How can you protect water resources in your local ecosystem?

Grade Levels
4th - 6th
Formats Included
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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

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:

-- 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).
Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.


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