Catastrophic Events Inquiry Labs
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In this lab, students will recreate a flood and investigate the impact it has on the ecosystem. Students will take a plastic shoebox and create the river bank using the mud. Next, students will create the ecosystem by placing items such as houses, trees, and grass on the bank of the river. Students will describe the current ecosystem and predict what will happen to their ecosystem when the river rises. They will also measure water clarity and the movement of nutrients and pollution. If planning two days for this activity, students should make the models on the first day and record their information, then add water the second day.
The product contains three complete labs that are differentiated for all of your students.
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- Teacher Resource Pages - prep time, standards/objectives, teacher directions, materials, and additional resources.
- Answer Keys - suggested answer keys for the labs
- CER Conclusion and Reflection Questions - Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning statements along with 3 reflection questions per lab.
- All pages are EDITABLE.
3 Differentiated Labs
Dependent Student Lab- A complete lab. This level is written with a combination of procedural instructions and inquiry questions. They are moderately student-centered with guided inquiry questions throughout the lab. Suggested for on-level learners.
Modified Student Lab - A complete lab. This level provides the most structured lab experience. The lessons may eliminate parts of the lab and change the questioning to include sentence stems or multiple choice questions. Suggested for learners with modifications.
Independent Student Lab - A complete lab. This level is the most student-centered experience. Suggestions are made for the students to get started, but most of the decisions will be student-centered. The students will be responsible for most aspects of the lab and will have the least guidance. Suggested for advanced learners.
Materials Needed Per Group:
Plastic shoe box or deep aluminum pan to be used as a flood tray, at least 3.5 inches deep.
Damp mud (mixture of clay and dirt firm enough to create landforms, similar to the consistency of playdough)
Watering can or 2 liter bottle with holes cut in the sides
Two colors of glitter, about 1 teaspoon each
Pencil (will get wet/dirty)
Small models to represent manmade structures (see pre-lab prep page)
Small models to represent livestock, wildlife, and vegetation (see pre-lab prep page)
Tap water (amount will vary based on the size of the flood tray)
TEKS: 7.8 A - Predict and describe how catastrophic events such as floods, hurricanes, or tornadoes impact ecosystems.
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Save precious prep time and get back to teaching. All of the work hard work has been done for you. Go have some fun with those students!
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