Module 4.2

Matter and Energy in Ecosystems

                     Concepts      

Performance Expectation

Matter and Energy in Ecosystems - How do matter and energy flow through ecosystems?

 

4.2 – All organisms depend on the living and nonliving features of the environment for survival.

u When the environment changes, some organisms survive and reproduce, and others die or move to new locations.

B10  Describe how animals, directly or indirectly,

        depend on plants to provide the food and

        energy they need in order to grow and survive.

 

B11  Describe how natural phenomena and some

         human activities may cause changes to habitat

         and their inhabitants.



 

 

 

 


GRADE-LEVEL CONCEPT: u When the environment changes, some organisms survive and reproduce, and others die or move to new locations.

GRADE-LEVEL EXPECTATIONS:

1.     Living and nonliving things interact in land and water environments called ecosystems.  Every ecosystem has certain conditions (“abiotic factors”) and a variety of living things (“organisms”) that are adapted for survival in those conditions.  Abiotic factors include the quality and amount of air, sunlight, water and soil, as well as the terrain and climate.

2.     Organisms depend on other organisms and on the nonliving things in an ecosystem to meet their basic needs for food, water and protection. 

3.     Plants use energy from the sun to produce their own food from air and water.  The type of soil, amount of water and temperature range in an area determine the plants that grow there.

4.     Animals that live in an area get their energy and nutrients either directly or indirectly from plants that grow there: herbivores consume only plants, carnivores consume animals, and omnivores consume both animals and plants.   Decomposers consume plant and animal waste and remains, returning nutrients to the soil where they are used again by plants.

4.   Some of the sun’s energy is transferred from one organism to another when a plant or animal is consumed by another animal.  A food chain is a simple model that illustrates the passage of energy from one organism to another.  Food webs are more realistic models that show the varied energy-passing relationships among plants and animals in an ecosystem.

5.     Environments are always changing.  Some changes occur naturally (examples include disease outbreaks, violent storms, forest fires sparked by lightning).  Other changes are caused by human activity (examples include establishing conservation areas, passing laws to control pollution, clearing forests for agriculture or construction, applying chemicals to lawns and crops, burning fossil fuels, etc.).

6.     Changes in an environment are sometimes beneficial to organisms and sometimes harmful. For example, a newly created beaver pond provides habitat that attracts frogs and raccoons to an area; but trees, earthworms and moles are no longer able to survive in the area.

7.     When environments change, some organisms can accommodate the change by eating different foods or finding different shelters (for example, hawks nest on city buildings and consume pigeons and rats).  Those organisms that can no longer meet their basic needs die or move to new locations.

KEY SCIENCE VOCABULARY:  ecosystem, organism, abiotic factors, nutrient, producer, consumer, herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, decomposer, food chain, food web

 

 

 


Lesson 4.2.1               Organisms and their Energy Needs

                     Concepts      

Performance Expectation

Matter and Energy in Ecosystems - How do matter and energy flow through ecosystems?

 

4.2 – All organisms depend on the living and nonliving features of the environment for survival.

u When the environment changes, some organisms survive and reproduce, and others die or move to new locations.

B10  Describe how animals, directly or indirectly,

        depend on plants to provide the food and

        energy they need in order to grow and survive.

 

B11  Describe how natural phenomena and some

         human activities may cause changes to habitat

         and their inhabitants.


Science Materials:

           

            Per Individual

                        Organism Identification Kit

·      Identity Card

·      Energy beads - pop beads; number depends on organism

·      Nutrient token – penny; number depends on organism

 

            Per Group

                        Container labeled “Energy lost to Atmosphere”

 

Student Handouts:  Sample Food Wed (A)

Vocabulary: ecosystem, organism, abiotic factors, nutrient, producer, consumer, herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, decomposer, food chain, food web

Inquiry:  In this activity, students will explore why organisms are interdependent upon each other by modeling the flow of energy and nutrients within an ecosystem.

 

Procedures and Directions:

Advance Preparation by Teacher

 

1.  Each student should receive an “Organism Identification Kit.”  The kits should be distributed randomly. 

2.  Place containers labeled “Energy lost to Atmosphere” in areas of the classroom that are easily accessible to groups of students.  If your student’s desks are already in a grouped arrangement then place the container in the middle of the group.

3.   Discuss the information on the card.

4.   Give the students the following information:  A volcano has erupted releasing tons of ash into the atmosphere.  The ash will gradually disperse across the earth’s atmosphere but at this point there are days when the cloud of ash blocks the sun’s rays.  

5.   Activity Directions:

6.   Note to teacher:

7.   The teacher continues calling student’s names until the community crashes.

 

Questions to Guide Student Inquiry:

 

      Producers because unlike consumers and decomposers they can acquire energy from an      inorganic source, the sun.

 

      If decomposers were absent then nutrients would not recycle.  Although energy would be   available from the sun for producers they would not be able to conduct life functions          without the nutrients.

 

      Think of a tree and how long it lives and how large they get over their lifetime.

 

      Nutrients can be recycled but energy cannot.  It is eventually lost to the atmosphere as          heat.  Heat is not a usable energy source for organisms.

 

      The cost is dependent on the population size of the energy source.  If the energy source is common then less energy is needed to acquire it.  Towards the end of the activity the population sizes decrease so the amount of energy needed to acquire energy is greater.

 

      Productivity decreases because trees drop their leaves.

 

      They are relying on energy they have stored during spring, summer and part of the fall.

 

Science Concepts:  Consumers and decomposers rely on producers to acquire energy from an inorganic source, the sun.  Once the energy is acquired by producers it flows in a one-way direction through the ecosystem as a result of the feeding activity of consumers and decomposers.  Eventually this energy will be lost to the atmosphere.  Unlike energy, nutrients are not readily lost from an ecosystem.  They can be recycled.

 

Extensions:

 

“Organisms and their Energy Needs” by James Ayers, University of New Haven, jayers@newhaven.edu

 

Background for the Teacher:

            A group of organisms that interact with and depend upon one another is called a community. The community represents the biotic component of an ecosystem.  An ecosystem contains both this biotic component and an abiotic component, the physical and chemical environment.  Ecosystems are grouped according to dominant plant species or salinity into biomes.

            The movement of matter and energy through a community can be studied by examining its food web. As organisms eat other organisms, energy and nutrients pass through various feeding levels. These feeding levels are called trophic levels.

Three major types of organisms can be found living in an ecosystem: producers, consumers, and decomposers. Producers create their own food through the process of photosynthesis. Consumers must hunt or forage for the nutrients they need to survive. Decomposers obtain nutrients by breaking down parts of organisms into simple forms; for example, mushrooms feed off plant tissues on tree bark, and bacteria on a forest floor feed off the leaf tissue of fallen leaves, causing them to decay.

 

There are three types of consumers: herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores. Herbivores are animals that eat only plant material, such as the caterpillar. Carnivores eat animals; for example, forest ants eat other insects. And omnivores eat both plant material and animal flesh along with decomposers like mushrooms.

 

Food webs are diagrams that show how organisms living in an ecosystem depend on one another to obtain the nutrients and energy they need to live. A food chain is a smaller, less complicated diagram that examines one piece of the food web to show how specific organisms obtain their energy from other organisms. Food chains show a single line of energy transfer. An example of a food chain would be maple tree—caterpillar—mouse—owl (the caterpillar eats the leaves from the tree, the mouse eats the caterpillar, and the owl eats the mouse).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are a Producer

Stored energy = 20

Stored nutrients = 14

Energy Source = sun

 

 

 

You are a Producer

Stored energy = 20

Stored nutrients = 14

Energy Source = sun

 

 

 

 

 

You are a Primary Consumer

Stored energy = 4

Stored nutrients = 2

Energy Source = producer

 

 

 

 

 

You are a Primary Consumer

Stored energy = 4

Stored nutrients = 2

Energy Source = producer

 

 

 

 

 

You are a Primary Consumer

Stored energy = 4

Stored nutrients = 2

Energy Source = producer

 

 

 

 

You are a Primary Consumer

Stored energy = 4

Stored nutrients = 2

Energy Source = producer

 

 

 

 

You are a Primary Consumer

Stored energy = 4

Stored nutrients = 2

Energy Source = producer

 

 

 

 

You are a Primary Consumer

Stored energy = 4

Stored nutrients = 2

Energy Source = producer

 

 

 

You are a Secondary Consumer

Stored energy = 8

Stored nutrients = 5

Energy Source = insect

        (i.e., Primary consumer)

 

 

 

 

You are a Secondary Consumer

Stored energy = 8

Stored nutrients = 5

Energy Source = insect

        (i.e., Primary consumer)

 

 

 

You are a Primary Consumer

Stored energy = 8

Stored nutrients = 5

Energy Source = producer

 

 

 

 

You are a Primary Consumer

Stored energy = 8

Stored nutrients = 5

Energy Source = producer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are a Primary Consumer

Stored energy = 5

Stored nutrients = 3

Energy Source = Producer (its

                                  seeds)

 

 

 

 

 

You are a Primary Consumer

Stored energy = 5

Stored nutrients = 3

Energy Source = Producer (its

                                  seeds)

 

 

 

 

 

You are a Primary Consumer

Stored energy = 5

Stored nutrients = 3

Energy Source = Producer (its

                                  seeds)

 

 

 

 

You are a Primary Consumer

Stored energy = 5

Stored nutrients = 3

Energy Source = Producer (its

                                  seeds)

 

You are a Decomposer

Stored energy = 4

Stored nutrients = 2

Energy Source = any dead

                                     organism

 

You are a Decomposer

Stored energy = 4

Stored nutrients = 2

Energy Source = any dead

                                     Organism

 

You are a Decomposer

Stored energy = 4

Stored nutrients = 2

Energy Source = any dead

                                     organism

 

You are a Decomposer

Stored energy = 4

Stored nutrients = 2

Energy Source = any dead

                                     organism

 

 

 

You are a Decomposer

Stored energy = 4

Stored nutrients = 2

Energy Source = producer

 

 

 

You are a Decomposer

Stored energy = 4

Stored nutrients = 2

Energy Source = producer

 

 

 

 

You are a Primary Consumer

Stored energy = 4

Stored nutrients = 2

Energy Source = producer

 

 

 

 

You are a Primary Consumer

Stored energy = 4

Stored nutrients = 2

Energy Source = producer

 

 

Lesson 4.2.2                           In the Beginning

                     Concepts      

Performance Expectation

Matter and Energy in Ecosystems - How do matter and energy flow through ecosystems?

 

4.2 – All organisms depend on the living and nonliving features of the environment for survival.

u When the environment changes, some organisms survive and reproduce, and others die or move to new locations.

B10  Describe how animals, directly or indirectly,

        depend on plants to provide the food and

        energy they need in order to grow and survive.

 

 


Science Materials:    

 

            Package toothpicks (thicker round type)        

 

            Per group:

                        20-30 lima beans  (Beans purchased from a grocery store can be used for the                                               dissection but they will not grow because they have been irradiated.  The                                          beans that will be planted need to be purchased from a garden center or                                                 seed catalog (e.g., Park Seeds)

                        three 3-5oz Dixie cups

                        magnifying glass

                  Plastic party bowl

 

Student Handouts:  Bean Growth Diagram (A)

Vocabulary:  organism, abiotic factors, nutrient, producer

Inquiry:  In this inquiry, students will explore the life cycle of a plant. 

 

Procedures and Directions:

Advance Preparation by Teacher

The teacher should soak 4-5 beans per group in lukewarm water 30 min. prior to the start of the lesson for dissection use later in lab.

 

1.   Students will determine how many lima beans they can get to fit into a Dixie cup.  The beans cannot be damaged or go higher then the rim of the cup.

2.   Each group should share the maximum number of beans that got to fit into the Dixie cup and other groups should record these numbers.

3.   Students calculate the class average of beans that fit in the Dixie cups.

      Remind them that they concluded at the start of the lesson that an organism requires energy and nutrients to live. 

4.   Students decide on method to observe whether beans take-in water.

      Example:

·      Have the students take half the seeds from their cup and put them in the second Dixie cup.  Both cups should be filled to the rim with water.

·      Soak seeds for a minimum of 20-30 minutes in lukewarm water.  If time is available then have the students begin the experiment in the morning and check on the seeds throughout the day with the final measurements occurring at the end of the school day.  

      If graduated cylinders are available then the students can measure the change in the volume of water in the bowl.  They can start with 100ml and then measure how much    water was taken in by the seeds by measuring how much of the 100ml remains in the     bowl after soaking the seeds.

·      Have repeat steps 1-3 with their soaked beans and a dry Dixie cup.

5.   Students dissect a soaked lima bean to seek evidence of an embryo using a bean that the teacher started soaking prior to the start of class, a toothpick and a magnifying glass.   Have them begin by comparing and contrasting a dry bean versus a soaked bean and then they can begin their dissection.

6.   Have the students draw a diagram of the seed with labels.

7.   Students will plant 4 soaked lima beans in a plastic bowl.  Soil should remain moist but not wet.  Soil that is too wet will kill the beans and encourage fungus growth. 

8.   Plant the beans in the top/bottom orientation shown in Handout A.  Angle the top of the beans off in the four direction of a compass (N – E – S – W).

9.   Have students make predictions about the growth of these bean plants, whether growth patterns will be the same or different within the bowl.  Why? 

10. Over the next 2-3 weeks they should make observations on their plants and maintain the soil so that it stays slightly damp and does not dry out.

 

Questions to Guide Student Inquiry:

 

      You can read the nutrition information from the package.

      No.  The students should reply that it also needs water.

 

When this lesson concludes in 2-3 weeks, the students will have completed the other lessons in this Ecology Unit and should see that they relate to each other.  Students will write a report to assess whether the students understand the material and have united the individual lessons into a unifying concept.  Discuss with the students all they have learned over the last weeks (see below).  Tell them you want them to express all they have learned in a format of their own choice (e.g., report, story, poster, poem, etc.).  Whatever their choice of format, they should have both written and visual elements (e.g., illustration of plant growth, graph of change in size of beans, etc)

 

 

Science Concepts:  A plant seed contains an embryo which is living.  It is triggered from a sort of hibernation by a specific amount of water entering its shell.  Because embryos begin growth in the dark (buried inside a seed coat) they need stored food.  Cotyledons are energy storage sites.   The initial stages of growth rely on this stored energy.  Once it breaks through the soil’s surface it can rely on the sun as an energy source.   

 

“Organisms and their Energy Needs” by James Ayers, University of New Haven, jayers@newhaven.edu

 


Background for the Teacher:

 

Characteristics of Life:

 

A Google image search of “lima bean embryo” will provide you with a reference for dissection.

 

Best orientation of bean in soil

 

 

 

 

 


Lesson 4.2.3               Metamorphosis: A Time of Change           

 

                     Concepts      

Performance Expectation

Matter and Energy in Ecosystems - How do matter and energy flow through ecosystems?

 

4.2 – All organisms depend on the living and nonliving features of the environment for survival.

u When the environment changes, some organisms survive and reproduce, and others die or move to new locations.

B11  Describe how natural phenomena and some

         human activities may cause changes to habitat

         and their inhabitants.


Science Materials:    

 

            Per lab group:

·      (4) Magic Grow® capsules

·      Warm/hot water

·      Vinegar

·      Bleach

·      Cooking oil

·      Plastic spoon

·      (4) 200ml beakers or container of similar size

·      (2)  4” x 4” squares of plastic wrap

·      (2) rubber bands

 

Student Handouts: Data Tables (A & B), Worksheet (C)

Vocabulary: metamorphosis

Inquiry:  In this inquiry, students will explore how events during metamorphosis can potentially affect survival as adult frogs in the real world.  Students will be able to develop ideas for reducing sources of frog malformations in their community. 

 

Procedures and Directions:

Advance Preparation by Teacher: 

To save time and to prevent spills, the teacher should pour chemicals into the beakers before class starts. 

·      Pour ~2 in. of liquid into each beaker (warm/hot water, vinegar, bleach, and vegetable oil). 

·      Place a piece of plastic wrap over the bleach and vinegar beakers, secure with a rubber band.  This will prevent fumes from building up in the lab area.

·      Bleach is a good choice because it also causes discoloration.  If you are not comfortable with bleach container at each group, then you can set one container up at the front of the class to allow for class observations.   

  1. Give a brief explanation of the activity to the students and asked them to write predictions/hypotheses about will happen in each of the liquids and why they think this will happen?

      You are looking for very general responses (e.g., I think the bleach will be different then     the water because I know it is bad for me to drink)

  1. Obtain four capsules from your teacher.  These capsules represent tadpoles waiting to go through metamorphosis.

-       The water should be referred to as your control.  Metamorphosis will                       proceed naturally in the water beaker.

  1. Make sure your beakers are labeled with: Bleach, Water, Vinegar, and Oil.
  2. CAUTION:

·      Make sure there is plastic wrap over the bleach and vinegar containers to prevent fumes in the lab area.

·      DO NOT breathe the fumes of these liquids directly

·      Be careful handling the water since it is HOT!

                 

  1. Record your Start Time on the data sheet.
  2. Drop-in one capsule per container.

-       Swirl the beakers at will to make sure the capsules don’t stick to the sides                 of the beakers.  Do NOT put your fingers in the liquids.

  1. Watch for signs of metamorphosis
  2. Write these changes on your data table.
  3. Record your observations at two minute intervals, in the table.

·      when it starts opening

·      when it’s done opening

·      color changes

·      bubbling, etc.

  1. Record your observations at two minute intervals on Handout A and B..
  2. After 30 min., use the spoon to remove all capsules/frogs. 
  3. Once their data sheets are complete, have each student complete Handout C.

            It is important for each student to do this separately so that they each have the chance to       express themselves.

 

Questions to Guide Student Inquiry:

 

 

 

Science Concepts:  As an organism develops it can be influenced by its environment.  Environments tend to change over time.  Some environmental changes occur naturally while some changes are caused by human activity.  Development in organisms is regulated and needs to proceed within a restricted framework.  Alterations to this optimal framework may affect an organism’s ability to survive.

 

Extensions:

1.     Acid rain topics regarding frog malformations would work nicely in a chemistry setting, discussing pH.

2.     List 3 things you can do to reduce aquatic pollution.

3.     Take a field trip to a local water resource (pond, stream, lake, or wetland).  Identify what, if any, kinds of aquatic pollutants are present.

4.     Discuss point source pollution and non-point source pollution.

5.     Attain information about current national and state laws protecting water quality in the U.S. Make a timeline of the U.S. Clean Water Act.

 

This lesson was adapted from “What Effects Anuran Metamorphosis” by Brooke Talley and Doris Raven at Spice. http://spice.ees.ufl.edu/Amphibian%20Malformations/Lesson%204.doc

 Last accessed July 24, 2007.

 

 


Background for the Teacher:

 

The three distinct life stages of amphibians include the (1) egg, (2) larvae, and (3) adult. In Anurans (frogs and toads) the larval stage is called a tadpole.  A tadpole transforms into an adult in a process known as metamorphosis.  This process is one of the most spectacular and important events in the life cycle of anurans.  When the anurans hatch into a tadpole their development into an adult may be very rapid or slow, depending on the species.  This development rate has also been found to depend on environmental factors.

           

In nature, tadpole metamorphosis may be sped up when breeding areas become overcrowded or begin to dry up.  However, human activities probably cause environmental cues that slow, speed up, or cause more negative effects on metamorphosis.  For example, water pollutants disrupt the normal chemistry involved in tadpole development.  These disruptions cause abnormal limb development, sexual organ development, etc.  For example, hind limb deformities of frogs were found in agricultural areas of Ontario, Canada.  Insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides are chemicals associated with agriculture.  When human activities like agriculture, forestry, and urbanization are present near anuran populations there is a chance that malformations may occur. 

           

Environmental pollution has been linked to amphibian population declines as well as individual malformations.  Amphibians may be sensitive biological indicators because their permeable skin absorbs toxins in the environment.  In this lab, assume that the frogs are sensitive indicators of pollution.  Pesticides, high concentrations of heavy metals, and toxins from mining, logging, and urbanization are all examples of pollutants that affect amphibians.  These effects include death and malformation.

           

Malformations are a result of an error that occurred early in development.  Therefore, some malformations may come from natural developmental fluctuations in nature.  Emphasize the natural occurrence of malformations to students learning this topic.  Some scientists hesitate to say that malformations can serve as signals of ecosystem disturbance.  They argue that these signals may not be indicative of how these disturbances will affect other organisms in the same ecosystem. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complete this data table with your observations; be specific.

Start Time:_________                                                                     

10 min.

 

 

 

 

8 min.

 

 

 

 

6 min.

 

 

 

 

4 min.

 

 

 

 

2 min.

 

 

 

 

0 min.

 

 

 

 

Type of Liquid

 

 

 

 

 

Handout A

Complete this data table with your observations; be specific.

Start Time:_________                                                                     

20 min.

 

 

 

 

18 min.

 

 

 

 

16 min.

 

 

 

 

14 min.

 

 

 

 

12 min.

 

 

 

 

10 min.

 

 

 

 

Type of Liquid

 

 

 

 

 

Handout B

Complete this data table with your observations; be specific.

Start Time:_________                                                                    

30 min.

 

 

 

 

28 min.

 

 

 

 

26 min.

 

 

 

 

24 min.

 

 

 

 

22 min.

 

 

 

 

20 min.

 

 

 

 

Type of Liquid

 

 

 

 

 

Handout C

 

Student Name:                                                             Date:

 

(1)  Which capsule was the control capsule?

 

(2)  Which capsule opened first?

 

 

 

(3)  Did all of your capsules open?  If not, which did not open?

 

 

 

(4)  Did you see any capsules change color?  Which changed? How did it change? Do you think that a color change means something is good or bad for the frog?

 

 

 

 

 

(5)  What if a capsule completed the metamorphosis very quickly once it started opening.  Do you think this would affect the adult frog in real life? How?  ?  Think about what would happen to a recipe that wasn’t cooking long enough in the oven.  Did any of your capsules open very quickly?

 

 

 

 

(6)  If a capsule does not open at all then how would this affect frog populations in a real pond?

 

 

 

 

 

 

(7)  Can you think of ways to reduce this problem from continuing in the real world?

 

 

 

 

Lesson 4.2.4                           An Island Home*     

                     Concepts      

Performance Expectation

Matter and Energy in Ecosystems - How do matter and energy flow through ecosystems?

 

4.2 – All organisms depend on the living and nonliving features of the environment for survival.

u When the environment changes, some organisms survive and reproduce, and others die or move to new locations.

B11  Describe how natural phenomena and some

         human activities may cause changes to habitat

         and their inhabitants.

 

 


Science Materials:    

 

            Per Group

·      Large physical map of the world

·      Drawing paper

·      Colored pencils

 

Student Handouts:  Data Sheets

Vocabulary:  ecosystem, organism, abiotic factors, nutrient, producer, consumer, herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, decomposer, food chain, food web

Inquiry:  In this inquiry, students will explore the potential effect people can have on their natural environment, through a simulation activity.

 

Procedures and Directions:

For Teacher:

 

In this simulation activity, the students will act as owners and developers of a lush, 14-square kilometer tropical island. Groups of students will select the forms and extent of development on their island by considering the benefits of the development and the risks their actions pose for the island and the planet.

The activity is best scheduled over 2 or 3 days, depending on the level of sophistication in student planning and the extent to which each team will report to the entire class upon completion of the project.

  1. Recite the following to get the students attention:

"Suddenly from behind the rim of the Moon . . . there emerges a sparkling blue and white jewel, a light, delicate sky-blue sphere laced with slowly swirling veils of white, rising like a small pearl in a thick sea of black mystery. It takes more than a moment to fully realize this is Earth . . . home." - Edgar Mitchell, astronaut, USA, 1971

  1. Say this to the class:

Congratulations. You have just been awarded ownership of a tropical island in recognition of your concern for the environment and your wisdom in management. As owners of this island, you have some responsibilities.

First, it is important to create jobs for your fellow citizens. There is a native population living in thatch-roofed huts and subsisting on fish, fruit, and nuts. Second, you must develop your island as a model environment for business and for natural habitats.

The island is covered by virgin rain forest and is surrounded by well-developed coral reefs. Both of these types of ecological systems are in danger all over the world. The island is in your care. Consider your actions carefully.

  1. As a class, brainstorm the possible range of businesses that could be developed on a tropical island. A few suggestions to get the class thinking:
  2. Discuss the ways the outcomes of this project could be presented. Use the list below for possibilities:
  3. Form interest groups of three to five students. Provide resources from the internet or from your school library for deliberating what business opportunities these environments offer and potential solutions to counter the risks presented by their development plans.

“What is a Tropical Rainforest?” Rainforest Action Network

http://ran.org/fileadmin/materials/education/factsheets/RAN_WhatIsARainforest.pdf

 

“Coral Reefs: A Fact Sheet” Center for Marine Conservation

http://www.usm.edu/aquarium/old/coralreef/01.pdf

 

 

 

Questions to Guide Student Inquiry:

Science Concepts:  Organisms have requirements for survival.  An organism’s presence in a particular ecosystem is dependent on the availability of those requirements in the environment.  Environments change and whether an organism can remain in the ecosystem depends on the extent of the changes.  Some environmental changes occur naturally while some changes are caused by human activity. 

 

Extensions:

  1. This exercise can be done using other environments including wetlands, deserts, polar regions, etc. Adjust the text of the story and the project requirements accordingly.
  2. Ask teams of students what components would be necessary to create a habitable environment on another planet. What unique equipment and risks would have to be considered for such a project? For example, what would it take to transform an area on the planet Mars to make it acceptable for human habitation? (Mars has no ocean and four times the land area of the Earth.)
  3. Groups of students can create a model of their island.

*Global Change: Earth as Home Lesson – An Island Home” at USGS: The Learning Web. http://interactive2.usgs.gov/learningweb/textonly/teachers/globalchange_earth.htm

Last accessed July 25, 2007.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Risks and Solutions of Your Development Plan

Considerations

Risks

Solutions

Clearing of land

Loss of habitats

.

 

Extinction of species

 

.

Buildings

Need for natural resources for building materials from other areas

 

.

Water supplies

More needed

 

.

Loss of quality

 

.

Electricity

Need for power plants: coal, oil, or nuclear

.

Pollution from the burning of fossil fuels

.

Marine life

Overfishing

 

.

Damage by people and boats

 

.

Death of coral, changing food sources and modifying water flow patterns

 

.

Automobile traffic

Air pollution

 

 

Noise

 

 

Road requirements

 

 

Solid and liquid waste disposal

Pollution

 

.

Shore and land plants and animals

Destruction of beaches and dunes

 

.

Extinction of plant and animal species

 

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Application Problems

Module 4.2 Ecosystems

 

These assessment items are intended to provide closure for each lesson and help teachers determine how well the students understand the science concepts. The assessments are also intended to provide students additional practice with the lesson content. Teachers should use the assessment items as they deem appropriate. For example, teachers may wish to assign them for homework, assign them as an additional class activity or “quiz” at the end of a lesson, or ask students to answer them individually as they leave the class (as “exit passes”). Teachers may wish to use the problems as a closing class activity, asking students to solve the problem in groups and then share their answers in a whole group closing activity.

 

  1. The circle below represents an ecosystem with four organisms.

 

Oval: Maple tree
		Caterpillar
				Mouse		Owl
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


                                                                                                                                 

  1. The science class is studying pond life. Students looked at some pond water under a microscope.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. In the back of the school is a wooded area with oak and chestnut trees. Based on your knowledge of ecosystems, explain why you might expect to find many squirrels in this wooded area. Use at least two scientific terms in your response.

 


  1. Mushrooms make the soil rich in nutrients by feeding on dead plant material; the mushrooms cause the plant life to decay.

                                                                                                                           

Mushrooms are:

a)     primary consumers

b)    producers

c)     secondary consumers

d)    decomposers

 

 

6. Explain why plants need light to grow.

 

 

 

 

 

7. Which animals are herbivores?

a)  cat

b) dog

c) rabbit

d) lion