In this activity students examine the effect of various levels of ground shade on new seedlings. They will build a model of a variable canopy out of a plastic grid. This activity offers students an opportunity to germinate seeds and maintain seedlings within a structured and controlled environment, an opportunity to observe how a canopy affects seedling growth, and an inquiry experience in which students compare and contrast the effects of canopy coverage on seedling growth. In activity extensions, students may discuss effects of the grazing behavior of free-roaming bison and occasional burning of the grasses and how it is helping to restore a healthy tallgrass prairie. By using burning and grazing to cut back ground cover, scientists have created a more successful niche for a diversity of plant life.