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Example: Secondary content area unit plan

Unit overview

Subject area or course: Biology I (10th Grade) First and third periods
Unit title: Exploring Ecosystems Time frame: 5 weeks (Sept.-Oct.)

Michigan Standards/Grade Level Content Expectations

Constructing New Scientific Knowledge:

  • Ask questions that can be investigated empirically.
  • Gather and synthesize information from books and other sources.
  • Reflecting on Scientific Knowledge.
  • Develop an awareness of and sensitivity to the natural world.

Ecosystems:

  • Describe common relationships among species in their environments.
  • Explain how energy flows through familiar ecosystems.
  • Describe general factors regulating population size in ecosystems.
  • Describe how carbon and soil nutrients cycle through an ecosystem.
  • Describe responses of an ecosystem to events that cause it to change.
  • Explain effects of agriculture and urban development on selected ecosystems.

Assessment(s):

Final Assessment: Small-group report and presentation on a local ecosystem that addresses relationships among species, population size, the cycling of nutrients, and human factors impacting the ecosystem. Information should be gathered from observation, newspapers, Internet, interviews. Background information about similar ecosystems should be gathered from books and the Internet. The presentation should make an argument about the impact of humans on the plants and animals in the ecosystem.

Formative assessments: Quizzes, written assignments, lab reports.

Resources:

Textbook, newspaper stories (rezoning farmland, coyote invasion into cities, argument about the new Walmart, lifespan of animals in captivity), video (Dateline on impact of logging in national parks), aquariums, grass seed, crickets, grasshoppers.

Websites:

http://mtn.merit.edu/mcf/SCI.V.2.HS.2.html (web-based bibliography), http://cfpub1.epa.gov/surf/locate/index.cfm (locate water shed)

Other notes:

Possibly book computer lab to do final presentations on Powerpoint? Invite city council members?

 

Weekly overview
Week Learning objectives Major activities
1

Ecosystems:

1. Describe common relationships among species in their environments.

2. Explain how energy flows through familiar ecosystems.

3. Describe how carbon and soil nutrients cycle through an ecosystem.

Constructing New Scientific Knowledge

1. Ask questions that can be investigated empirically.

1. Draw food web for six ecosystems described in text.

2. Diagram carbon and soil nutrients traveling through ecosystem.

3. Discuss purpose of written and visual representations.

4. Chart questions about local ecosystems. (Name local ecosystems --- farms, wetlands, small forests, suburban backyards, etc.)

Homework: Chpt. 4

2

Ecosystems

2. Explain how energy flows through familiar ecosystems.

5. Describe how carbon and soil nutrients cycle through an ecosystem.

Constructing New Scientific Knowledge

4. Gather and synthesize information from books and other sources.

Reflecting on Scientific Knowledge

6. Develop an awareness of and sensitivity to the natural world.

* Plant grasses in aquariums.

1. After reading about energy flow, students will work alone or in pairs to write and design informational texts to give to the fourth-grade classes at Cedar Elementary.

2. Nature walk through wetlands at Municipal Park.

Draw diagrams and write about how energy flows through the ecosystem in both plants and animals. Raise questions about impact of humans on the ecosystem. Briefly describe final assessment and suggest students find partners and an ecosystem to study.

Homework: Chpt. 5

3

Ecosystems

3. Describe general factors regulating population size in ecosystems.

Constructing New Scientific Knowledge

2. Design and conduct scientific investigations.

1. Experiment: Make predictions about how many crickets and chameleons each aquarium can support. Monday: Groups add crickets. Observe daily. Friday add crickets. Observe Monday.

2. Use books and Internet to find ecosystems affected by crowding and explain reasons for crowding. Look for Useful Websites!

4

Ecosystems

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

6. Explain effects of agriculture and urban development on selected ecosystems.

Constructing New Scientific Knowledge

1. Ask questions that can be investigated empirically.

4. Gather and synthesize information from books and other sources.

1. Diagram environment succession.

2. Assign Final Assessment: Small-group report and presentation on a local ecosystem that addresses relationships among species, population size, the cycling of nutrients and human factors impacting the ecosystem. Information should be gathered from observation, newspapers, Internet, interviews. Make model of system labeling biotic and abiotic factors. Background information about similar ecosystems should be gathered from books and the Internet. The presentation should make an argument about the impact of humans on the plants and animals in the ecosystem.

Homework: Chpt. 7

5

Ecosystems

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

6. Explain effects of agriculture and urban development on selected ecosystems.

Constructing New Scientific Knowledge

6. Discuss topics in groups by making clear presentations.

1. Look at changes in local ecosystem over time (forest to farmland to suburbs).

2. 2 days: Final presentations by groups