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Utah Science

Curriculum Consortium

Tyson Grover 

tgrover@dsdmail.net

Annette Nielson

afonnesbeck@dsdmail.net

Storyline Narrative 6.4.3

SEEd Standard 6.4.3 asks students to develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem with an emphasis on food webs and the role of producers, consumers, and decomposers.  

 

To address this standard, our storyline is focused on the phenomenon, matter cycles and energy flows in an ecosystem. Students engage in a series of questions about the cycle of matter and flow of energy.  These questions help students to start developing their understanding and model of cycle. Students then are asked to use their understandings to organize the different organisms into a simple life chart. This helps builds students understandings of the different roles within a food web. Using these understandings they are given a lift of different animals and organisms and asked to classify them into different group. As students classify the living organisms by what they eat the teacher introduces the vocabulary and definitions of producers, consumers, and decomposers.

 

In order to explore how matter cycles and energy flows, students develop a model of the circle of life using a different ecosystem. Students are given a more extensive list of different living organisms and asked to construct a food chain. As they begin to develop their chain, students start to discuss that they aren’t sure where each organism goes. This leads students determine that a web better suits the cycle of matter and flow of energy.

 

Students will then participate in simulations of food webs and analyze data from the simulations. They will use their models to explain what is causing the changes made in the food webs.  

 

Students elaborate as they develop their models of the roles producers, consumers, and decomposers as they obtain information from a website information quest about food webs in the ecosystem of the Great Salt Lake.  As they learn about the Great Salt Lake students use their models to construct explanations for the roles of different living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem. They will use the information to develop a model of how energy and matter is cycling through the food web.


Finally to evaluate, students will use what they have learned about food webs to develop a model of a food web for a pond ecosystem.  They will use their model to communicate the different roles organisms play in the food web and how energy flows and matter cycles through the food web.

Conceptual Understandings

Matter and energy continuously cycle in an ecosystem.

How do organisms interact as energy is cycled in an ecosystem?

Snapshot

Students will ask questions while studying  a simple circle of life chart.  Students will identify the organisms in the circle of life chart as producers, consumers, and decomposers Students will then create their own circle of life chart representing an ecosystem from around the world.

Episode 1

Question

How do matter and energy flow in an ecosystem?

 

Episode 2

Question

How do organisms interact as energy is cycled in an ecosystem?

Snapshot

Students will construct a food web to demonstrate the connections between organisms in an ecosystem.

Conceptual Understandings

Organisms in an ecosystem are interconnected in a food web.

How can changing interactions between organisms affect the food web?

 

Conceptual Understandings

Changing interactions between organisms can cause drastic changes to the ecosystem food web.

How is energy transferred through food webs?

Snapshot

Students will run computer simulations of a prairie food web.  Each time a student runs a new simulation, relationships between organisms will be altered.  Student will study the resulting data to determine how changes to a food web change the ecosystem.

Episode 3

Question

How can changing interactions between organisms affect the food web?

 

Episode 4

Question

How is energy transferred through food webs in the Great Salt Lake?

Snapshot

Students will complete an information quest using a website about the Great Salt Lake food webs.  Students will use the information to categorize organisms as either producers or consumers.  Students will create their own food web using organisms that live in the Great Salt Lake ecosystem.

Conceptual Understandings

Matter and energy cycle through food webs.

Can I develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem?