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Understanding by Design Template 

Stage 1 - Desired Results 

Established Goals: ​Students will be able to actively BioBlitz the ecosystem of our schoolyard, in order 
to make observations about its Biodiversity. They will then analyze the data and create an action plan 
for their community, with possible solutions to increase the Biodiversity in the area.  

1.1 Enduring Understandings  1.2 Essential Questions 

Students will understand that . . . .   ● How can making observations of organisms 
  help me to understand the importance of 
● Making observations includes using visual,  biodiversity in an area? 
auditory, olfactory, and tactile senses  ● What do animals use energy for? Where 
● Data can be collected to show a variety of  does it come from? 
producers, consumers, and decomposers  ● How do plants get what they need to 
with an ecosystem  survive? 
● Producers, consumers, and decomposers  ● How can the recycling of matter through 
can be further categorized into specific  the environment be represented? 
groups  ● How can we maintain or improve our 
● The energy animals consume once came  schoolyard’s biodiversity? 
from the sun and is used to support their 
bodily functions 
● Energy can be transferred from one living 
thing to the next 
● The energy plants get comes from the sun 
● Models help me understand complex ideas 
about the world 
● Matter cycles back and forth between living 
things and the environment 
● The interactions between living things and 
the environment create a system 
● People have an effect on the environment 
● Evidence is needed to support a claim 
about the cause of an environmental 

1.3 Acquisition of Knowledge and Skills 

Students will know . . . .    Students will be able to . . .  

● The difference between biodiversity and  ● Observe and collect data about a certain 
bioblitz, and how to analyze the results  space or ecosystem 
● How energy is transferred through a Food  ● Analyze the results of their findings, in order 
Web  to make predictions about the area’s 
● What energy is used for by different  biodiversity 
organisms  ● Identify living things as producers, 
● How an ecosystem can be affected by the  consumers, or decomposers 
interactions between living things  ● Create an accurate food web that 
● The different characteristics of producers,  demonstrates the transfer of energy 

Adapted from Understanding by Design (p. 22), by G. Wiggins and J. McTighe, 2005, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson 
Education, Inc. Copyright 2005 by ASCD. 
consumers, and decomposers  through organisms 
● The further classifications that living things  ● Brainstorm ideas for improving biodiversity 
can be organized by   

Stage 2 - Assessment Evidence 

Performance Tasks:  Other Evidence: 
● Pre-Assessment before Unit  ● Whole group and small group discussion 
● Post Assessment at end of Unit  ● Daily exit tickets/Informal assessments 
● Schoolyard Habitat Restoration Project  ● Daily writing, reading, speaking and 
listening activities 
● Group collaboration  

Stage 3 - Learning Plan 

Learning Activities: 
● Jigsaw activity on the different classifications of animals (amphibian, reptile, plant, invertebrate, 
mammal, bird, decomposer). Students will become an expert on one topic, and teach the rest of 
the class 
● Poster creation on classification of organisms with the characteristics, examples, and other 
important information 
● Participate in a BioBlitz in a local park (locate organisms and classify them as producers, 
consumers, or decomposers). Then, discuss and analyze the biodiversity of the park. 
● Participate in a BioBlitz in our schoolyard, and compare and contrast the biodiversity of our 
schoolyard, with the park. 
● Brainstorm and record ideas of how to improve or maintain the biodiversity of our schoolyard 
● Analyze a food web, and discuss the transfer of energy. Draw an accurate food web.  
● Explore how plants get their food, through a BrainPop. Label a diagram, and then complete a 
writing prompt which explains how plants make their own food.  
● Create a model of a functional ecosystem, with examples of producers, consumers, and 
decomposers. Labeling and demonstrating how these organisms interact with each other in their 
● Creating their proposal for how to improve the biodiversity of their schoolyard 

Adapted from Understanding by Design (p. 22), by G. Wiggins and J. McTighe, 2005, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson 
Education, Inc. Copyright 2005 by ASCD.