Science
Strand III
Use Scientific Knowledge from the Life Sciences in Real-World Contexts

 

Science/Strand III
Content Standard 5
All students will explain how parts of an ecosystem are related and how they interact; explain how energy is distributed to living things in an ecosystem; investigate and explain how communities of living things change over a period of time; describe how materials cycle through an ecosystem and get reused in the environment; and analyze how humans and the environment interact. (Ecosystems)

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5
High School

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School
Benchmark 3
Describe general factors regulating population size in ecosystems.

Benchmark Clarification

General factors such as habitat, disease, competition, floods, etc. regulate a population’s size in an ecosystem.

Students will:

  • Predict how specific changes within the environment may increase/decrease a population’s size
  • Analyze how specific human activities may affect population sizes
  • Identify the environmental (biotic or abiotic) factors that may affect the carrying capacity of a population

Key Concept / Real World Context / Instructional Example / Assessment Example / Resources

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School/Benchmark 3
Key Concept

  • carrying capacity
  • competition
  • parasitism
  • predation
  • loss of habitat

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School/Benchmark 3
Real World Context
Common factors that influence relationships:

  • weather
  • disease
  • predation
  • migration

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School/Benchmark 3
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: How do general factors regulate population size in an ecosystem?

Focus Question: How does competition affect the carrying capacity of a population?

Students will write predictions of the effects of crowding on the growth of seedlings. In small groups, students will design and carry out an experiment that compares trays with different densities (concentration equally distributed) of plants (e.g., radishes). Students will observe the affects of crowding on the different populations of plants and the abiotic factors for which the plants were competing (e.g., light, water, nutrients, etc.).

Constructing: (SCI.I.1.HS.1), (SCI.I.1.HS.2), (SCI.I.1.HS.5).

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1.HS.1), (SCI.II.1.HS.6).

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School/Benchmark 3
Assessment Example

Students will write individual lab reports that describe their experiments and explain the observed effects of crowding on the different populations of plants from the experiments they designed in the instructional example. Abiotic factors for which the plants competed, evidence from the lab to support the explanation, and an explanation of any discrepancies in the data should be included.

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Clarity of conclusion

Misstates the conclusion.

States the conclusion with some vagueness.

States the conclusion in a clear manner.

States the conclusion in a convincing manner.

Accuracy of conclusion

States the conclusion in an inaccurate manner.

States the conclusion with one inaccuracy.

States the conclusion in an accurate manner.

States the conclusion in an accurate and thoughtful manner.

Completeness of explanation

Explains with no details from the lab.

Explains with partial details from the lab.

Explains with complete details from the lab.

Explains with details from the lab and relates to real world conditions.

Correctness of mechanics

Explains with inappropriate vocabulary and grammar.

Explains with partially correct vocabulary and grammar.

Explains with appropriate vocabulary and grammar.

Explains with extended vocabulary and exceptional grammar.

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School/Benchmark 3
Resources

Webliography.
http://mtn.merit.edu/mcf/SCI.III.5.HS.3.html

Ecological Footprints of Nations.
http://www.ecouncil.ac.cr/rio/focus/report/English/footprint/

Human Population.
http://www.population-awareness.net/

Human Population Study.
http://www.dieoff.org/page110.htm