Curriculum in Focus Project

 

Key Question

Name of Activity

Time

(minutes)

Key Topics

Standards

What conditions are necessary for  us to live on earth?

Aquarium: “A world in a Jar”

Skill Lab in Text p. 584

Aquatic Habitats (GEMS)

50

Ecosystem

5 a, c

What does an animal or plant need from its environment?

Reading: “Living Things and the Environment” (Discover activity)

Text: pp. 578-581

30

Ecosystems

Abiotic/biotic

5 a, c

How can understanding ecology help us to solve real life problems related to pollution?

Environmental Detectives:

Activity 1: Introduction to Mystery

50

Requirements o life

Abiotic/biotic

5 a, b, e

Did we identify all things necessary for the fish to live?

Reading: Abiotic needs for living things

Text: review pp. 580-581;

5

Requirements of living things

5 e, 6 b

What are bio-indicators and how can they help us solve the mystery?

Environmental Detectives:

Activity 2: Chlorine Test

50-100

Food web, abiotic/biotic

5 a, c

How are the fish related to water fleas and algae? 

 Reading: “Energy Flow in Ecosystems”

Text: pp. 606-612; Transparency

Not covered in GEMS reading

50

Food web

 

5a

What are the different rolls that organisms play in an ecosystem?

Reading: Text: pp. 418-420

Reinforces Previous reading and introduces Ocean ecosystems

20

Food Web

5a, 5d

What is Acid Rain, what causes it and how does it affect living things?

Environmental Detectives:

Activity 3: Acid Rain

100

Pollution,

resource availability

5 e

What are the various sources of pollution that could be killing the fish?

How are cars involved in polluting rivers?

Freshwater and Air Pollution

Text: pp. 349-354; 446-449; (202) (index)

Reinforces GEMS reading

30

Pollution

Acid Rain

6 b

How does erosion affect living things?

Environmental Detectives:

Activity 4: Sedimental Journey

50

Erosion,

resource availability

2 b, 5 e

What increases the rate of erosion?

Reading: “Managing Forests”

Text: pp. 654-655 (216-218)

20

Erosion

5 e, 6 b

How does hunting a predator like the Mountain Lion affect the population of other animals and plants?

Environmental Detectives:

Activity 5: Deer Lion

(Predator-Prey)

50-100

Food web, Erosion

populations

2b, 5a, e

How can we break down complex problems by looking at smaller groups of individuals? 

Reading: Introduce population as level of organization

Text: pp. 581-583; Transparency

Not covered in GEMS

10

Populations

(5c)

What causes populations to change in size?

Reading: “Changes in Population size”

Text: pp. 587-588; 596-598

Reinforces GEMS reading

20

Food web,

Predation

2 b, 5 a, e

How can house chores cause changes in the environment that would lead to the killing of the fish?

Environmental Detectives:

Activity 6: James Pond Test (Phosphates)

50-100

Food web , Abiotic factors,  Resource availability

5a, b, e

How do fertilizers hurt fish and other water life?

Reading: “Agricultural Chemicals”

Text: pp. 354; 309-310,

Review “decomposers”  pp. 608-609

20

Algal bloom

 Food web: decomposers

5a, b, e

Which of the suspects or environmental problems are less likely than the others?

Environmental Detectives:

Activity 7: Oil and “Who Done It”

50

Pollution, Weighing Evidence

7 e

How can we solve the problem of the dying fish?

Environmental Detectives:

Activity 8: Solving the Problems

50

Problem solving

5 e,

What are the advantages and disadvantages of  using different energy sources

Student researvh and poster presentations

(including K-nex solar cars)

1 wk

Natural Resources

6 a, b


 

Possible alternatives to all or parts of Environmental Detectives

How does crowding seeds affect plant growth?

What’s a Crowd?

Prentice Hall p. 577

1 week

on going

Designing experiment,

Populations,

Abiotic/biotic

7a,b,c,d

5a, b, e

 

How does “water politics” affect the lives of shrimp in the Sierra?

Brine Shrimp Experiment

(FOSS: Environments)

1 week

Abiotic factors, Resource availability

5e

How does energy flow through the community of Mono Lake?

Roles in Food web in Mona lake:

(FOSS: Environments)

Poetry and Art

1 week

Food web

5a, c