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RATIONALE:

This unit entitled Where Living Things Are Found is designed for
3 grade. The unit will integrate many academic disciplines while
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teaching students about ecosystems with specifics such as the variety


of vocab terms that are used to understand the parts of an ecosystem,
forest ecosystems and how pine cones adapt based on the weather
through an inquiry, desert ecosystems, grassland ecosystems and
water ecosystems and how it is easier to float in salt water ecosystems
through an inquiry.
Students will do a variety of activities to enhance their learning.
First the students will explore the new ecosystem vocabulary and use
a graphic organizer to show how each new vocab word relates to
another by using a pond habitat as an example. The students will also
explore the differences between the various forest ecosystems and
focus on the coniferous forest and how pine cones adapt in order to
survive. The students will explore desert ecosystems and observe the
difference between cacti/succulents in desert ecosystems to trees in
forest ecosystems such as trees in the deciduous forest. The students
will also explore grassland ecosystems and compare the temperate
climate. The students will explore water ecosystems and explore
whether it is easier to float in salt water or fresh water.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education
Standards: S3.B.3.1.1, students will be able to identify the living and
nonliving components of an ecosystem (e.g., living [plants, animals];
nonliving [water, soil, air]).
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education
Standards: S3.B.2.1.3 - Identify characteristics for plant and animal
survival in different environments (e.g., desert, forest, grassland,
ocean).
When the unit is complete, the students will be able to identify
the living and nonliving components of an ecosystem, identify
characteristics for plant and animal survival in forest ecosystems and
explain how pine cones can adapt for survival, identify characteristics
for plant and animal survival in desert ecosystems, identify
characteristics for plant and animal survival in grassland ecosystems,
identify characteristics for plant and animal survival in water
ecosystems and explain whether it is easier to float in salt or fresh
water.
This unit contains important information for the students to
understand the components of an ecosystem, characteristics of various
ecosystems (forests, deserts, grasslands, water) and the differences
among the various ecosystems. This unit also contains a variety of
information about the habitats within those ecosystems and specific
animals that live there.