Site Feedback

Utah Science

Curriculum Consortium

Tyson Grover 

tgrover@dsdmail.net

Annette Nielson

afonnesbeck@dsdmail.net

Storyline Narrative 6.4.2

SEEd standard 6.4.2 asks students to construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.  Patterns include consistent interactions such as competition, predation, and mutualism. The Next Generation Science Standards emphasize that students predict consistent patterns of interactions in different ecosystems in terms of the relationships among and between organisms and abiotic components of ecosystems. Examples of types of interactions could include competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial.

 

To address this standard, our storyline is focused on explaining the phenomena, organisms interact with other living organisms in their environment.  We begin by engaging students with two video clips of animal interactions in an ocean environment. To engage students, students are shown a video of the Hawaiian Monk Seal. Students make observations of patterns in the interactions between the Hawaiian Monk Seal and other ocean organisms. They use what they observe to evaluate the information in the video and identify different ways the organisms interact with one another. Students compare this information to a second video, which demonstrates how the Grouper interacts with other organisms in the ocean.  This leads to a discussion of how these patterns of interactions can be found in different ecosystems and leaves students wondering about different ecosystems and how these patterns manifest themselves.

 

To explore, students use this question to analyze data as they participate in a simulation of a prey and predator relationship. The purpose of the simulation is to identify patterns in population between prey and predator.  Students will use the identified patterns to predict what would happen in subsequent rounds of the simulation. Students use their understandings from the simulation to help them analyze data to describe two population fluctuations in a specific prey and predator relationship--snowy owls vs lemmings and deer vs wolves. Students will argue from evidence about the causes for population fluctuations. Students will next question, what other interactions can be found among organisms? Students will obtain information from a short simulation that models the effects of competition in an ecosystem.  

 

Students use their new understandings of interactions among organisms to explain data of invasive and native squirrel species. In order to construct an explanation, students first formulate questions about the patterns they see in the data.  Students will then argue from evidence and construct an explanation describing what caused one population of squirrels to dwindle while the other population grew.  

 

Students elaborate on their understanding by watching a short video to obtain information about other types of interactions--specifically mutualism.  In groups, students will research and communicate information about other examples of mutualism in nature.


Finally, students will be evaluated on their ability to construct an explanation that predicts patterns by examining a graph and analyzing scenarios.

Conceptual Understandings

There are different types of organism interactions.

How do prey and predators interact in an ecosystem?

Snapshot

Students will watch two different video clips of animal interactions in an ocean environment and analyze the different ways the organisms interact with one another.

Episode 1

Question

How do animals interact in their environment?

 

Episode 2

Question

How do prey and predators interact in an ecosystem?

Snapshot

Students will participate in a simulation of foxes and rabbits.  Students will look for patterns of interactions and will predict what will happen to their data if the simulation continued.

Conceptual Understandings

There is a pattern in prey and predator interactions.

Do prey and predators interact in predictable patterns?

 

Conceptual Understandings

There is a pattern in prey and predator interactions.

How can changing predators change the patterns in an ecosystem?

Snapshot

Students will analyze data about snowy owl and lemming populations and look for patterns in their interactions.

Episode 3

Question

Do prey and predators interact in predictable patterns?

 

Episode 4

Question

How can changing predators change the patterns in an ecosystem?

Snapshot

Students will analyze data to determine how a prey population of deer were affected by the introduction of wolves to their ecosystem.

Conceptual Understandings

Predators affect the stability of prey populations.

What happens when organisms compete for the same resources?

 

Conceptual Understandings

When organisms compete for the same resources, it can be difficult for one organism to survive.

What happens when invasive species compete for the same resources with native species?

Snapshot

Students will participate in a brief simulation of organisms competing for the same resources.

Episode 5

Question

What happens when organisms compete for the same resources?

 

Episode 6

Question

What happens when an invasive species competes for the same resources as a native species?

Snapshot

Students will analyze data of two squirrel species competing for resources in the same ecosystem.

Conceptual Understandings

Populations can be affected by competition for the same resources.

What happens when organisms work together for their mutual benefit?

 

Conceptual Understandings

Organisms interact with other living organisms in their environment.

Can I analyze data about the effects of resource availability on organisms in ecosystem?

Snapshot

Students will categorize animal interactions.  Then in groups, students will research and share examples of mutualism in nature.

Episode 7

Question

What happens when organisms work together for their mutual benefit?