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 4
Describe responses of an ecosystem to events that cause it to change.

Benchmark Clarification

External events, natural or man-made, can cause an ecosystem to change in many ways.

Students will:

  • Diagram the process of slow changes over time in the environment (ecological succession)
  • Predict how an external force affects ecological succession
  • Explain the relationship between the stability of an ecosystem and its biodiversity (organisms can adapt, migrate, or die)

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

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School/Benchmark 4
Key Concept

  • succession
  • pioneer
  • climate/physical conditions
  • introduction of new/different species
  • elimination of existing species
  • biodiversity
  • cataclysmic changes

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School/Benchmark 4
Real World Context

  • climax forests comprised of:
    • maple
    • beech
    • conifers
  • effects of urban sprawl or clear cutting forests
  • effects of cataclysmic changes such as the eruption of Mt. St. Helen
  • effects of global warming

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School/Benchmark 4
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: What are the responses of an ecosystem to events that cause it to change?

Focus Question: What are the changes over time in the environment that occur over time (ecological succession)?

Students will identify the sequence of communities, from pioneer to climax, in a local ecosystem. The teacher can provide pictures for this activity. Pairs of students will construct and explain a two- or three-dimensional representation of each of the stages. They should include in their explanations a name for each stage, important facts about each stage, and an estimate of how long the stage lasts. See Succession Activity. Alternate: Students will identify and discuss the dominant and supporting plants and animals in each stage of succession. They will discuss the other factors that support the plants and animals (e.g., soil profile, soil organisms, organism density, ground cover, percent of sunlight, and height of community).

Constructing: (SCI.I.1.HS.4), (SCI.I.1.HS.5).

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

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School/Benchmark 4
Assessment Example

The teacher will locate a climax community near the school. The teacher will take students on a field trip to this area. Students will research the changes that have happened in this area or another area like it. The teacher will divide students into small groups. Students will create a timeline for the return of organisms if a fire destroyed the area today. The teacher will provide a list of organisms representative of all stages. See Succession Activity.

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Correctness of order

Generates a timeline with four or more inaccuracies.

Generates a timeline with fewer than four inaccuracies.

Generates a timeline with correct order of organisms.

Generates a timeline with correct order of organisms in a clear manner and with pictures.

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School/Benchmark 4
Resources

Webliography.
http://mtn.merit.edu/mcf/SCI.III.5.HS.4.html

Biodiversity and Biological Collections.
http://www.biodiversity.uno.edu/

Invasion of Water Fleas in Great Lakes.
http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/sciupdate/waterfleas.html

Succession Activity.
http://www.msta-mich.org/publications/meap/succession_lesson.pdf