GEDB Ecosystems: A Changing World – Factors of Ecosystem Health (Lesson 4 of 6)
Students will be working in a group of four. Students will be given a situation that has occurred within their given world ecosystem. The situation could be a disease that has infected a certain species of animal, resulting in eradication. What happens to your food web and how might this situation be avoided in the future? Students will then create a three-minute video newscast using moviemaker or screencast in order to communicate what has happened to their ecosystem and how scientists are working to make certain that this does not occur in the future. Students can use their notes or internet search to investigate the situation that is occurring within their world 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.
The students will be working in a group of four. They may choose their own groups. The teacher could assign groups or randomly choose the groups whichever format works better in their classroom. Students will be given a situation that has occurred within their given world ecosystem. The situation could be a disease that has infected a certain species of animal, resulting in eradication. What happens to your food web and how might this situation be avoided in the future? Students will then create a three-minute video newscast using moviemaker or screencast in order to communicate what has happened to their ecosystem and how scientists are working to make certain that this does not occur in the future. Students can use their notes or internet search to investigate the situation that is occurring within their world ecosystem.
The students will be given a text to read about a real-world situation taking place that could affect an ecosystem in the world. One text will have a negative impact and one text will have a positive impact. The teacher used the Science Daily website; however, the teacher will want to find current articles so the students will be experiencing the situation happening now. The students will read both articles. As they are reading, the students will use four corners to write down what they think is important. For the four corners activity, the students have one sheet of paper in the center of the table and each student writes on one corner their thoughts and take-away of the article. If doing a negative and positive article be sure students either flip over paper or the teacher provides two sheets of paper. The students will then share with their collaborative group their thoughts and defend their own view point. This is a little longer engagement and will take about twenty minutes to complete.
Learning Targets and Criteria for Success
I can identify how global changes cause environmental changes to ecosystems and species that live in that ecosystem.
Criteria for Success
I will be able to investigate the factors that impact an ecosystem's health and survival such as human impact, biodiversity, population factors, and invasive species.
I will be able to compare and contrast the factors that result in the loss of biodiversity.
The teacher will provide the students with a piece of chart paper for the four corners activity. The teacher will supply the students with a situation card from a world ecosystem. The situation card will assign the world ecosystem for the students to investigate. The students will need computers with internet access. The teacher can use the provided situation cards which are attached to lesson or the teacher can create their own situations. The students will need access to a camera either provided by the teacher or by using their cell phones. The students will need access to video publishing software such as moviemaker, screencast, or Edpuzzle. The student will need to have paper and pencil during the debate to take notes.
The teacher will provide students with a rubric, student reflection handout, debate notes, situation research handout and situation cards which are attached to lesson.
Video Publishing Software Links:
Moviemaker is a Chromebook app from the google store.
Seeing the forest for the trees: World's largest reforestation program overlooks wildlife
Coral gardening is benefiting Caribbean reefs, study finds
Researchers provide science benchmarks for the restoration and recovery of threatened corals
Tigers cling to survival in Sumatra's increasingly fragmented forests
Trophy hunting may cause extinction in a changing environment
Climate change is luring Kodiak bears away from their iconic salmon streams
Learning Tasks and Practice
Instruction 5 Minutes:
The teacher will give the students instructions on the activity and provide a rubric, instruction sheet, and research paper which are attached to lesson. The teacher should review the instruction sheet and rubric to ensure the students understand the criteria for the video.
Collaboration 5 Minutes:
The teacher will allow the students to form collaborative groups of four. The teacher found that allowing the students to choose their own groups the video was more innovative and creative.
Research 10 Minutes:
The students will be given situation cards which are attached to lesson about an issue in a world ecosystem. The students will need to investigate the world ecosystem in order to determine all the issues that may arise from the situation they have been assigned. Students will need to come up with four possible solutions to the issues caused by the situation. The situation card stories were created but the situations taking place within the stories relate to real-world situations taking place in ecosystems throughout the world.
The students will divide their research, so each member is finding one fact, issue, and solution.
Create 20 Minutes:
Students will create a three-minute video using their cell phones or a video camera provided by the teacher to communicate the issues that have occurred in their ecosystem and the possible solutions so this does not occur in the ecosystem again.
Collaborate 10 Minutes:
The students will upload their video to movie maker, screencast, or Edpuzzle and edit.
Evaluate 5 Minutes:
The students must edit the video to three minutes. The students must be sure all components of the video match the rubric requirements.
Communication 30 Minutes:
The students will view the videos created by all the students. The students will need to instructed to focus on the videos as the students may need to use the information on day three.
Instruction 10 Minutes:
The teacher will provide the note taking sheet for the debate, which will be the students graded portion of the debate. The debate sheets are included as an attachment to the lesson. The teacher will review the note sheets with the students.
Collaboration 10 Minutes:
The students will be randomly placed into two groups. The students will draw out of a bucket either number one or number two. The teacher can be creative and use colors or shape. These two groups form the debate teams.
Instruction 10 Minutes:
The students will be told they are going to have a debate by the teacher. The teacher will explain that a debate is when two opposing sides present their facts and try to dispute the other sides’ facts. The teacher will allow someone to choose a card on both sides this will provide the teams their topic. One team will have positive impacts of human activity and the other will have negative impacts of human activity.
Collaboration 10 Minutes:
The students will be given ten minutes to discuss their topic as a group and brainstorm some facts. The teacher needs to provide as much separation as possible for the groups to discuss their ideas.
Set-up 5 Minutes:
The teacher should already have the desk in a circle and two chairs in the center. The teacher should place a bell or signaling device for the students in the center. This will allow them to switch out simply by hitting the bell. The teacher can have the students set-up at this point but that will add time that is not calculated for this part.
Instructions 10 Minutes:
The teacher will now distribute the debate note taking sheet to the students. The teacher will explain that one person from each side will start in the center of the circle. The teacher will explain that if the student in the center wants to swap places with another student on their team, simply hit the bell. The teacher has two options at this point, as another student can just volunteer and take the student's place or the teacher can have the student exiting the center to name a replacement. If teacher chooses to have the student say the name, the teacher should explain that as soon as they hit the bell say the student's name and move to a sit in the circle. The teacher must make the students understand as they are switching places the debate is continuing, because the student in the center will present more facts supporting their position. If the teacher fails to explain the expectations, to the students then the debate will not go smoothly.
The provided website can provide more information on how the fish bowl strategy can be utilized in the classroom.
Fish Bowl Debate Instruction:
The debate can be held in a traditional stand and deliver method or the teacher can use the fish bowl method for the debate. The fishbowl method will have one student from each side of the issue to sit in the middle of a circle formed by the other students on both sides of the issue. The two students in the middle start the debate, however, when one or the other student can’t continue they will call on another member of their team who will take the student's seat in the middle. The students outside the circle are taking notes, so they can be prepared if called on by the student in the center. Before students are dismissed on day two the teacher will have the students complete an exit ticket or the teacher could assign as homework. The exit ticket or homework question can be decided by the teacher. An example question would be: What do you think is the most important factor that will lead to the continual survival of an ecosystem?
Debate 30 Minutes:
The teacher should now get the debate started. The teacher can control this part by saying we will start with the position that humans have a positive effect on ecosystems. The teacher could decide to allow a student to conduct the debate and be only a facilitator just in case of a problem.
Homework 3 Minutes:
The students will complete a self-reflection. The teacher should provide the question provided for the students. What do you think is the most important factor that will lead to the continual survival of an ecosystem?
The teacher will need a computer with internet to investigate possible text articles for the student engagement. The students will need computers with internet to complete their investigation. The students will need technology with videotaping ability. The students will need a video editing software program. The students will use the SMART Board and computer to present their video to the class.
Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Learning
The teacher will utilize the students’ videotape using the rubric. The teacher will collect the notes take by the students on the debate about humans’ impact of the world ecosystems.
Student Self-Reflection and Action Steps
The students will complete a self-reflection of their work within their collaborative group. The students should include any challenges they faced working with the collaborative group. The students also need to include how they contributed to overcoming the challenges.
The teacher will monitor the students and provide suggestions as the students investigate and create their presentation. The teacher will hold a short class discussion and provide feedback as well as take feedback from the students.
Extended Learning Opportunities
The students will compare and contrast situations in world ecosystems with those taking place in North Carolina and their own backyards.
Teacher Reflection of Learning
A component of the activity the teacher could include the compare and contrast of world ecosystem situations with those taking place in North Carolina and their own backyards instead of using it as an enrichment activity for those students who had completed the assignment. The students who did the enrichment activity thought critically about how these situations were happening on a smaller scale in their own communities. For example, one student stated that new neighbors moved in with a cat that they allowed outdoors which killed the birds that would come to their bird feeders. The students stated that after only a couple of months very few birds were coming and the colorful birds had disappeared altogether. The student concluded that his backyard habitat had an invasive species that was destroying the student’s small ecosystem. The teacher believed this was thought out as the student applied knowledge from the world ecosystem to the student’s backyard ecosystem. The teacher would still leave the North Carolina compare and contrast as an enrichment activity as the deeper and critically thinking took place at the community level.
The teacher found that allowing students to choose their groups led to the videos being more innovative and creative. The teacher found that using the fish bowl method and allowing the students to choose a team member to replace them at any time keep the students actively
engaged in the activity. The teacher needs to be sure the students understand that as they hit the bell they must say the name of the replacement. The teacher found that the students would ring the bell and then choose the student to replace them in the center. The teacher will incorporate the bell ringing and saying the name in several activities before incorporating it in the activity.
The teacher will use the videotape, rubric, debate notes exit ticket, homework assignment and observation
If the teacher completes the unit then lesson six would be the summative which is entitled: Interconnected Ecosystems.