3. Map out on the board what a native plant community along a river might need and provide.
4. Ask students to consider additional potentially negative components of a habitat that can affect a plant community, such as predation, disease, drought, human activities, and competition with introduced species.
5. If possible, ask them to consider local areas that are infested with weeds. Do students have any thoughts initially about the level of plant diversity (the range of species) at such sites.
6. Divide the students into groups of four and introduce them to the game ‘riparian rummy’. Explain that they need to be looking as they play the game for the emergence of introduced weed communities. Point out to them that they will soon be visiting some of the plant communities in the cards.
7. After playing the game ask the students what groups they found emerged most commonly. Was there an advantage in playing for community quality over quantity in terms of scoring?
8. Field component. Have the students describe the different natural areas (get them to look for groups of plants or associations) they can see along their nearby river, stream or wetland.
Ask them (working in pairs) to investigate what types of plants are growing there. Are there trees, shrubs, wildflowers, grasses or aquatic plants? Make a list of the characteristics which those plants share. For example, are the plants tall or short? Do they have deciduous or evergreen leaves? Are they woody or herbaceous?
9. Get the students to describe the most dominant plant species in the natural area chosen? Are the dominant plants native species? What are the types of wildlife that might use this plant community? What habitat components are there in each plant community identified?
10. After 30 minutes bring the students together to discuss their results.
11. As a group, with one person drawing, have the students map the vegetation communities they can see and have identified.
12. Discuss as a group what changes could be made to improve the local plant communities they have identified.
Have the students research the historic native plant community upon which their school is built.
If feasible, have them research and develop a native garden on the school grounds based upon their research.
With a GPS or Google Earth, and GIS mapping programs, have students survey and map native plant communities along a part of the nearby river or stream.
RIPARIAN RUMMY RULES
Before starting, either obtain photographs to illustrate each vegetation type, or have each student take one, research it, and sketch it on the card.
The initial dealer is chosen randomly. The deal then proceeds clockwise. Seven cards are dealt to each player. The dealer then puts the rest of the deck, face down, between the players. This forms the stock pile. A single card is then drawn and placed face up next to the stack. This is called the discard pile.
Play begins with the player on the dealer’s left and proceeds clockwise. Each player draws a card from the stock or the discard pile. The player may then meld (lay cards that form a sequence in front of them) or lay off (place a card to join a meld already on the table) which are both optional, before discarding.
If a player has three cards of the riparian community (called a sequence or a run), they may meld by laying these cards, face up, in front of them. Melding is optional. A player may choose, for reasons of strategy, not to meld on a particular turn.
Green Cards: Green cards are native plant species. There are 3 for each riparian plant community. Be sure to add an additional distinguishing colour to the green native plant cards to show each riparian community.
White Cards: White cards are weedy species.
Grey Cards: Grey cards are not part of any riparian community, but rather are inhibitors to community growth. Discarding a grey card FORCES the next player to discard a green native species card. If the following player has no green cards, they may not discard at all.
Blue Cards: Blue cards are ‘water’ cards. Water makes everything grow, and thus act as a wild card. Water cards plus two cards from the same riparian community may be melded.
Stealing and Playing off
Once a player has melded, they may steal melded water cards if they have the appropriate replacement card, or lay down cards that play off another player’s meld
Finally, after any melds or lay offs, the player must discard a single card to the discard pile, face up. This must be a green card if a grey card has been formerly discarded.
The End of the Stock
If, while playing, the stock runs out, the next player may choose to draw from the discard pile or to turn the discard pile over to form a new stock. The discard pile is not shuffled in the process. After forming the new stock, the top card is drawn to form the new discard pile, just like after the deal.
When a player has gotten rid of all of their cards, they win the hand.
After a player goes out, the hand ends, and the players count up their cards. The winner of the hand receives 20 points for winning.
Players add up the cards they have down and subtract from that sum the sum of the cards still in their hands.
Blue Cards: 50
Grey Cards: -20
Green Cards: 10
White Cards: 5
The first player to reach 500 wins.