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 5
Describe how carbon and soil nutrients cycle through selected ecosystems.

Benchmark Clarification

Many materials cycle through an ecosystem. Carbon and soil nutrients are two of these materials.

Students will:

  • Analyze the process of how plants take common nutrients and build organic compounds
  • Describe how plants and animals use organic compounds for growth, maintenance, and reproduction (include respiration and photosynthesis)
  • Illustrate how these compounds are broken down (decomposers) and cycled through the living and non-living parts of the environment

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

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School/Benchmark 5
Key Concept
Common nutrients/elements:

  • nitrogen
  • sulfur
  • carbon
  • phosphorus

See Cell respiration (SCI.III.2.HS.3).

See Photosynthesis (SCI.III.2.MS.3).

Inorganic compounds containing nutrients:

  • soil minerals
  • carbon dioxide

Organic compounds in living communities:

  • proteins
  • fats
  • carbohydrates

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/High School/Benchmark 5
Real World Context
Movement of food materials through various food webs, including decomposition

 

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

Benchmark Question: How do carbon and soil nutrients cycle through selected ecosystems?

Focus Question: How do plants and animals use materials in the processes of photosynthesis and respiration?

Students will work in small groups and write a story explaining how the carbon in carbon dioxide passes from plants to animals, from animals to decomposers, and from decomposers back to plants. Students will include explanations of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in their stories. The teacher will tell them their target audience is a class of upper elementary students. Diagrams or visual aids may be added.

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

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1.HS.3).

 

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

Each student will write an essay/constructed response based on a carbon dioxide molecule. Each student will trace carbon as it travels within an ecosystem, through the processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration.

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Completeness of essay

Answers with fewer than three key points.

Answers with three correct key points.

Answers with four correct key points.

Answers with more than four correct key points.

 

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

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

Roles of Microbes.
http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/index.html