Identifying what should be addressed in the ecosystem standards

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Identifying what should be addressed in the ecosystem standards


6th grade doesn’t have a solid standard that focuses on ecosystems, so I decided to go into a 7th grade standard to design my lesson this week around. I do think there is value in understanding where students are going to help start conversations happen even if specific lessons don’t need to be taught at a particular grade level.

I chose to focus on MS L-S 2-3 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamic

Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

SEP - Develop a model to describe a phenomenon. In this idea, the students are going to build off concepts they started discussing in the elementary world and progressing into understanding models at a deeper level. It is important for this connection to work to have a strong understanding of the lessons and units taught at the lower levels in order for students to build on previous understanding and models. In order for our students to understand an ecosystem, I believe it’s important to understand what a model is. According to the Bozeman video, in science the idea of modeling is explaining phenomena and in engineering it is analyzing systems. He went on to explain how using models throughout their school can help students understand concepts at a deeper level. We can take early learning and add more information to it by taking a drawing and adding labels or using simulations to deepen understanding of concepts that are taught.

DCI - LS 2-B Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems Food webs are models that demonstrate how matter and energy is transferred between producers, consumers, and decomposers as the three groups interact within an ecosystem. Transfers of matter into and out of the physical environment occur at every level. Decomposers recycle nutrients from dead plant or animal matter back to the soil in terrestrial environments or to the water in aquatic environments. The atoms that make up the organisms in an ecosystem are cycled repeatedly between the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem. The students are going to build off of the information they learned at the elementary word which is understanding the differences between organisms and their environments. We want to continue the conversation by helping the students understand how matter is recycled and used over and over again. Food webs is the basis of understanding how the flow of energy and matter occurs. At the middle school grades, we are going to take this idea and start adding additional information to our concepts such as photosynthesis and cellular respiration. We want to follow the energy and matter as it moves through the food web to make sense of matter not being created or destroyed by transferred from one place to another.

CCC - Energy and Matter: Flow, Cycle and Conservation

A big part of understanding energy and matter is for students to make sense of conservation of energy. Matter is not created or destroyed but just passed from one place to another. We want the students to grasp the idea that whatever you put in the same will come out. In this area, students will start to understand how the term energy fits into the cycling of matter. The students will be able to follow energy as it moves through a food web.