Author:
Melody Casey
Subject:
Science
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Level:
Middle School
Grade:
8
Tags:
  • GEDB
  • Global Education
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Language:
    English

    Education Standards

    GEDB Ecosystems: A Changing World – Types of Ecosystems in the World (Lesson 1 of 6)

    GEDB Ecosystems: A Changing World – Types of Ecosystems in the World (Lesson 1 of 6)

    Overview

    Lesson one allows students to explore the interconnection between organisms and the environments they make their homes. They will begin with investigating how food webs, food chains and energy pyramids are different and similar throughout the world. By analyzing food webs, food chains, and energy pyramids, the students will be able to discover how different organisms in different ecosystems throughout the world utilize each other for their own survival. This lesson specifically addresses the need for students to understand how organisms within an ecosystem interact with each other. It will include the interaction of producers, consumers, and decomposers as energy flows through the ecosystem.

    This lesson was developed by Elizabeth Bartlett as part of their completion of the North Carolina Global Educator Digital Badge program. This lesson plan has been vetted at the local and state level for standards alignment, Global Education focus, and content accuracy.

    Lesson Plan

    Description 

    Lesson one allows students to explore the interconnection between organisms and the environments they make their homes. They will begin with investigating how food webs, food chains and energy pyramids are different and similar throughout the world. By analyzing food webs, food chains, and energy pyramids, the students will be able to discover how different organisms in different ecosystems throughout the world utilize each other for their own survival. This lesson specifically addresses the need for students to understand how organisms within an ecosystem interact with each other. It will include the interaction of producers, consumers, and decomposers as energy flows through the ecosystem.


    Content

    Student Engagement/Motivation

    The students will create a KWL chart.  This will show what they already know about ecosystems' relationships what they would like to learn about ecosystems. The teacher will then utilize a SMART Board to project and complete a class KWL chart. If the teacher does not have access to a SMART board, the teacher could alternately complete the KWL chart on a white board. The lesson will provide choices for the students to investigate an ecosystem from around the world that they might find interesting.  


    Learning Targets and Criteria for Success

    Learning Target:

    I can identify the similarities and differences of the food chain, food web and energy pyramid from three different ecosystems in the world.

     

    Criteria for Success

    I will be able to compare and contrast the same type of ecosystem from three different world locations.


    Supplies/Resources

    The teacher will need a list of the different types of ecosystems such as Aquatic, Deciduous Forest, Rainforest, Tundra, Desert, Boreal Forest and Grassland.  

    The students will need access to computers with internet connection for investigation. 

    The teacher will need to provide chart paper and markers for students to use to create an ecosystem.

    The teacher may choose to provide links to ecosystems the students can use during investigation.

    The teacher may choose to provide a list of countries to use during investigation. 

    The teacher may choose to provide a list of countries to use during investigation.

    The teacher will provide a world map.

    The teacher can find information on the biomes location at the following websites:

    Windows To The Universe: https://www.windows2universe.org/earth/ecosystems.html

    Kids Do Ecology: http://kids.nceas.ucsb.edu/biomes/

    ASU School of Life Science: https://askabiologist.asu.edu/explore/biomes

    Fact Monster: https://www.factmonster.com/science/nature/major-biomes-world

     

    Example Locations of Biomes

    Hot Desert: Sonora Desert Arizona, Great Sandy Desert Australia, Arabian Desert Arabian Peninsula

    Tropical Rainforest: Congo, Indonesia, Peru

    Deciduous Forest: North Carolina, Japan, Russia

    Grassland: Rangeland New Zealand,Central Anatolian steppe Turkey, Prairie Nebraska 

    Arctic Tundra: Greenland, Canada, Finland

    Boreal Forest: Alaska, Iceland, Japan

    Estuary: Korea, Italy, Germany

    Cold Desert: Great Basin Colorado, Patagonian Desert Argentina, Kyzyl Kum Kazakhstan

    Alpine Tundra: Andes Venezuela, White Mountains New Hampshire, Rift Mountains Africa

    Tropical Grassland: Deccan Plateau India, Savannah Africa, Campos Brazil

     

    Possible List of Student Websites for Biome Research

    Berkeley: http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/glossary/gloss5/biome/deserts.html

    E-School Today: http://eschooltoday.com/ecosystems/what-is-a-biome.html

    ASU University: http://www.geo.arizona.edu/Antevs/biomes/

    COTE: http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/msese/earthsysflr/biomes.html

    Soft Schools: http://www.softschools.com/science/biomes/types_of_biomes/

    Earth Rangers: https://www.earthrangers.com/wildwire/our-faves/types-of-biomes-2/

    Duckster: http://www.ducksters.com/science/ecosystems/world_biomes.php

    Environmental Science: https://environmentalscien.weebly.com/ten-biomes.html

    Department of Geospatial Science Radford University: https://php.radford.edu/~swoodwar/biomes/

    Environmental Biology: https://openoregon.pressbooks.pub/envirobiology/chapter/3-3-terrestrial-biomes/

    Khan Academy Tropical Rainforest: https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology/ecology/biogeography/a/tropical-rainforest-biomes

    The Blue Planet Grasslands: http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/world_biomes.htm

    NASA Earth Observatory: https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Experiments/Biome/biotemperate.php


    Learning Tasks and Practice

    Lesson Flow:

    Day 1

    Introduction 5 Minutes:

    The teacher will use the Smart Board and a class discussion to document the students’ ideas. The teacher will create a three column chart labeling section one Know, section two What Do We Want To Know, and the last section What Have We Learned.  I would recommend that the teacher have a three column KWL chart ready to present ahead of day one. 

    Teacher Instruction 10 Minutes

    The teacher will provide the students with a rubric, which is provided in an attachment. The teacher will go through the rubric with students to ensure the students understand the requirements of the lesson. The teacher will provide the students with a research sheet, which is provided in an attachment. The teacher will explain to the students what the students are expected to have completed by the end of class on day one. The teacher will address any questions from the students regarding the rubric and the requirements.

    Groups 5 Minutes:

    The teacher can opt to assign the collaborative groups or allow the students to select their own collaborative groups. However, the teacher needs to understand that this generally requires more time than provided for this step. If the teacher is assigning the groups, a good way to make the selection is to have one high level student, two average level students and one low level student. The students should have specific roles within the group. The teacher should allow the students to choose their roles, but reserve the right to approve the roles. This gives the students some choice. However, it lets the teacher ensure one student is not doing all the work or a student is not working below their ability. 

    The teacher should have this already ahead of time, so this should take no more than five minutes. The teacher could consider arranging the students a couple of days ahead of this unit by placing them in groups of four, which would eliminate this step.

    Research 40 Minutes:

    The teacher will provide each group of students with one of the following ecosystems: desert, tropical rainforest, deciduous forest, grassland, tundra, boreal forest, and estuary. The teacher will also provide three different locations in the world for students to analyze the similarities and differences of the exact same type of ecosystem that was provided for the group. As students are completing this, the teacher will specify that the students must include both terrestrial and aquatic information and how they connect. The students will collaborate in groups of four to investigate and analyze their chosen type of ecosystem including food webs, food chains, energy pyramids and organisms’ interactions (symbiosis). The students will need to identify consumers, producers, omnivores, herbivores, carnivores, decomposers, the different energy levels and energy transfer on the energy pyramid. If there are not enough students to make even number of groups with four, you can make a couple of groups of three or a few groups of five depending on the level and needs of your students. The teacher will provide the students with time to research the information that is required. 

    The students will research their assigned ecosystem and gather the information. The students should divide the necessary research equally among all four members of the group. This will be absolutely necessary, so the students can complete the research for first part of activity in day 1.

    Day 2

    Analyzing 35 Minutes:

    Students will then use the information from their research on day one to create a visual representation of how the different world locations compare and contrast through a graphic organizer chart such as a Venn diagram. The teacher can choose to provide websites for the students to use during research or they can allow the students to find their own information. The teacher would recommend allowing advance students to locate their own information. However, with classes that have all three different levels the teacher may want to supply a list of websites.

    Applying 5 Minutes:

    The teacher will provide a wall size world map for students to mark the locations of their three world locations. The students will analyze this information and mark at least two other possible locations for their type of ecosystem in the world.

    Analyzing 15 Minutes:

    The students will use the information from the mapping of the three different locations to analyze where they should locate their new ecosystem, so it will have the best chance of surviving. The students will mark at least two locations on the map where the students might locate their ecosystem. 

    Day 3

    Create 50 Minutes:

    The students are now ready to create a digital presentation of their ecosystem utilizing all the information obtained in the last two days. Students will use the information from their research on day one and day two to create digital presentation such as Google Slides, PowerPoint or Prezi of their new ecosystem, which is the same type of ecosystem that was assigned on day one of the activity. The students must choose a different location in the world that their specific ecosystem could exist. The teacher will explain that they can combine information from all three ecosystems to create an ecosystem in a suitable location within the world. The students will need to include a food web (15 organisms), food chain (four organisms), energy pyramid (four organisms), and organisms’ interactions (symbiosis).  The student will need to label one example of a producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer and decomposer in their ecosystem. The teacher will post this information on the Smart Board, so the students may reference the information. 

    KWL 5 Minutes

    The teacher will project the KWL chart from day one on the Smart Board. The students will engage in a class discussion to complete what have we learned section of the KWL chart. The teacher will fill in the L section of the chart utilizing the students’ knowledge. 

    Student Reflection Homework:

    The teacher will distribute the student reflection handouts, which are attached. The students will complete the reflection that includes some questions that will help focus on certain areas. The reflection will have an open section that will allow the students to have unmonitored input. This will be a homework assignment so the students can have time to think about the assignment. The reflection could be given as the warm-up following day three. However, there will not be enough time to have the students complete in class at the end of day three.


    Technological Engagement

    The teacher will use a smart board to complete a class KWL chart. The students will be using computers and the internet to investigate one type of ecosystem at three different world locations in the world. The students will be using a digital presentation tool such as Google slides, PowerPoint or Prezi to complete their ecosystem.


    Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Learning

    Collecting evidence of learning involves using strategies that allow students to show what they have learned based on the learning target(s) and criteria for success statements.

    The students will complete a KWL chart to introduce the unit. The student will then create a compare and contrast graphic organizer on their ecosystem at three different world location. The final product will be the creation of an ecosystem presentation using the information gained through their investigation. The teacher will use the rubric to grade the project that has been completed. 


    Student Self-Reflection and Action Steps

    The students will be allowed to complete a self-reflection of how they did working within their cooperative group. They should include what they did that contributed to the group and what they might change for future cooperative group work. 


    Feedback/Instructional Adjustments

    The teacher will monitor the collaborative groups and provide feedback throughout the lesson from observation. The feedback might be on the information, how to find better information through their investigation, or simply how to work more productive within their collaborative group.


    Extended Learning Opportunities 

    To enrich this activity the teacher could have the students present their digital presentation to the class. This opens the door to discussion opportunities in the class. 

    If the teacher feels that some students need remediation, the teacher could address these on an individual basis. If the teacher feels that most of the class needs remediation, the teacher could take one day and direct teach the students.


    Teacher Reflection of Learning

    The teacher allowed the students to choose their group; this resulted in some groups having two or three leaders while other groups had no one to take the lead. The next time the teacher will select the groups to be sure they are more evenly divide. Even the groups that had more than one student that wanted to lead had difficulty as they would clash over what to do and how to complete the task.


    Formative Assessment

    KWL chart, Graphic Organizer and Ecosystem Poster


    Summative Assesment

    If the teacher completes the unit then lesson six Interconnected Ecosystems would be summative.