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In this explore, explain, and elaborate activity bundle (three activities!), students first identify factors that impact living things in photos of different ecosystems. Through discussion, they categorize their ideas and ultimately sort their ideas into living and nonliving. In the second activity, students are introduced to the terms biotic and abiotic and practice identifying these factors using a card sort activity. (Eight card sets have been included for differentiation, repetition, or a jigsaw setup.) Students reinforce their understanding of biotic and abiotic factors by comparing and contrasting these concepts. Finally, students examine how changes in abiotic factors impact organisms and populations by analyzing and interpreting data in an elaborate/extension activity. Discussions of the impacts of resource availability on organisms and populations are woven into each and every activity to develop student understanding of LS2.A Interdependent Relationships In Ecosystems and prepare them for MS-LS2-1.
This activity sequence is part of the larger unit Organisms and Their Environments. In the complete unit, students have already explored concepts such as weather and climate in relation to the types of environments that can be found on Earth (biomes). They have also participated in the engage activity (and anchoring phenomenon), Wildlife On The Move. These concepts and activities are not vital to utilizing this resource and are not included in this resource. If you are interested in the complete unit, you can find additional activities at iExploreScience on TeachersPayTeachers or in the sample resource library of the Science Teacher Tribe Course + Community.
This activity is part of a complete unit that builds towards these standards:
MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
MS-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
MS-ESS2-4 Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
MS-ESS2-5 Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.
MS-ESS2-6 Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
5E Model Phase: Explore, Explain, and Elaborate
>> Students will identify factors in ecosystems that impact organisms.
>> Students will classify factors in ecosystems that impact living things as biotic and abiotic.
>> Students will analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of abiotic factors on organisms and populations of organisms.
>> I can identify factors in ecosystems that impact living things.
>> I can classify factors in ecosystems as biotic and abiotic.
>> I can analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the statement: abiotic factors affect organisms and populations of organisms.
Science and Engineering Practices:
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Stability and Change
This activity sequence does not require any specific prior knowledge, although students would benefit from a general understanding of the difference between living and non-living things. For the Abiotic Factors and Population Impacts activity, students may need support analyzing and interpreting data in its various forms (map, graph, and data table).
Teacher Guide (15 pages)
Student Activity Sheets (12 pages)
Class Activity Resources (27 pages)
includes Answer Keys
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