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What happens when something disrupts the ability of a system to meet the needs of the organisms within its bounds? In this activity, students will explore what that “something” might be when presented with the problem of a precipitous decline in the native tree frog population of Mayberry, Florida.
In this activity, students will identify possible causes for the “silent nights” Mayberry is now experiencing as the tree frog population has plummeted. While there is no one right answer, students can and should find evidence to support their theories from the clues provided.
MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
Other Relevant Content: LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems; LS2.B Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems; LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience; LS4.D Biodiversity and Humans
5E Model Phase: Evaluate
Learning Target: Students will analyze qualitative and quantitative evidence to determine possible causes of an amphibian population decline in the fictional town of Mayberry, located in central Florida.
Success Criteria: I can analyze evidence to determine possible causes of a decline in the native frog population of Mayberry.
Success Criteria: I can construct an argument based on evidence that changes to the ecosystem affected native populations.
To use this assessment most effectively, students should have already addressed several of the concepts in LS2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics. Students may also benefit from having some background knowledge of ESS2 Earth’s Systems and ESS3 Earth and Human Activity.
Because this project has no right or wrong answer, students can take several approaches, and the approach they use will likely be determined by the content they are exposed to during prior instruction.
✻ Teacher Instructions
⇾ breakdown of the 5E model
⇾ alignment to the standards
⇾ analysis of each clue
⇾ implementation instructions
✻ Student Workbook
⇾ clue analysis graphic organizer
⇾ CER task graphic organizer
⇾ CER prompt
⇾ rubric based on the Performance Expectation and Evidence Statements
⇾ 15 clues
⇾ links to real news articles and videos
⇾ diary entries
⇾ simple graphs for discussion
⇾ flyers, emails, and memos
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