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Unit Plan

Course: Science
Teacher: Jenn Wong
Duration: Three Weeks

Topic: Ecology
Grade: Seventh

Rationale for the unit: This unit will inform students about the environment around them.
Students will learn about habitats, ecological relationships, and what effect human impact has
had on the environment. They will gain more information about the real world around them. This
information can be applied to their everyday lives.
Students should already be aware of the different biomes around the world. They should also
have an idea of how animals interact with one another, but they may not know the exact term.
Students must be able to properly follow procedures during a lab.
Goals of the unit: Students will be learning about how the environment and organisms are
interacting with each other. They will be conducting tests to determine how healthy an ecosystem
is, and they will be constructing one of their own.
Students will understand the effect that human impact has had on the environment.
Students will learn about how organisms interact with one another and the environment.
Students will learn about the qualities of a healthy ecosystem.
Materials/technology needed for the unit:
2-liter bottles
Water quality tests and soil tests (pH and dissolved oxygen)
Thermometer
Soil
Stream water
Water
Field guides
Computers (only needed for 1 day)
Yarn/string
Index cards
Giant pit/bowl
Balls
Colored pencils
Microscope
Pinnies
Tape
Assessment: After some lessons, students will be given a formative assessment where they are
given a half sheet with a question or simply asked a question and required to answer verbally.
These questions are fairly simple to answer and summarize the goal of the lesson. For example,
on the first day, the students will be asked What is an ecosystem and what makes our terraqua
columns an ecosystem? Another assessment will be the completion of the project or activity that
day; of course that is a visual, ongoing assessment. One day, there will be a brief quiz where the

students have to match the term to the correct example. As a final assessment, the students will
be creating the perfect habitat. The students are required to write a paper explaining why this
habitat is ideal for the organism using information from the tests conducted and the ecological
relationships they have learned. The students must also create a visual of the habitat. This can be
any type of visual; it can be a picture, a diagram, or a diorama.
Objectives/taxonomy chart:
Knowledge:
Students will be able to
1. Identify and define ecosystem and ecology
2. Define relationships among individual organism, populations, communities, ecosystems,
biomes, and biospheres.
3. Identify organisms in the pond water.
Comprehension:
Students will be able to
1. Explain relationships among individual organism, populations, communities, ecosystems,
biomes, and biospheres.
2. Identify ecological relationships.
3. Identify effects of human impact on the environment and specific organisms.
Application:
Students will be able to
1. Sketch a food web/food chain.
2. Illustrate their visual observations of the soil samples.
3. Write an explanation as to why the habitat they have created is ideal.
Analysis:
Students will be able to
1. Support their food web with evidence from their research.
2. Model the ideal habitat.
3. Categorize organisms into their proper roles in a food chain.
4. Compare results of water/soil tests.
Synthesis:
Students will be able to
1. Arrange organisms in the proper order in a food chain/pyramid.
2. Design the ideal habitat.
3. Reconstruct their terraquas using the information from water and soil tests.
4. Construct a graph of the fish population over time.
Evaluation:
Students will be able to
1. Argue why the habitat they have created is ideal.
2. Justify their results with possible explanations as to why the habitat they surveyed is or is
not healthy.
Explanation of alignment with unit goals:
The students will understand the effects human impact has had on the environment from
objective number three under comprehension. Students will also learn how organisms interact
with one another through objectives 2 from knowledge, 1 and 2 from comprehension, 1 and 3

from application, 1,2, and 3 from analysis, and 1 and 3 from synthesis. To meet the unit goal of
having students understand what makes a healthy ecosystem, objectives 3 from comprehension,
2 and 3 from application, 2 and 4 from analysis, 2 and 3 from synthesis, and 1 and 2 from
evaluation.
The students will be learning about the qualities of a healthy ecosystem and how to test for
those qualities. The students will be learning how organisms interact with one another by
learning about the relationships and illustrating them. To ensure that these objectives have been
met, the students are creating an ideal habitat. When they have created the ideal habitat with
consideration of all these components, the unit goals have been met.
Unit extensions and/or resources and/or accommodations:
Students can research a specific human impact that has had a negative and positive effect on
the environment. This extension could become a homework assignment and be presented to the
class.
The students could also take some water and soil tests home to test the habitat in their own
backyard. It would be a very enjoyable and relatable for the students.

Day 1
Topic:
Ecosystems
Activities:
Students will
create a mini
ecosystem with a
2 2-liter soda
bottles. They will
create a 2 story
tower with water
at the bottom and
soil and plants on
top.
Assessments:
What is an
ecosystem and
what makes our
terraqua columns
an ecosystem?
(verbal answer)

Day 2
Topic: Water
Quality
Activities:
Students will test
the water in their
terraqua columns
and the water the
teacher collects.
They will test for
pH, dissolved
oxygen, and
temperature.

Day 3
Topic: Soil
Quality
Activities:
The students will
test soil in the
terraqua and soil
that the teacher
has collected.
The students will
complete a visual
test and test for
pH.

Day 4
Topic: Pond
Water
Activities:
Students will
observe a droplet
of pond water
under a
microscope.
They will
identify the
organisms in the
microhabitat.

Day 5
Topic:
Ecosystems
Activities:
Students will
make a new
terraqua column.
Students will be
doing this in
groups of three
to four.

Assessments:
Assessments:
Assessments:
Assessments:
Name one thing
What are the
Research one of
Why was your
humans do to
main
the organisms
terraqua
change watercomponents of
and describe its
reconstructed
quality. What
soil and why are importance to the this way?
effect does it
they important?
ecosystem, life
(written on a half
have on each of
(verbal answer)
cycle, and diet.
sheet)
the three tests?
(verbal answer)
Objectives: SWBAT
Identify and define ecosystem and ecology.
Compare results from different water and soil samples.
Illustrate their visual observations of the soil samples.
Identify organisms in the pond water.
Reconstruct their terraquas using information from the water and soil tests.

Day 6
Topic:
Ecosystem
Organization

Day 7
Topic:
Ecological
Relationships

Day 8
Topic:
Habitat Survey

Day 9
Topic:
Food Chains

Activities:
Choose one
individual
organism that
will be used in
their ecological
pyramid.
Students will
create an
ecological
pyramid with the
individual
organism at the
top and its biome
at the bottom.
The students will
accompany each
level with an
illustration.
Assessments:
Quick quiz to
match up the
term with the
correct example.

Activities:
The students will
be outside plying
a game. They
will act as
animals and be
randomly chosen
to be a lion or a
gazette. They
will be marked
with pinnies. At
least three
rounds will be
played. Each
round is a
different
scenario (eg
more lions, more
gazelles).
Assessments:
Define predator
and prey. (verbal
answer)

Activities:
Students will go
to the stream
behind the
school and test
the soil and
water quality.
Students will be
separated into
groups and
assigned
different areas.

Activities:
Cards will be
given to
students. On the
cards are written
the names of
different
organisms. They
must categorize
them and color
code them. Then
the students will
create two
different food
chains from
those organisms.
Food chains will
be collected.

Assessments:
What can be
done to improve
the habitat of the
stream?

Assessments:
Sharing their
food chain with a
partner and
properly
identifying their
roles in the
ecosystem.

Day 10
Topic:
Food
Chains/Pyramid
s
Activities:
The students will
use the food
chains from the
day before to
create a food
pyramid. Their
food pyramid
should also show
the decrease in
energy as you go
up.

Assessments:
Pick an item
from your lunch
and create a food
pyramid.
(collected)

Objectives: SWBAT
Explain relationships among individual organism, populations, communities, ecosystems,
biomes, and biospheres.
Categorize organisms into their proper roles in a food chain.
Arrange organisms in the proper order in a food chain/pyramid.
Sketch a food web/food chain.
Compare results of water/soil tests.

Day 11
Topic: Food
Webs

Day 12
Topic: Food
Webs

Day 13
Topic: Food
Webs

Activities:
Students will
choose an
organism to
research. Field
guides will be
given to students
to help them
research the
organisms diet,
life cycle, and
habitat. They can
also use other
resources.

Activities:
Students use the
information they
researched the
day before to
construct a food
web. The
students will
print out pictures
or words of
every organism
in the food web.
They can also
draw or write the
names on index
cards. This is
also an extra day
to finish on last
minute research.
The food webs
will be
connected with
yarn/string.
Assessments:
What is the one
item that we
should all have
in our food
webs? (verbal)

Activities:
Students will
share their
constructed food
webs. The
students will
share the
information they
have gathered
from their
research.

Assessments:
Every student
will be asked to
share what
organism they
chose. (verbal)

Assessments:
What is one
thing that you
learned from
someone elses
food web?
(written)

Day 14
Topic:
Overfishing

Day15
Topic: The
Perfect
Ecosystem
Activities: The
Activities: This
students will act is a project that
as fishermen.
students will be
There will be a
completing in
large pit/bowl
class and
filled with balls. finishing at
Students will be
home. They will
put into groups
design the
of two to three
perfect habitat
and each group
using the
makes a catch for information they
each round.
have gathered
from the past
three weeks.
They will have a
written portion to
justify their
components.

Assessments:
Have students
identify another
problem of effect
of human impact
on the
environment.
(verbal)

Assessments:
Completed
project

Objectives: SWBAT
Support their food web with evidence from their research.
Construct a graph of the fish population over time.
Argue why the habitat they have created is ideal.
Sketch a food web/food chain.
Model the ideal habitat.
Identify effects of human impact on the environment and specific organism.