5.4.2.1 Interdependence Among Living Systems

Grade: 
5
Subject:
Science
Strand:
Life Science
Substrand:
Interdependence Among Living Systems
Standard 5.4.2.1

Natural systems have many parts that interact to maintain the living system.

Benchmark: 5.4.2.1.1 Relations in Living Systems

Describe a natural system in Minnesota, such as a wetland, prairie or garden, in terms of the relationships among its living and nonliving parts, as well as inputs and outputs.

For example: Design and construct a habitat for a living organism that meets its need for food, air and water.

Benchmark: 5.4.2.1.2 Changes in Natural Systems

Explain what would happen to a system such as a wetland, prairie or garden if one of its parts were changed.

For example: Investigate how road salt runoff affects plants, insects and other parts of an ecosystem.

Another example: Investigate how an invasive species changes an ecosystem.

Overview

Standard in Lay Terms 

MN Standard in lay terms:

If one part of a natural system changes other parts of the system may be affected."It's all connected"

Big Ideas and Essential Understandings 

Big Idea:

the big idea and unifying science concept is systems and subsystems.  When teaching this standard teachers need to help students recognize the properties of organisms as parts of the ecosystem, while helping them to understand the concepts of systems and how living and nonliving parts are connected.

Natural systems are a complex interaction of living and nonliving parts.  The variety of Minnesota natural systems, although each a different ecosystem, have the same interdependence of living and nonliving parts.  Air, water and food are essential components of these natural systems.  The balance of a natural system can be affected when one or more parts, either living or nonliving parts, is changed.  For example, the introduction of an exotic species of plant or runoff from a highway, can significantly change the interaction within a natural system.

The focus of instruction for all students early in this grade range is on developing a basic understanding of the organization of living systems and an awareness of the diversity and interdependence among organisms.

Building on their basic understanding of the way individual species live in their environment, students begin to investigate the ways populations and communities of species interact with each other and with their environment.

SciMath MN p 3-110

All organisms, both land-based and aquatic, are connected to other organisms by their need for food. This results in a global network of interconnections, which is referred to as a food web.

In all environments, individual organisms that depend on the same resource may compete for that resource when it is limited. Resources that can be limited include food, space, water, shelter, and light.

Given adequate resources and an absence of disease or predators, populations of organisms in ecosystems can increase at rapid rates. Finite resources and other factors limit their growth.

Using the attached link, each big idea is broken down into sub-ideas, sample test items and misconceptions. AAAS Assessment

Benchmark Cluster 

MN Standard Benchmarks:

5.4.2.1.1 - Describe a natural system in Minnesota, such as a wetland, prairie or garden, in terms of the relationships among its living and nonliving parts, as well as inputs and outputs.

For example: Design and construct a habitat for a living organism that meets its need for food, air and water.

5.4.2.1.2 - Explain what would happen to a system such as a wetland, prairie or garden if one of its parts were changed.

For example: Investigate how road salt runoff affects plants, insects and other parts of an ecosystem.

Another example: Investigate how an invasive species changes an ecosystem.

THE ESSENTIALS:

A quote, cartoon or video clip link directly related to the standard.

"it's all connected"- often said by any environmentalist anywhere (Koch)

Correlations 

All organisms must be able to obtain and use resources, grow, reproduce, and maintain stable internal conditions while living in a constantly changing external environment.

Populations of organisms can be categorized by the function they serve in an ecosystem. Plants and some microorganisms are producers-they make their own food. All animals, including humans, are consumers, which obtain food by eating other organisms. Decomposers, primarily bacteria and fungi, are consumers that use waste materials and dead organisms for food. Food webs identify the relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers in an ecosystem.

For ecosystems, the major source of energy is sunlight. Energy entering ecosystems as sunlight is transferred by producers into chemical energy through photosynthesis. That energy then passes from organism to organism in food webs.

Frameworks 1998 p 3-114

A population consists of all individuals of a species that occur together at a given place and time. All populations living together and the physical factors with which they interact compose an ecosystem.

Populations of organisms can be categorized by the function they serve in an ecosystem. Plants and some micro-organisms are producers-they make their own food. All animals, including humans, are consumers, which obtain food by eating other organisms. Decomposers, primarily bacteria and fungi, are consumers that use waste materials and dead organisms for food. Food webs identify the relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers in an ecosystem.

For ecosystems, the major source of energy is sunlight. Energy entering ecosystems as sunlight is transferred by producers into chemical energy through photosynthesis. That energy then passes from organism to organism in food webs.

The number of organisms an ecosystem can support depends on the resources available and abiotic factors, such as quantity of light and water, range of temperatures, and soil composition. Given adequate biotic and abiotic resources and no disease or predators, populations (including humans) increase at rapid rates. Lack of resources and other factors, such as predation and climate, limit the growth of populations in specific niches in the ecosystem.

AAAS Atlas:  Strandmaps

Insects and various other organisms depend on dead plant and animal material for food. 5D/E2

Organisms interact with one another in various ways besides providing food. 5D/E3a

Interactions between organisms may be for nourishment, reproduction, or protection and may benefit one of the organisms or both of them. Some species have become so dependent on each other that neither could survive without the other. 5D/M2

All organisms, both land-based and aquatic, are interconnected by their need for food. This network of interconnections is referred to as a food web. The entire earth can be considered a single global food web, and food webs can also be described for a particular environment. At the base of any food web are organisms that make their own food, followed by the animals that eat them, then the animals that eat those animals, and so forth. 5D/M4

In all environments, organisms with similar needs may compete with one another for limited resources, including food, space, water, air, and shelter. 5D/M1

Almost all kinds of animals' food can be traced back to plants. Science Benchmarks

5E

Over the whole earth, organisms are growing, dying and decaying, and new organisms are being produced by the old ones.

Benchmarks of Science Literacy

Interdependence of Living Things:

Organisms interact with one another in various ways besides providing food. 5D/E3a

In all environments, organisms with similar needs may compete with one another for resources, including food, space, water, air and shelter. 5D/M1a

Interactions between organisms may be for nourishment, reproduction, or protection and may benefit one of the organisms or both of them. Some species have become so dependent on each other that neither could survive with out the other. 5D/M2

One organism may scavenge or decompose another. 5D/M2b

All organisms, both land-based and aquatic, are interconnected by their need for food. This network of interconnections is referred to as a food web. The entire earth can be considered a single global food web, and food webs can also be described for a particular environment. At the base of any food web are organisms that make their own food, followed by the animals that eat them, then the animals that eat those animals, and so forth.

5D/M4

If a disturbance such as flood, fire, or the addition or loss of species occurs, the affected ecosystem may return to a system similar to the original one, or it may take a new direction, leading to a very different type of ecosystem. Changes in climate can produce very large changes in ecosystems. 5D/H2

Human beings are part of the earth's ecosystems. Human activities can, deliberately or inadvertently, alter the equilibrium in ecosystems. 5D/H3

Framework for K-12 Science Education

Matter cycles between  the air and soil and among  plants, animals,  and microbes  as these organisms  live and die. Organisms obtain  gases, water,  and minerals  from the environment and release waste matter  (gas, liquid, or solid) back into the environment. 5LS2.B


The food of almost  any kind of animal  can be traced  back to plants.  Organisms are related  in food webs in which some animals  eat plants for food and other  animals  eat the animals  that  eat plants.  Either way, they are “consumers.” Some organisms, such as fungi and bacteria,  break  down  dead organisms  (both  plants  or plants  parts  and animals)  and therefore  operate  as “decomposers.” Decomposition eventually  restores  (recycles) some materials  back to the soil for plants  to use. Organisms can survive only in environments in which their particular needs are met. A healthy  ecosystem is one in which multiple  species of different  types are each able to meet their needs in a relatively stable web of life. Newly introduced species can damage  the balance  of an ecosystem. 5LS2.A


When the environment changes in ways that  affect a place’s physical characteristics, temperature, or availability  of resources,  some organisms survive and reproduce, others  move to new locations,  yet others  move into the transformed environment, and some die. 5LS2.C


Changes in an organism's habitat are sometimes beneficial to it and sometimes harmful.  For any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.  5LS4.C

Common Core Standards (i.e. connections with Math, Social Studies or Language Arts Standards):

Systems and how they work is a core science concept.  there are good opportunities for teachers to help students connect natural systems to man made systems and human social systems. For example-  How do ant colonies compare to the founding colonies in America how are the two types of colonies similar or different. see standard below:

Social Studies STANDARD 5.1.4.1.1.The founding and development of the North American colonies impacted regional life and the developing slave trade.

Language Arts Standards

5.2.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text. For example, students will read text and need to respond to it either written or verbally.

5.2.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

5.2.4  Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.

5.2.7  Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words. Students will use graphs, charts, tables to understand and compare results.

5.2.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and information texts independently and proficiently.

5.6.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

5.6.7 Conduct short as well a more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. For exam[le, students could research a topic related to the subject matter.

5.6.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.

5.6.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection and revision) and shorter time frames (a single setting or a day or two) for a range or tasks, purposes, and audiences. Science notebooks would provide the opportunity to meet this standard.

5.8.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively and orally. During science digital media such as webquests, videos are used to help explain a concept, students also are presented with information orally and through experiments in which quantitative data is used to make a point.

5.8.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations. when students present information they should utilize tools such as prezi, powerpoint or other visual aids to help the audience connect and understand their information.

Math Standards

5.1.1.4 Solve real-world mathematical problems requiring addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of multi-digit whole numbers. Use various strategies, including the inverse relationships between operations, the use of technology, and the context of the problems to assess the reasonableness of results.

5.4.1.1 Know and use the definitions of the mean, median and range of a set of data. Know how to use a spreadsheet to find the mean, median and range of a data set. Understand that the mean is a "leveling out" of data.

5.4.1.2 Create and analyze double-bar graphs and line graphs by applying understanding of whole numbers, fractions and decimals. Know how to create spreadsheet table and grapsh to display data.

Misconceptions

Student Misconceptions 

If a population in a food web is disturbed, there will be little or no effect on populations that are not within the linear sequence in the food web (Webb & Boltt, 1990). AAAS

If a population in a food web is disturbed, there will be little or no effect on populations below it in the food web (e.g. if a predator is removed, no effect on prey: Webb & Boltt, 1990; Leach, 1996). AAAS

Organisms higher in a food web eat everything that is lower in the food web (Griffiths & Grant 1985). AAAS

A change in the size of a prey population has no effect on its predator population (Griffiths & Grant, 1985). AAAS

Changes in a population in a food web do not affect the populations of any other organism in the food web (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.). AAAS

The top predator in a food web will never be significantly affected by changes in the populations of organisms below it in the food web (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.). AAAS

Competition between organisms always involves direct, aggressive interaction. Exploitative competition (e.g., getting to the resource before other organisms) is not competition (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.). AAAS

Plants do not compete for resources (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.). AAAS

Organisms of the same species do not compete with each other for resources (AAAS Pilot testing 2007) AAAS

Plants do not compete for light (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.). AAAS


Different kinds of organisms (species) do not compete for resources (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.). AAAS

Animals do not compete for resources (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.). AAAS

Animals do not compete for shelter (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.). AAAS

Plants do not compete for space (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.). AAAS

Animals do not compete for water (AAAS Project 2061, n.d.). AAAS

Vignette

Using the story "The Woods that got Worms" by Andrew Gabel Story to introduce the Earthworm Project Mrs. E gets her class involved in a theatrical rendition of the story of the earthworm and how it has changed the forests of Minnesota. The short of the story is that the earthworms came into the forest, began eating the forest floor and eliminated food sources for other animals and plants that lived in this ecosystem therefore creating a change in the foodweb. Mrs. E continues on with a powerpoint presentation (Powerpoint to introduce the Earthworm Project) which shows pictures of a hardwood forest in Minnesota to students showing the difference between a healthy hardwood forest and one that has been changed and become unhealthy due to the invasion of earth worms. She also shares some summarizing questions for students to respond to in their science notebooks along with some essential questions for them to add to their notebooks so they will be guided in the experimental design with control process they are about to encounter. 1. What do earthworms eat/ingest? 2. How do earthworms change the surface layer and what does the surface layer turn into? 3. What are the properties of non-worm worked soil and organic material? They also add any personal questions they are hoping to uncover as they start this investigation. Students work to set up an earthworm observatory following the written directions very carefully to make sure they all are able to be compared, with confidence that the only thing different between the control and experiment is the variable they are testing (worms). Mrs. E discusses the importance of this so they can see the difference. They used the guide they found on The Great Lakes Worm Watch website to put the earthworm observatory together The Great Lakes Worm Watch. They make observations of the worm habitat for 8 weeks. During this time, they sketch and record data and write observations of the worm habitat in their science notebooks. They also find out that they could become part of a hands-on research project  through the University of Minnesota and actually report "earthworm sightings" near their school to the "Real Word". This made the students in the class even more interested and engaged in the work that they were doing. Students also made food webs on "Scratch" defining the producers and consumers in this mini-ecosystem. They also connected with other research teams from around the state and began comparing their findings on the website. Mrs. E contacted another class from a different region of the state began communicating with them via Skype and email, they kept track of the types and numbers of worms that they were finding near their school with the other schools that were involved in the Worm Watch. They kept track on spreadsheets and graphed the information.  Students then began discussing possible future problems and possible solutions to this problem, they also wondered what possible variables in the different areas made the worm population different or the same.

Resources

Instructional Notes 

Selected activities

Benchmark 5.4.2.1.1 Producers, Consumers, Decomposers suggested lessons. In this lesson, students gather evidence to understand that organisms in an ecosystem are tied together by their need for energy. In Part I, students read an interactive story that explains how the Sun's energy is captured by producers and passed along to other consumers in the food chain. Then they watch a video on decomposers, organisms that get their energy by feeding on dead organisms and the wastes of living things. They learn that decomposers break down dead organisms and wastes and release the nutrients they contain into the soil, where they are again available to the roots of plants (producers). In this way, decomposers play an important role in recycling nutrients and getting rid of waste.

In Part II, students explore an ocean ecosystem and construct a food chain to show how energy flows through this environment.

In Part III, students read "The Lorax" by Dr. Suess and discuss the impact that the humanlike Once-ler has on a fantasy ecosystem. Students examine the impact of the environmental changes mentioned in the story, using a cooperative learning strategy. The goal of this activity is for students to understand that events that affect one species in an ecosystem will affect other organisms in its food chain.

Producers, Consumers, Decomposers

Benchmark 5.4.2.1.1 Students portray deer and habitat components in a physical activity Oh Deer!

Benchmark 5.4.2.1.1 Go out into the school yard and make a living - nonliving list.  Bring the lists back into the classroom and lead a discussion to check student understanding of this concept.  You would be amazed how many 5th graders struggle with this. 

Benchmark 5.4.2.1.1 BIODOMES: Students explore the biosphere's environments and ecosystems, learning along the way about the plants, animals, resources and natural cycles of our planet. Over the course of lessons 2-6, students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems - exploring energy and nutrient flows, basic needs of plants and animals, and decomposers.

Students learn about food chains and food webs. They are introduced to the roles of the water, carbon and nitrogen cycles. They test the effects of photosynthesis and transpiration. Students are introduced to animal classifications and interactions, including carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, predator and prey. They learn about biomimicry and how engineers often imitate nature in the design of new products.

As everyday applications are interwoven into the lessons, students consider why a solid understanding of one's environment and the interdependence within ecosystems can inform the choices we make and the way we engineer our communities. Biodomes

Benchmark 5.4.2.1.1 ENVIRONMENTS AND ECOSYSTEMS: Students explore the biosphere and its associated environments and ecosystems in the context of creating a model ecosystem, learning along the way about the animals and resources. Students investigate different types of ecosystems, learn new vocabulary, and consider why a solid understanding of one's environment and the interdependence of an ecosystem can inform the choices we make and the way we engineer our communities. This lesson is part of a series of six lessons in which students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process, to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems. Environments and Ecosystems

Benchmark 5.4.2.1.1 Everything you need to set up a monarch project in your classroom. Great opportunity to engage students in some real world science.  This website is set up through the University of Minnesota. Monarch Lab

Benchmark 5.4.2.1.2. Students create their own ecosystem and then could introduce a new variable to see how it would change, such as salt water to replicate road salt runoff. Bottle Biology

Benchmark 5.4.2.1.2  Invasive Earth Worm Research project-see vignette

Ask anyone on the street if earthworms are good for ecosystems and you will undoubtedly receive a resounding "YES!". When asked why, they may say something like "earthworms mix and aerate the soil". It is a basic ecological concept that we may have learned as early as kindergarten. However, recent research on invasion of these seemingly benevolent creatures into previously worm-free hardwood forests of the Great Lakes Region has seriously challenged that belief. Researchers at the University of Minnesota, and elsewhere, have documented dramatic changes in native hardwood forest ecosystems when exotic earthworms invade. These changes including losses of native understory plant species and tree seedlings, changes in soil structure and declines in nutrient availability. There is also fascinating evidence emerging that the changes caused by exotic earthworms may lead to a cascade of other changes in the forest that affect small mammal, bird and amphibian populations, increase the impacts of herbivores like white-tailed deer, and facilitate invasions of other exotic species such as European slugs and exotic plants like buckthorn and garlic mustard. These results suggest that exotic earthworms may pose a grave threaten the biodiversity and long term stability of hardwood forest ecosystems in the region. Much more research is needed. Opportunities to conduct research and communicate findings to the directors of this project makes this a hands-on real-world study. Earthworms

(This activity also addresses many other 5th grade Science Standards. 5.1.1.1.1, 5.1.1.1.2, 5.1.1.1.3, 5.1.1.1.4, 5.1.1.2.1, 5.1.1.2.2, 5.1.1.2.3, 5.1.3.4.1, 5.3.4.1.3, 5.4.1.1.1)

Instructional suggestions

Experimental Design notes: It is very important when using an experimental design with controls and/or replicates that all of the set-ups get exactly the same treatment (ie. water, light, temperature, etc.) so that we are confident that the only difference between our controls and our experimental set-ups is the variable we are testing. However, weird things always happen and when they do it's an opportunity to perhaps learn something unexpected.  Earthworms

Bring your students outside, have them work with a nature journal. Use a three-foot piece of string and tie it into a knot so it creates a circle or loop. Students then lay that loop down on the ground and focus on just that area. A hoola-hop works well too, but the string is less expensive and easier to store. Some other suggestions can be found on Ranger Rick Nature Notebooks

Science notebooking is a way to teach students how to record data in a clear and precise way. The students will take ownership in their work and be able to share their data with others. It also allows an experiment to be retested based on the information that the student recorded. FOSS Science Notebooking

Science notebook presentation, how to set up a science notebook

How to Set up a Science Notebook

Guided Discovery problems can be fun, which, all by itself, may be a good enough reason to use them. But, perhaps more important, well-designed guided discovery problems are nicely aligned with research findings on how students learn science. Help with Guided Discovery

Game Based Learning (GBL) uses competitive exercises, either pitting the students against each other or getting them to challenge themselves in order to motivate them to learn better.Games often have a fantasy element that engages players in a learning activity through a storyline.

Game-Based Learning

Using Socratic Questioning-provides unique opportunities for critical thinking and student reflection.

Socratic Questioning Strategies

Instructional Resources 

Additional resources or links

Butterfly Vignette p 3-111

Monarch Lab Everything you need to set up a monarch project in your classroom

Bell Museum Nature Links A collection of links that are helpful to your studetns for research or yourself for contacts and background information Nature Links

The following videos to support this standard can be found  National Geographic

Hippo Spa-demonstrates fish and hippos interacting for grooming purposes and food supply.

Stork vs. Mongoose

Monitor Lizard Hunt

Picnic ant eh Pond

Mouth Brooding Fish

Acacia Tree Ants

PRISM: (Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle School) A collection of science resources for Ecology as well as other subject areas. PRISM

Book: Hale, C. Earthworms of the great lakes. Duluth: Kollath-Stensaas Publishing. Did you know there are no earthworms native to the Great Lakes? And did you know that they are destroying some of our forests? Earthworms of the Great Lakes will not only help you identify 16 species that are found in the ground beneath your feet, but also educate you as to their role in our forest ecosystems. This book makes an excellent classroom research tool. Methods for collecting worms and keys to identifying your finds are included.

New Vocabulary 

Vocabulary/Glossary

  • ecosystem- a system involving the interaction between a community of living organisms in a particular area and it's non living environment.
  • producer  an organism, as a plant, that is able to produce its own food from inorganic substances
  • consumer an organism, usually an animal, that feeds on plants or other animals.
  • decomposer an organism  usually a bacterium or fungus, that breaks down the cells of dead plants and animals into simpler substances
  • organism a form of life; for example: an animal, plant, fungus, or protist.
  • living having life, being alive: not dead
  • non-living without life,  physical components of the environment
  • protection preservation or protection from injury or harm
  • shelter something beneath, behind, or within which a person, animal or thing is protected from adverse conditions
  • decay to cause decay or decompose; rot
  • environment air, water, minerals, organisms and all other external factors surrounding and affecting a given organism at any time.
  • population all the individuals of one species in a given area 
  • predator any organism that exists by preying upon other organisms
  • prey an animal hunted or seized for food, esp. by a carnivorous animal.
  • food chain a series of organisms interrelated in their feeding habits
  • food web  a series of organisms related by predator-prey and consumer-resource interactions; the entirety of interrelated food chains in an ecological community
Technology Connections 

Scratch interactive programing site to use with any subject matter but easily could be used with science. Use to assess student knowledge of concepts Scratch or Scratch Support

Website with lesson plans for use with Smart boards Smart Notebook Exchange

Creating Food Chains-a highly interactive smart board lesson. Creating Food Chains

Interactive game that reinforces the concept of producers, consumers, biotic and abiotic parts of an ecosystem Analyzing an Ecosystem

Build a Prairie and The Watershed Game: interactive games Eco games

Web-based presentation software for students to use to present information or for you to use to get information to students. Prezi online presentation software

Website that allows you to make "notecards" for anything you want your kids to study, has a mobile application too. Quizlet

Skype is a free internet based program that allows face to face contact using your computer and a webcam for FREE. Skype

Assessment

Students:

Questions 1 &2 are from Atlas test question bank AAAS Test Bank

1.   The diagram below shows the feeding relationships between populations of organisms in an area. The arrows point from the organisms being eaten to the organisms that eat them.

                                                    Worms->Robins->Foxes

Using only the the relationships between the organisms shown in the diagram, if most of the worms are killed, which of the following statements describes what will happen to the number of robins and why?

A.   The number of robins will increase because there are fewer worms to eat them.

B.   The number of robins will decrease because there are not enough worms for them to eat.

C.   The number of robins will stay the same because the worms are killed, not the robins.

D.   The number of robins will stay the same because a change in the population of worms will not affect any other population of organisms.

a. The correct answer is B.

2. A national park is home to large populations of mountain lions, deer, rabbits, and grass. Recently, park rangers decided to introduce wolves to the park.

Mountain lions and wolves both eat deer and rabbits. Deer and rabbits both eat grass.

If the number of deer and rabbits eaten by the mountain lions stays the same, what will happen to the grass after wolves are introduced? Use only the relationships between the plants and animals described above.

A.   The amount of grass will increase.

B.   The amount of grass will stay the same.

C.   The amount of grass will decrease until it is all gone.

D.   The amount of grass will decrease, but some will remain.

The correct answer is A

3.  Level 1 What is an ecosystem?

               A.   students should know that an ecosystem is a system involving the interaction between a community of living organisms in a particular area and it's non living environment.

4.  Level 3 Uncovering Students ideas in science: Food Chain Energy. Life Science volume 1 p. 91 NSTA

5.  level 3 Uncovering Students ideas in Science: Seedlings in a Jar. Volume 1 p. 67 NSTA

6.  (Level 2) When we talk about ecosystems, we use the terms inputs and outputs? What do these terms mean and can you give examples?

a. inputs are resources such as things like sunlight, water, oxygen, outputs are what is produced such as carbon dioxide and dead matter. 

Teachers:

1.  - Describe a natural system in Minnesota, such as a wetland, prairie or garden, in terms of the relationships among its living and nonliving parts, as well as inputs and outputs?

A. Teachers should be familiar with the common ecosystems found in Minnesota and the most common organisms in those ecosystems. Teachers should also understand what inputs and outputs are in an ecosystem.

2. 4.  Level 3 Uncovering Students ideas in science: Food Chain Energy. Life Science volume 1 p. 91 NSTA Uncovering Students ideas in science is a book that has probes which can be used for teachers to understand what students know.

3.  What are examples of occurrences that can throw an ecosystem out of balance, give examples specific to Minnesota?

a.  Teachers should be familiar with common invasive species and human activities that can throw our Minnesota  ecosystems out of balance, like zebra muscles, in area lakes and  Asian carp in the Mississippi river

Administrators:

Teachers should teach using examples that are common in Minnesota and common to Minnesota ecosystems.

Differentiation

Struggling Learners 

Struggling and At-Risk:

Additional exposure or pre-exposure to activities can be helpful.  Build cooperative learning groups carefully. Students must be grouped with students who will allow them to participate and use their strengths.  Adapted from: Supporting Special Education Students in Science

English Language Learners 

The following link will bring you to a pdf that outlines some great ideas to support your ELL students. How to Support ESL Students in Science

Extending the Learning 

G/T:

What Should a Science Curriculum for Gifted Students Include?

At the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary, the past six years has been spent addressing issues of appropriate science curriculum and instruction for high ability students as well as melding those ideas to the template of curriculum reform for all students in science. Consequently, the elements essential for high ability learners also have saliency for other learners as well. The most important include the following elements:

An Emphasis on Learning Concepts. By restructuring science curriculum to emphasize those ideas deemed most appropriate for students to know and grounded in the view of the disciplines held by practicing scientists, we allow students to learn at deeper levels the fundamental ideas central to understanding and doing science in the real world. Concepts such as systems, change, reductionism, and scale all provide an important scaffold for learning about the core ideas of science that do not change, although the specific applications taught about them may.

An Emphasis on Higher-Level Thinking. Students need to learn about important science concepts and also to manipulate those concepts in complex ways. Having students analyze the relationship between real world problems, like an acid spill on the highway, and the implications of that incident for understanding science and for seeing the connections between science and society provides opportunities for both critical and creative thinking within a problem-based episode.

An Emphasis on Inquiry, Especially Problem-Based Learning. The more that students can construct their understanding about science for themselves, the better able they will be to encounter new situations and apply appropriate scientific processes to them. Through guided questions by the teacher, collaborative dialogue and discussion with peers, and individual exploration of key questions, students can grow in the development of valuable habits of mind found among scientists, such as skepticism, objectivity, and curiosity (VanTassel-Baska, Gallagher, Bailey, & Sher, 1993).

An Emphasis on the Use of Technology as a Learning Tool. The use of technology to teach science offers some exciting possibilities for connecting students to real world opportunities. Access to the world of scientific papers through CD-ROM databases offers new avenues for exploration. Internet access provides teachers wonderful connections to well-constructed units of study in science as well as ideas for teaching key concepts, and e-mail allows students to communicate directly with scientists and other students around the world on questions related to their research projects.

An Emphasis on Learning the Scientific Process, Using Experimental Design Procedures. One of the realities we have uncovered is how little students know about experimental design and its related processes. Typically, basal texts will offer canned experiments where students follow the steps to a preordained conclusion. Rarely are they encouraged to design their own experiments. Such original work in science would require them to read and discuss a particular topic of interest, come up with a problem about that topic to be tested, and then follow through in a reiterative fashion with appropriate procedures, further discussion, a reanalysis of the problem, and communication of findings to a relevant audience. Planning Science Programs for High-Ability Learners

Multi-Cultural 

The Multicultural Resource Center has a variety of resources available to support multicultural science instruction.  St Paul Public Schools Multicultural Science Education Resources

Teaching Science to Native American Students

STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING SCIENCE TO NATIVE AMERICANS

Special Education 

The following link will bring you to proven strategies that are specific to science. How to Support Special Education Students in Science

Comments

Natural systems and the inter-connection of all organisms

For anyone who teaches this topic, how do you make connections around this topic with the standards in Social Studies about the slave trade impacting the settlement of North America?