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Utah Science

Curriculum Consortium

Tyson Grover 

tgrover@dsdmail.net

Annette Nielson

afonnesbeck@dsdmail.net

SEEd Standard 6.4.4 asks student to construct an argument supported by evidence that the stability of populations is affected by both living and nonliving components causing changes to an ecosystem.  

 

To address this standard, our storyline is focused on the phenomenon, stability of populations is affected by changes to an ecosystem.  We begin by engaging students with evidence from an article about the effects of nonnative rabbits introduced to the Australian ecosystem.  Students will construct an argument that the stability of the ecosystem was affected by the nonnative rabbits.  

 

Students then explore the effects of one population of animals can have on the stability of an ecosystem.  Students will gather evidence about sea otter populations and their effect on the stability of the kelp forest ecosystem.  They will construct an argument supported by evidence that sea otters are a keystone species in the kelp forest ecosystem affected the growth of kelp forests and then indirectly resource availability for many other organisms.  

 

Next, students will participate in and explain a simulation of two wolf populations where they will raise a pack of wolves under 2 different conditions; without human interference and with human interference.  They will collect data for each part of the simulation and will interpret the data to construct an explanation supported by evidence from the simulation of the factors affecting the stability of wolf populations.

 

Students then elaborate as they analyze data of the Kaibab deer population and identify causes for the fluctuations in the stability of the deer population. Students use their understandings about other ecosystems and what they learned from the simulation to help them make sense of the data.


Finally to evaluate students’ understanding, students will research living and nonliving components that affect populations in Utah ecosystems.  Students will obtain information about  a native Utah endangered species and the factors that have affected the stability of its population.  After groups have presented their findings to the class, students will look for common factors that affect stability of populations.  Finally, students will be assessed on their ability to construct an argument supported by evidence as they examine evidence about the decline in the desert tortoise population.  They will use the evidence to construct an argument that both living and nonliving components have affected the stability of the desert tortoise population in the southeastern deserts of the United States.

Storyline Narrative 6.4.5

Conceptual Understandings

Biodiversity is an indicator of the health and stability of an ecosystem.

What design solutions exist for preserving stability in ecosystems?

Snapshot

Students will obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about biodiversity.  Students will obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about a problem with a beaver ecosystem and the design solution to preserve the ecosystem.

Episode 1

Question

What is biodiversity?

 

Episode 2

Question

What design solutions exist for preserving stability in ecosystems?

Snapshot

Students will obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about a design solution and how well it maintains stability of an ecosystem.

Conceptual Understandings

There a multiple ways of solving problems and some solutions work better to maintain stability.

Can I obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about different design solutions for preserving ecosystems and maintaining stability?