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PBL 6
th
grade (BEES)

Title: BEE-cosystems! Duration: 3 weeks

Teacher: Grade Level: 6
th

Content Focus:
MS-LS2 Ecosystems: Interactions,
Energy, and Dynamics
Other subject areas to be included:
Math, ELA
Project Idea:
Summary of the
issue, challenge,
investigation,
scenario, or
problem
Students will investigate the importance of honey bees and their
interactions within the ecosystem. They will understand energy
exchange and dynamics and the concern that exists over a potential
loss to the ecosystem.
Essential
Questions:
How do our lives depend on bees?
Should we worry about the decline
in honeybee population?

Driving
Question

What contributions do
bees make to our world?

Content and
Skills
Standards to be
addressed:
(CCCSS, NGSS,
Calif.)
Math CCSS
MP. 4 Model with mathematics (MS-LS2-5)
6.RP.A.3 Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real world and mathematical problems.
(MS-LS2-5)
6.EE.C.9 Use variables to represent two quantities in a real-world problem that change
in relationship to one another; write an equation to express one quantity, thought of as
the dependent variable, in terms of the other quantity, thought of as the independent
variable. Analyze the relationship between the dependent and independent variables
using graphs and tables, and relate these to the equation. (MS-LS2-3)
6.SP.B.5 Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context. (MS-LS2-2)

NGS
MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource
availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem. [Clarification
Statement: Emphasis is on cause and effect relationships between resources and growth
of individual organisms and the numbers of organisms in ecosystems during periods of
abundant and scarce resources.]
MS-LS2-2. Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among
organisms across multiple ecosystems.[Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on
predicting 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.]
MS-LS2-3. Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy
among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.[Clarification Statement: Emphasis is
on describing the conservation of matter and flow of energy into and out of various
ecosystems, and on defining the boundaries of the system.] [Assessment Boundary:
Assessment does not include the use of chemical reactions to describe the processes.]
MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to
physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations. [Clarification
Statement: Emphasis is on recognizing patterns in data and making warranted inferences
about changes in populations, and on evaluating empirical evidence supporting
arguments about changes to ecosystems.]
MS-LS2-5. Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and
ecosystem services.* [Clarification Statement: Examples of ecosystem services could
include water purification, nutrient recycling, and prevention of soil erosion. Examples
of design solution constraints could include scientific, economic, and social
considerations.]

EL CCSS
WHST.6-8.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant
evidence. (MS-LS2-4)
2
WHST.6-8.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas,
concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant
content. (MS-LS2-2)
SL.8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in
groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues,
building on others ideas and expressing their own clearly. (MS-LS2-2)
SL.8.4 Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent
manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use
appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation. (MS-LS2-2)
T+A E T+A E

21
st
Century
Skills and MPS
to be explicitly
taught and assessed
(T+A) or that will
be encouraged (E)
by Project work but
not taught or
assessed:



Environmental Literacy
Demonstrate knowledge and
understanding of the
environment and the
circumstances and conditions
affecting it, particularly as relates
to air, climate, land, food, energy,
water, and ecosystems .

x


Collaboration

x

Environmental Literacy
Demonstrate knowledge and
understanding of societys impact
on the natural world .(e.g.,
population .growth, population
development, resource
consumption rate, etc.)




x


Critical Thinking

x


Environmental Literacy
Investigate .and analyze
environmental issues,
and make accurate conclusions
about effective solutions

x


Presentation

x


Solve Problems




x

Information, Media,
Technology Skills (end of
Unit Prezi)

x

Presentation Audience

Culminating
Products and
Performances







Group:





Students will create a multimedia
presentation or video in efforts to inform
and educate others about the devastating
effects of the loss of a honey bee, and steps
you can take to save them.

Class

x
School

x
Community
x
Individual:
Students will be responsible of sharing and
explaining their group presentation to at
least one person in the community. This can
be done one on one or through social media.
Experts


Web

x
Other:
Project Overview

Entry event
to launch inquiry,
engage students:




Outline or
Present the class with pictures or tangible objects of many things that bees help
contribute to. Have kids walk around the class in a gallery format to look at all
these products. Have them think about and jot down notes to all of these
questions:

What do all these products have in common?
What would be different about your life if these things did not exist?
What events lead up to the existence of these things?

3
Conceptual
Flow
Include assessment
points:




















There are interdependent relationships in ecosystems (LS2.A)
A. Organisms depend on their environment to survive. (MS-LS2-1)
B. Access to limited resources and competition causes constraints on the
growth and survival of organisms and populations. (MS-LS2-1)
C. Predatory interactions may reduce and or eliminate whole populations.
(MS-L2-2)
D. Both living and nonliving mutually beneficial relationships can become
necessary for populations and organisms to survive.(MS-LS2-2)
Assessment Points attached
Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer Energy in Ecosystems (LS2.B)
A. Food webs demonstrate the transfer of energy and matter between
producers, consumers, and decomposers.
B. Decomposers recycle nutrients from dead plant and animal matter back
into the soil.
C. Atoms are continually recycled between the living and nonliving parts of
the ecosystem. ( MS-LS2-3)
Assessment Points attached
Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience (LS2.C)
A. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can
lead to change in all populations.
B. Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earths various
ecosystems.
C. The completeness and integrity of an ecosystems biodiversity is often used
as a measure of its health. (MS-LS2-5)
Assessment Points attached





Assessments
















Formative
Assessments
(During Project)
Quizzes/Tests

Journaling/Learning Log x

Preliminary Plans/Outlines x

Rough Drafts

Online Tests/Exams


Summative
Assessments
(End of Project)
Written Product(s), with rubric x Other Products

x
Oral Presentation, with rubric x Peer Evaluation

x
Multiple Choice/Short Answer
Test
Self-Evaluation

x
Essay Test Other- PREZI

x


Resources
Needed
On-site people, facilities
Classroom Teacher, Librarian, Technology Aides to help
with Multimedia Presentation
Equipment
Computers (1 for each group), Printers
Materials
Scholastic News: Life Without Bees April 7, 2014
Bee colonies hammered in orchards The Record, 4-24-14
Science Textbooks
Community resources
Michael Eggman, local beekeeper
4



Reflection
Methods


(Individual, Group,
and/or Whole Class)
Journal/Learning Log x
Whole-class Discussion x
Survey
Project Teaching and Learning Guide

Knowledge and Skills Needed by Students
(to successfully complete culminating projects and to do well on summative assessments)

Student needs to be able to:
understand the use of ratio and rate to
examples using honey bees (e.g. to
reason how many flowers need to be
tapped in order for one pound of honey
to be produced)
read and analyze graphs and tables
use the Rule of 4 for all data and graph
examples
understand how to use d=rt when
necessary for application of bee travel
problems




Student needs to be able to:
understand mutually beneficial relationships
understand the way living things are
interdependent
list the ways honeybees are dying
understand factors in the environment that
encourage bee populations to grow
understand the relationship between living and
non-living factors in the environment
describe how flowers, bees and humans co-
exist in a symbiotic relationship
that atoms are continually recycled between
living and non-living factors of ecosystems
understand that a disruption to any component
of the ecosystem can lead to change in all
populations

Student needs to be able to:
present claims and findings
effectively participate in collaborative
discussions
write informative or explanatory essays
on the given topic supporting their
claims with evidence



Student needs to be able to:
Create a Multimedia presentation to describe what
was researched and learned.
Present to the class, and one member of the
community
Provide feedback to other students after viewing
their multimedia presentations.

Questions to be Provided by the Project Teacher
(to successfully complete culminating products and to do well on summative assessments)

Teacher asks questions to recall facts, make observations, or
demonstrate understanding:

What are mutually beneficial relationships?
In what ways are living things interdependent?
List the reasons bees are dying.
What are some factors in the environment that
encourage bee populations to grow.
What role does the bee have in the food chain?

Teacher asks questions to summarize, analyze,
organize, or evaluate:

What do you think causes the
elimination of populations?
What evidence can you offer to
show how matter and energy
move through an ecosystem? Why
do organisms interact with their
environment and what are the
effects of their interaction?

Teacher asks questions to apply or relate:


How can you demonstrate the cycling of atoms
Teacher asks questions to predict, design, or
create:

What would be different today if
5
between living and nonliving parts of the
ecosystem?
Who could you interview to learn more about the
interdependence among living things?
How could you collect data about the population
decrease of organisms?

there was no relationship
between bees and flowers?
Can you see a possible solution to
advocating for helping species
who are becoming extinct?
What new and unusual ways could
you come up to increase
pollination?
What would happen to our food
chain if the bee died off?



Bees PBL Assessment Piece Per Lesson:


Lesson 1: There are interdependent
relationships in ecosystems (LS2.A)

Lesson 2: Cycles of Matter and
Energy Transfer Energy in
Ecosystems (LS2.B)
Lesson 3: Ecosystem Dynamics,
Functioning, and Resilience (LS2.C)


Part I.
Students will listen to this NPR
story:
http://www.npr.org/2014/04/25/3
06718027/why-are-thousands-of-
bees-dying-in-california

Part II.
Students look at the data:
http://scienceblogs.com/greglade
n/files/2013/05/winter_loss__201
3-Fig-1-
300x259.png
http://starsenior.wikispaces.com/f
ile/view/Line_Graph_CCD.jpg/2
13653654/33
8x322/Line_Graph_CCD.jpg

1. Put students in small groups of
2-3. Each group will study these
three graphs. Based on
these graphs, each group comes
up with a claim that answers
these questions:
How do you think declining bee
population will affect our food
supply? What is your
evidence?
Part III
2. How do bees, flowers and
humans co-exist in a symbiotic

Part I.
Students will listen to this song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=oMo3xbgBB_k

Part II.
Each student will be assigned one
part of the food web of a bee.
This part will be either a
producer, consumer, or
decomposer that is connected to
the bee.
They will have to investigate
whether they have a producer,
consumer, or a decomposer.

Part III. Then they will
investigate further about how the
depletion of bees can affect their
food web primarily centered
around them.
The will present their findings.

EL Strategies
Song for understanding
vocabulary

Interventions
Strategic Group placement

Formative Assessment
Student work for Part III

Part I.
Students learn of the biodiversity
threat to bees by learning an
overview of the concepts here:
http://beependent.wordpress.com/
threats-to-bees/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=1ZlJbDshqD8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=BRGrI4AQG70

Part II.
Students use the information
gained above and throughout the
prior lessons to create a
multimedia presentation or video
in efforts to inform and educate
others about the devastating
effects of the loss of a honey bee,
and steps you can take to save
them.

Students will be responsible of
sharing and explaining their
group presentation to at least
one person in the
community. This can be done
one on one or through social
media.

EL Strategies
6
relationship?
Discuss with your students what
pollination is and how plants and
pollinators both
benefit. Include a discussion of
symbiosis and how this is an
example of a three-way
symbiotic relationship (when
humans are included).

Part IV:
Watch a clip showing pollinators
in action from Louie
Schwartzbergs Wings of Life
(4:16):
http://video.disney.com/watch/th
e-beauty-of-pollination-wings-of-
life-
4da84833e06fd54fff590f49
As students are watching, they
should look for examples of how
pollinators and flowers
both benefit from their
relationship, and how humans
benefit from this relationship.
After
the video have students write
down a short reflection that
answers these questions:
In what ways do you think
flowers, bees and humans benefit
from their
symbiotic relationship with each
other?
What are some ways that
individuals like you can help
promote the activities of
pollinators?
Part V.
Have students share their
answers first in small groups
and then as a class. (Their
answers may include ideas such
as planting wildflowers, avoiding
pesticides on our
lawns and gardens, eating
organic foods, etc.)


Video and multimedia to help
teach concepts

Interventions
Strategic Group placement,
technology help

Formative Assessment
Final Presentations
7

EL Strategies
Small group work
Vocabulary Word Wall

Interventions
Designing the student groups
creatively to help the lower or
less developed students.
Small group work with the
teacher.
Vocabulary Terms:
Parasite An organism that
lives in or on another organism
(its host) and benefits by
deriving nutrients at the host's
expense
Pesticide A substance used for
destroying insects or other
organisms harmful to
cultivated plants or to animals
Pollen - A fine powdery
substance, typically yellow, of
microscopic grains discharged
from the male part of a flower;
contains the male genetic
material for the plant.
Pollinator An organism,
typically an insect, bird or bat,
that feeds on flowers from that
pollen-producing plants; in the
act of moving from plant to plant
they transfer pollen
from one individual plant to
another, thereby helping the plant
to reproduce.
Symbiosis A relationship
between two or more organisms
in which at least one
organism benefits; three types of
symbiosis are mutualism (in
which both organism
benefits), commensalism (in
which one organism benefits and
the other is neither harmed
nor helped) and parasitism (in
which one organism benefits and
the other is harmed).
Neonicotinoid - Neonicotinoids
8
are a class of insecticides which
act on the central
nervous system of insects

Formative Assessment
Student answers for Part IV.