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LessonPlan:

Buildingamodeloftheflowofmatterandenergyinanecosystem

Day1
Into:
Studentsreadanddiscuss
RulesandNorms
foroutsideobservations
Classreviewsinstructionsandworksheetforoutdoorobservations

Through
Studentsmakeobservationsoforganismsandinteractionsatcreekneartheschool,
fillingout
CreeksideNatureObservations
astheygo.
Beyond
Studentssharesomeoftheirobservationswiththeclass
Teachercompilesalistoforganismsstudentsobserved.

Day2
Into
Teacherpresentsaslideshowofpicturesfromthepreviousdaysobservations
Studentstaketurnschoosingaspeciestodoresearchonbasedonthelistoforganisms
observedatthecreek.Theyusegenericnames,astheywillfigureouttheexactspecies
duringtheirresearch.
Through
Studentsusetheinternettoresearchwhatspeciestheirorganismrepresents.
Scaffold
isprovidedforstudentsonhowtoeffectivelysearchfortheirspecies
usingkeywords,suchasSonoma,Creekside,GrayBird,ratherthanopen
endedsearchessuchas,birdidentification,orquestionformats,suchas,what
kindofbirdisthegraybirdIsawbythecreek?
Studentsareallowedtostruggleproductivelyfor10minutes,atwhichtime
teacherhelpsidentifyspeciesortellsthemwhattheirspeciesis.
Beyond

Studentsresearchspecificinformationabouttheirspeciesanditsroleintheecosystem,
followingaprovidedguidetotheirresearch.
Scaffold:
Studentsareprovidedwithagraphicorganizertotakenotesonthe
questionstheyareanswering,alongwithacolumnwheretheycancitetheir
sources.
Studentsbeginwritinga24paragraphessayabouttheirspeciesanditsroleinthe
ecosystem.
Differentiation
:Thelengthanddetailrequiredbystudentsvaries.Theymustall
answerthesamebasicquestions,butextracreditisavailableforstudentswho
addgreaterdetailandprovideamorestructuredessaythatflows,andengages

thereader.Commentstostudentsindividualessayswilladdresstheirindividual
leveloflanguagedevelopment.
Homework
:Studentswritearoughdraftoftheiressay,tobefinishedtogetherinclass
thenextday.Thisallowsstudentstostrugglewithwritingontheirown,thengetsupport
inclearlyandproperlycommunicatingtheirideas.
StudentssubmittheirroughdraftthroughGoogleclassroom,sothatteachercan
providecommentsbeforethebeginningofthenextclass.

Day3

Intoandthrough
Utilizingcommentsprovidedbyteacher,studentsmakecorrections,improvements,
additionstotheirwriting.
Studentsreceivedifferentiatedsupportintheirwritingasneeded
StudentswhofinishearlyandgettheOKfrominstructor,providepeertutoringand
editingsupporttootherstudents.

Beyond
Studentsdrawafoodchainfeaturingtheirspecies,connectingatleastthreeother
organisms,andthesun.
Studentscomplete
foodchains
and
homework

Day4

Into
Ingroupsof4,studentsreadanarticleaboutFoodWebsandEnergyRolesinan
ecosystem
Studentstaketurnsreadingparagraphs,anddiscussingwhattounderlineandhighlight
inthearticle.
Through
Studentsworktogethertowrite
CornellNotes,
aboutabrieftextbookarticleon
ecosystemsandfoodwebs.
Scaffold
.Reviewwithindividualstudentshowtoproperlyformatandorganize
theirCornellnotes.Maintermsfromthearticlearehighlightedincolortosupport
studentswhohavechallengesfindingtermsindensetext.
Beyond
Studentsworktogethertowritesummariesbasedontheircornellnotes
Scaffold
forELLsandothersdevelopingtheirlanguageabilities.Group
discussestogetherwhattowrite,andhowtowriteit.

Homework.
Whilesomestudentswillfinishthistaskinclass,extratimeisprovidedto
completethesummary,forthosewhoneedit,ashomework.StudentswithIEPs,get
helponthistaskduringtheirRSPperiod.
Assessment:
CompletedNotes,summaries,andHomeworkQuiz

Day5
Into

HomeworkQuiz
:EnergyflowinEcosystems
Scaffold:
Studentswhomissanswersonthequizareallowedtocomeinbefore
schoolorduringbreak,andretakethequiz,withinstructorguidingstudentson
findinganswersintheirnotes,orbythinkingthroughthequestions.
Discuss
DiscussionNorms
.Thesearebasedstudentsuggestionsfromapreviousclass
session.
Studentsreviewandsignform.
Watch3minute
BrainPop
videoaboutecosystems.Thisisashortreviewofmanyof
theconceptsfromthearticle,torefreshstudentsthinkingbeforetheyengagein
discussion.

Through
Asaclassreadandfillinblanksfor
FoodChainsandFoodWebs
Studentsworkintablegroupstodiscusswhatgoesintheblanks,studentsshare
andjustifytheiranswers,andfillouttheworksheetaswego.
Scaffold:
Ifstudentsdisplayincorrectorincompleteunderstanding,other
studentswillbecalledupontotocorrectoraddtoconcepts,andfirststudentwill
begivenachancetorestatetheirunderstanding.
Assessments
:
Inthemomentmonitoringofstudentsparticipationandexpressionof
worksheetconcepts.
Monitoringofwhatindividualstudentssharewiththeclass,andclass
responsetosharedanswers.
Collectionandreviewofcompletedworksheets.
Scaffold:
Whenwegettothepartaboutonly90%ofenergytransferring
betweentrophiclevels,stopanddemonstratethisvisually,utilizingdividedpieces
ofpaper.
Beyond
Assessment:
ExitTickets.Studentswritedown,andsubmitonenewthingtheylearned
duringtheclassdiscussion,

Day6
Into

Duringpreviousclasses,studentsobservedorganismsnearalocalcreek,andeach
studentdidresearchononeoftheobservedorganisms.Usingthisresearch,the
instructorwillcompileaclasslistofwhateachorganismeats,andwhateatsit.
Picturesoftheseorganismspreviouslyresearchedbystudentsarepostedonclasswall
(Thisisdonebyteacherbeforeclass).Nexttoeachorganismisalistofwhatiteats,
andwhateatsit.
Through
Utilizingthecompiledlistofwhateatswhat,studentsconstructafoodweb,utilizing
provided
Instructions
,showingthetransferofenergybetweenorganismsthateat,and
areeatenby,eachother,aswellasenergyandmatterbetweenthebioticandabiotic
partsoftheecosystem.
Studentssharetheircompletedfoodwebswiththeirtablegroups,anddiscusswhatis
missing,orwhatcouldbeaddedtotheirmodelstomakethemmorecomplete.
Classdiscussionaskingifthereisanythingmissingfromthesefoodwebs(more
organisms,connections,matterandenergybetweenbioticandabioticsystems).
Assessment:
Finalsubmittedfoodwebreviewedandgradedbyteacher(Rubric
isatbottomofInstructions).

Beyond
Assessment:
Studentsanswer
FoodWebWrapUpQuestions
inwrittenform,utilizing
fullsentences.
Scaffold:
Theymaybesupportedinformulatingtheirideasverbally,withthe
assistanceofaninstructororaide,beforewritingthemdown,andsentence
starterswillbeavailableforthosestudentswhoneedthem.
UsingyourFoodWebasareference,describethepathenergytakesasit
flowsinto,andeventuallybackoutof,thebioticrealmofanecosystem.
Yourwritingshouldaddressthefollowing:
Whatformdoesenergytakesatdifferentstages,andhowitis
transformed?
Lightenergy,foodenergy,chemicalenergy,thermalenergy(heat
loss).
Mentionatleastthreespecificorganisms.
Inwhatwayismattertransformed,yetconserved,asitcyclesthroughan
ecosystem?
Scaffold:
Sentencestarterstobeprovided.Studentswhoneedextra
timeandsupport,mayfinishashomework.