in the state of Mississippi, go to Google Images 


In the search bar, enter the name of your animal and the words "home range".

Your search should look like this - (animal name) home range

Once you have found an image that contains a map of your animal's range, look at the state of Mississippi.

In the space provided below, describe if your animal's range covers the entire state of Mississippi or only part of the state. If only part of the state is found in the range, describe what part of Mississippi that your animal is found in. (Use complete sentences)









4. Endangered? 

To determine if your animal is endangered, click on the link below and scan for your selected animal. If the animal is not on this list, your species is not endangered 



Endangered: circle one option   YES      or      NO


5. Interesting Fact 

Using any of the links provided that you have already observed, write down one fact about your animal that you believe is interesting in the space below.




6. Application Questions 

Next, answer the following questions using complete sentences

Have you seen this animal before? Where did you see it? What was it doing? 




What role do you think this animal plays in its ecosystem? 




Did you learn anything about this animal that you did not already know? 




Click on the link below and then answer the following questions below the link 


What makes animals important in an ecosystem? 



What would happen in an ecosystem if your animal was removed? 



Group Task


In the last part of this assignment, you are tasked with gathering into different groups based on the animals that you chose

The groups are as follows:

Group A - Mammals

Group B - Birds 

Group C - Fish 

Group D - Reptiles and Amphibians 

Group E - Insects 


Next, follow these instructions. Each group member will be graded on discussion participation

- Each member of the group will discuss what animal they chose and why. 

- As a group, discuss the diets of your animals and whether or not your animal is a predator or prey to another student's animal.

- As a group, write a one paragraph description of the role that your animal group plays in the ecosystems in Mississippi. 

- As a group, write the "interesting fact" about an animal that each group member found. Each group member must sign their name by their fact. 










Now that you have completed your WebQuest about a Mississippi animal, you should be more aware of the species found in our state and the roles that they play in ecosystems. Mississippi is a state that is lucky to have such a diverse display of animals and we are lucky to share land with them! I encourage you to ask your parents to take you out and look for these amazing animals that call Mississippi home. Mississippi has several state forests, parks and museums that you can visit to catch a glimpse of these wonderful animals or learn more about them. Here are some links for more information: 





Teacher Page


Wild Mississippi Rubric

15 Points- Followed instructions properly and answered all questions.

15 points- Collaborated effectively with group members and contributed to discussion  15 points- Chose an animal found in MS and answered questions thoughtfully in complete sentences

12 Points- Followed most instructions and answered most questions

12 points- Worked ok with group members and partially contributed to discussion  12 points- Chose an animal found in MS and answered questions with some thought and some complete sentences

0-9 points- Only followed some instructions and did not answer some questions

0-9 Points- Worked only some with group members and barely participated in discussion 0-9 Points- Did not choose an animal or an animal native to MS and answered questions improperly 


Grade Total: ___________ out of 45 possible points