This zip file contains different activities (17 pages of student handouts and 1 PowerPoint with a total of 41 slides) which can be used to compose a unit for AP Biology or advanced Biology students introducing students to some introductory aspects of ecology. Concepts such as ecological organization (population, community, ecosystem, biosphere), factors needed for a stable ecosystem, symbiotic relationships, niche, competitive exclusion, resource partitioning and other concepts are introduced.
While these lessons were originally designed for my AP Biology curriculum, they can be adapted to any advanced level Biology program.
This lesson packet contains a listing of the learning goals, common core learning standards, NGSS learning standards and the AP Biology performance indicators addressed in these materials. These are included in the packet and at the end of the description of this lesson.
The components of this lesson package can easily be displayed to students using and LCD projector and may be readily modified into formats facilitating smartboard technology. Most documents are included in both word and pdf format to allow editing for specific teacher needs. The learning guides/assignments contain links to online resources to support student learning.
Answer keys are included for all student work items.
The specific contents of the learning package includes the following items (the page count for these items are actual student handouts as answer key page counts are not included):
-- Introduction to Ecology Completion Notes (7 pp)
-- Introduction to Ecology PowerPoint to accompany the completion notes (41 slides)
-- Introduction to Ecology Reading Worksheet (14 questions) (2 pp)
-- Links to a suggested simulation lab on competitive exclusion (4 pp)
-- Introduction to Ecology Exam (contains 27 multiple choice questions and 3 short answer questions or problems) (6 pp)
-- Population Ecology Objectives and Learning Goals (correlated to AP Biology ETS LOs as well as the NGSS and Common Core Learning Standards) (2 pp)
Introduction to Ecology Instructional Objectives
Upon the completion of this unit the student will be able to:
1. define the term ecology.
2. explain the following terms associated with ecological organization; population, community, ecosystem and biosphere.
3. distinguish between abiotic and biotic factors.
4. define the term limiting factors.
5. list two conditions required for a self-sustaining ecosystem.
6. list and describe three geological or meteorological events influencing ecosystem distribution.
7. list and describe three community interactions (competition, predation, and symbiosis)
8. define the terms mutualism, parasitism and commensalism.
9. discuss several examples of mutualism, parasitism and commensalism.
10. explain what is meant by a niche.
11. state the competitive exclusion principle.
12. explain what is meant by resource partitioning and list some ways organisms achieve this.
ETS Learning Objectives for the AP Bio Exam
LO 4.11 The student is able to justify the selection of the kind of data needed to answer scientific questions about the interaction of populations within communities.
LO 4.12 The student is able to apply mathematical routines to quantities that describe communities composed of populations of organisms that interact in complex ways.
LO 4.13 The student is able to predict the effects of a change in the community’s populations on the community.
NGSS Learning Standard
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. [Clarification Statement: Examples of mathematical representations include finding the average, determining trends, and using graphical comparisons of multiple sets of data.]
Common Core State Standards Connections:
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.
MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.