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Utah Science

Curriculum Consortium

Tyson Grover 

tgrover@dsdmail.net

Annette Nielson

afonnesbeck@dsdmail.net

Standard 6.4.1
 

Analyze data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations in an ecosystem. Ask questions to predict how changes in resource availability affects organisms in those ecosystems. Examples could include water, food, and living space in Utah environments.

Practices

Analyzing Data & Asking Questions

  • Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for phenomena.

Asking Questions and Defining Problems

  • Ask questions to identify and clarify evidence of an argument.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems  

  • Organisms, and populations of organisms, are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors.  

  • In any ecosystem, organisms and populations with similar requirements for food, water, oxygen, or other resources may compete with each other for limited resources, access to which consequently constrains their growth and reproduction.  

  • Growth of organisms and population increases are limited by access to resources.

Cross Cutting Concepts

Cause and Effect

  • Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.

Resource availability affects population.

Big Idea
Standard 6.4.2
 

Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems. Emphasize consistent interactions in different environments, such as competition, predation, and mutualism.

Practices

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

  • Construct a scientific explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from sources (including the students’ own experiments) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe nature operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems  

  • Similarly, predatory interactions may reduce the number of organisms or eliminate whole populations of organisms. Mutually beneficial interactions, in contrast, may become so interdependent that each organism requires the other for survival. Although the species involved in these competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial interactions vary across ecosystems, the patterns of interactions of organisms with their environments, both living and nonliving, are shared.

Cross Cutting Concepts

Patterns

  • Patterns in rates of change and other numerical relationships can provide information about natural systems.

Big Idea

Organisms interact with other living and nonliving things in an ecosystem.

Standard 6.4.3
 

Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem. Emphasize food webs and the role of producers, consumers, and decomposers in various ecosystems. Examples could include Utah ecosystems such as mountains, Great Salt Lake, wetlands, and deserts.

Practices

Developing and Using Models

  • Develop and use a model to describe phenomena.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

LS2.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.

Cross Cutting Concepts

Matter and Energy

  • Energy may take different forms (e.g. energy in fields, thermal energy, energy of motion).

  • The transfer of energy can be tracked as energy flows through a designed or natural system.

Big Idea

Organisms interact with other living and nonliving things in an ecosystem.

Standard 6.4.4
 

Construct an argument supported by evidence that the stability of populations is affected by changes to an ecosystem. Emphasize how changes to living and nonliving components in an ecosystem affect populations in that ecosystem. Examples could include Utah ecosystems such as mountains, Great Salt Lake, wetlands, and deserts. „

Practices

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

  • Construct a scientific explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from sources (including the students’ own experiments) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe nature operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience

  • Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations.

Cross Cutting Concepts

Stability and Change

  • Explanations of stability and change in natural or designed systems can be constructed by examining the changes over time and processes at different scales, including the atomic scale.

Big Idea

Changes to living and nonliving components affect the stability of an ecosystem.

Standard 6.4.5
 

Evaluate competing design solutions for preserving ecosystem services that protect resources and biodiversity based on how well the solutions maintain stability within the ecosystem. Emphasize obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information of differing design solutions. Examples could include policies affecting ecosystems, responding to invasive species or solutions for the preservation of ecosystem resources specific to Utah, such as air and water quality and prevention of soil erosion.

Practices

Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

  • Gather, read, and synthesize information from multiple appropriate sources and assess the credibility, accuracy, and possible bias of each publication and methods used, and describe how they are supported or not supported by evidence.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience  

  • Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth’s terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health.

LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans

  • Changes in biodiversity can influence humans’ resources, such as food, energy, and medicines, as well as ecosystem services that humans rely on—for example, water purification and recycling.(secondary)

ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions  

  • There are systematic processes for evaluating solutions with respect to how well they meet the criteria and constraints of a problem. (secondary)

Cross Cutting Concepts

Stability and Change

  • Small changes in one part of a system might cause large changes in another part.

Big Idea

Humans can provide solutions for preserving ecosystems.