This zip file contains 11 different activities, as well as completion notes accompanied by a PowerPoint containing 89 slides which can be used to compose a unit for biology students introducing them to the major concepts in Human Ecology.
Many components of this unit can be adapted to Environmental Science or Ecology classes as well. The activities as provided in both pdf and editable word format to allow you to adapt the materials to your course as you see fit. The unit has been correlated to the NGSS, Common Core and NY State Living Environment Core Curriculum Standards. It contains the following items:
-- Marzano self assessment scale for students specific to this unit
-- Curriculum Correlations to the NGSS, Common Core and NY State Living Environment Core Curriculum standards
-- Cloze completion notes handout for students with learning goals (9 pages)
-- 89 Frame PowerPoint to accompany the cloze notes with two bell ringer activities with answers
-- Lorax reading and writing activity (6 pages) .
-- Renewable and Non-renewable graphing worksheet with key
-- 2 page Human Ecology worksheet 1 containing 9 writing and graphic organizer table questions with key
-- 2 page Human Ecology worksheet 2 containing 14 questions of varying type with key
-- 3 page Human Ecology worksheet 3 containing 29 questions of varying type with key
-- 3 page Human Ecology quiz with 20 questions of varying types with answer sheet and answer key
-- 7 page (40 questions) Human Ecology exam with answer key
Human Ecology Learning Goals
Upon completion of this unit the student will:
1. recognize that humans have upset natural systems.
2. describe some ways the following natural ecosystem processes affect humans;
maintenance of atmospheric quality, generation of soils, control of the water cycle,
removal of wastes, energy flow, and the cycling of nutrients.
3. recognize that human population growth has increased rapidly, because of the removal of checks on population growth, such as disease.
4. recognize that increasing numbers of humans will ultimately be limited by the earth's finite resources.
5. interpret and/or draw graphs describing population growth in humans or other species.
6. explain the difference and list at least four examples each of renewable and
7. list advantages and disadvantages of the use of renewable resources.
8. list examples of species damage and destruction by overhunting and habitat destruction.
9. list several invasive species and explain how they have damaged the environment of New York.
10. state several positive and negative consequences of the use of nuclear fuels.
11. state the major cause and three negative consequences of global warming.
12. explain the causes and some negative consequences of acid rain pollution.
13. explain the causes and some negative consequences of ozone depletion.
14. explain how timber depletion and the direct harvesting is impacting land use
and atmospheric quality.
15. list problems associated with the disposal of solid wastes.
16. explain how population growth and distribution can influence environmental quality.
17. explain how the use of technology to solve problems can influence environmental quality.
18. list and discuss examples of economic, political, cultural, and ethical views
influencing environmental quality.
19. list several ways we are trying to preserve endangered species.
20. list several ways we are trying to reduce air pollution.
21. explain what SEQR is and how it is associated with environmental quality
22. explain the difference between the chemical and biological control of insects.
23. list advantages and disadvantages of the use of biological controls.
24. recognize that through a greater awareness and application of ecological principles, that there will be suitable environments for future generations on our planet.
25. recognize that when new technologies are introduced, decisions must be made to assess environmental risks, costs, benefits, and trade-offs.
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
HS-LS2-2. Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.
HS-LS2-6. Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
Common Core State Standards Connections:
RST.9-10.8 Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claim or a recommendation for solving a scientific or technical problem.
RST.11-12.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account.
RST.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
RST.11-12.8 Evaluate the hypotheses, data, analysis, and conclusions in a science or technical text, verifying the data when possible and corroborating or challenging conclusions with other sources of information.
WHST.9-12.2 Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
WHST.9-12.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.
MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
MP.4 Model with mathematics.
HSN-Q.A.1 Use units as a way to understand problems and to guide the solution of multi-step problems; choose and interpret units consistently in formulas; choose and interpret the scale and the origin in graphs and data displays.
HSN-Q.A.2 Define appropriate quantities for the purpose of descriptive modeling.
NY State Living Environment Core Curriculum Performance Indicators and Major Understandings
Performance Indicator 7.1
Describe the range of interrelationships of humans with the living and nonliving environment.
7.1a The Earth has finite resources; increasing human consumption of resources places stress on the natural processes that renew some resources and deplete those resources that cannot be renewed.
7.1b Natural ecosystems provide an array of basic processes that affect humans. Those processes include but are not limited to: maintenance of the quality of the atmosphere, generation of soils, control of the water cycle, removal of wastes, energy flow, and recycling of nutrients. Humans are changing many of these basic processes and the changes may be detrimental.
7.1c Human beings are part of the Earth's ecosystems. Human activities can, deliberately or inadvertently, alter the equilibrium in ecosystems. Humans modify ecosystems as a result of population growth, consumption, and technology. Human destruction of habitats through direct harvesting, pollution, atmospheric changes, and other factors is threatening current global stability, and if not addressed, ecosystems may be irreversibly affected.
Performance Indicator 7.2
Explain the impact of technological development and growth in the human population on the living and nonliving environment.
7.2a Human activities that degrade ecosystems result in a loss of diversity of the living and nonliving environment. For example, the influence of humans on other organisms occurs through land use and pollution. Land use decreases the space and resources available to other species, and pollution changes the chemical composition of air, soil, and water.
7.2b When humans alter ecosystems either by adding or removing specific organisms, serious consequences may result. For example, planting large expanses of one crop reduces the biodiversity of the area.
7.2c Industrialization brings an increased demand for and use of energy and other resources including fossil and nuclear fuels. This usage can have positive and negative effects on humans and ecosystems.
Performance Indicator 7.3
Explain how individual choices and societal actions can contribute to improving the environment.
7.3a Societies must decide on proposals which involve the introduction of new technologies. Individuals need to make decisions which will assess risks, costs, benefits, and trade-offs.
7.3b The decisions of one generation both provide and limit the range of possibilities open to the next generation.
Appendix A -- Lab Skills
¥ Makes observations of biological processes
¥ States an appropriate hypothesis
¥ Differentiates between independent and dependent variables
¥ Organizes data through the use of data tables and graphs
¥ Analyzes results from observations/expressed data
¥ Formulates an appropriate conclusion or generalization from the results of an experiment
¥ Recognizes assumptions and limitations of the experiment
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Many more biology materials to compose a full year course including this unit of learning activities are available at a significant savings of over 70% if purchased as a package for $23.99 (over 900 pages of different learning materials and 1500 PowerPoint slide) ... this package includes the following units:
If the contents of this complete course were purchased as individual zip files for each unit, it would cost more than $70 for these materials.
This year long course contains the following units.
-- Life Processes and Introduction to Classification Learning Activities
-- Cell Structure and Function Lesson Activities
-- Membrane and Membrane Processes Learning Activities
-- Introduction to Biochemistry and Enzymes Lesson Activities
-- Human Nutrition Learning Activities
-- Human Circulation Learning Activities
-- Immunity Lesson and Lab Activities
-- Human Respiration Learning Activities
-- Introduction to Cell Respiration Learning Activities
-- Introduction to Human Excretion and Human Locomotion Learning Activities
-- Nervous and Endocrine Systems Lesson Activities
-- Introduction to Mitosis and Asexual Reproduction Lesson Activities
-- Introduction to Meiosis Lesson Activities
-- Reproduction and Development Lesson Activities
-- Plant Systems and Adaptations Lesson Activities
-- Photosynthesis Learning Activities
-- Plant Reproduction and Development Lesson Activities
-- Classical Genetics Learning Activities (Mendelian and Beyond Mendel)
-- Introduction to DNA, RNA, Protein Synthesis and Biotechnology Lesson Activities
-- Introduction to Evolution Lesson Activities
-- Ecology Lesson Activities
-- Human Ecology Learning Activities
-- Complete NY State Living Environment Regents Review Packets with Answers
View the contents of the whole year course in more detail at
Biology/Life Sciences Complete Course