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
Elementary

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/Elementary
Benchmark 3
Design systems that encourage the growing of particular plants or animal.

Benchmark Clarification

An ecosystem is a place where living and non-living things interact.

Students will:

  • Design a controlled ecosystem (reference Real World Context) that provides or supplies the needs of life (reference Key Concepts) for specific animals or plants

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

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/Elementary/Benchmark 3
Key Concept
Needs of life:

  • food
  • habitat
  • water
  • shelter
  • air
  • light
  • minerals

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/Elementary/Benchmark 3
Real World Context
Ecosystems managed by humans:

  • farms
  • ranches
  • gardens
  • lawns
  • potted plants

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/Elementary/Benchmark 3
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: In what ways are various kinds of living things adapted (suited) to survive in their environments?

Focus Question: What do plants and animals need in order to live?

Tell students they are going to design an ecosystem that will include everything needed to sustain life for a specific plant or animal. Have one member from each group draw the name of an animal or plant from a bag, can, etc.

Students will research an ecosystem studied by Rachel Carson or another field biologist. Using the writing process, students will write a report explaining how the ecosystem they have researched supports the life of their plant or animal. Using the steps of the writing process, they will make sure that all vocabulary is used.

Each group will construct a model of the ecosystem they have researched and label the presence of the seven needs of life.

Each group will present their ecosystem model to the class and explain how the ecosystem supports the life of each plant or animal in the model.

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

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1.E.1), (SCI.II.1.E.2), (SCI.II.1.E.3), (SCI.II.1.E.4), (SCI.II.1.E.5).

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/Elementary/Benchmark 3
Assessment Example

Research the ecosystem needed to support life for a specific plant or animal. Design an ecosystem that will include everything needed to sustain life for that specific plant or animal. Then present a model of the environment with a written report that includes the seven needs of life (see Key Concepts). This report may include information about the environmental studies of Rachel Carson, Grace Chow, Aldo Leopold, or another field biologist.

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Completeness of ecosystem model

Identifies few needs of life.

Identifies some needs of life.

Identifies all needs of life.

Portrays all needs of life with many details.

Accuracy of scientific information

Includes at least one fact related to the scientist who was researched.

Includes at least two facts related to the scientist who was researched.

Includes at least three facts related to the scientist who was researched.

Includes at least four facts related to the scientist who was researched.

Correctness of format

Writes a report with many grammatical errors that interfere with the interpretation of content.

Writes a report with few grammatical errors that interfere with interpretation of content.

Writes a report with few grammatical errors that do not interfere with the interpretation of content.

Writes a report using complete sentences and no errors in capitalization, punctuation, spelling, or indentation.

Completeness of presentation/replica

Reflects research and some life needs.

Reflects research and most life needs.

Reflects research and all life needs.

Reflects research and all life needs, as well as a clear explanation of their relationship in the ecosystem.

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 5/Elementary/Benchmark 3
Resources

Biographies of Rachel Louis Carson, Grace Chow, and Aldo Leopold.

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

Computer programs: Power Point, Hyper Studio.

“An Earthworm Farm.” Science High Scope K-3 Curriculum Series.

Echols, Jean. Ant Homes Under the Ground. GEMS, 1999.

Lauber, Patricia. Earthworms: Underground Farmers. Henry Holt, 1997.

“Special Needs.” Sing the Science Standards (Songbook/CD).

http://scienceexplosion.indiegroup.com/