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Easel Activities
Pre-made digital activities. Add highlights, virtual manipulatives, and more.
Easel Assessments
Quizzes with auto-grading that will be available for purchase on TpT soon.

How can you protect water resources in your local ecosystem?

Grade Levels
4th - 6th
Formats Included
  • Zip
17 pages
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  1. Nature and Environment PBL Activities - 5 Fifth Grade Life Science Hands-On PBLs These are 5 NGSS-aligned problem-based learning activities for young scientists in grade 5 (but also appropriate for students in grades 4 and 6). Students, with the help of peers and their teacher, design investigations
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This is an NGSS-aligned problem-based learning activity for young scientists in grades 4, 5, or 6. Students, with the help of peers and their teacher, design an investigation in life science to answer the big question: How can you protect water resources in your local ecosystem?  The activity helps students gain confidence with the PBL approach and provides opportunities for collaborative learning.

The activity contains 4 PDF files: reproducible student card, detailed teacher support document (9 pages), icon image, and document with supplemental PBL tips (4 pages).

1 -- Individual student cards guide students through the activities. Each card poses a big question that students use as a jumping off point to create their own questions to be tested in small, collaborative groups.

2 -- Complete teacher support document offers specific suggestions to help students to develop a test question, construct a test, draw conclusions, and show and share conclusions. Each teacher document relates the activity to relevant NGSS standards (DCIs, SEPs, and CCCs) and also suggests a connection to math and ELA standards.

3 -- The icon image may be projected or printed out to provide a visual starting point for the activity.

4 -- A supplemental document on using PBLs (Enriching the PBL Experience with EdTechLens Jump Card) is also included.

NEED LEARNING RESOURCES FOR THIS ACTIVITY? This PBL activity is coordinated with a unit named Ecosystem Interactions - Photosynthesis, Food, and Humans in the Rainforest, also available on this site.

Related unit for this activity: Ecosystem Interactions - Photosynthesis, Food Chains, and Humans in the Rainforest



Physical student cards for multiple students are available; contact info@edtechlens.com

NOT YOUR GRADE LEVEL? -- Search this site for more EdTechLens content.


-- Working with students to develop a big question
-- Resources to enrich prior knowledge
-- Helping students work through the details of how to develop a question they can test
-- Running the test (materials, timing, location, specifying observations, recording data, etc.)
-- Drawing conclusions
-- Encouraging students to present findings and show what they learned
-- Next Generation Science Standards met while completing the student investigation.

-- Connections to CC Mathematics and English Language Arts are also included.

Sections in Student Card

-- Big question
-- Ask a question you can test

-- Record results of your investigation
-- Test your question
-- Draw conclusions
-- Show what you learned


5- LS2-1 Students consider water resources in an ecosystem, and propose methods for protecting them.


SEP - Developing and Using Models

DCI - LS2.B Organization for Matter and Energy FLow in Organisms

CCC -  Systems and System Models

Connect to Mathematics - 5.MD.A.1; 5.MD.C.3.A;  5.NBT.A.1

Connect to English Language Arts - RI.5.1; RI.5.3; RI.5.7


-- This PBL is a component of the Rainforest Journey K-5 digital life science program produced by a team of educators and media producers. Learn more about us: www.edtechlens.com

-- Lessons, units, and activities from this program are also available here. View our Contents List: Search this site for the Rainforest Journey Contents List.

©EdTechLens – Usage of any material, including text and media, in this lesson pack is illegal except for use by the single teacher or home user who has purchased it. Please do not share with another user or online. Any other use will be considered a violation of copyright and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Total Pages
17 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment. Emphasis is on the idea that matter that is not food (air, water, decomposed materials in soil) is changed by plants into matter that is food. Examples of systems could include organisms, ecosystems, and the Earth. Assessment does not include molecular explanations.
Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.
Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.
Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).


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