Students investigate a problem in THEIR OWN LOCAL ECOSYSTEM!
Supports NGSS Standards: MS-LS2-5, MS-ESS3-3, MS-ESS3-4.
Students choose from a list of 10 different problems that are universal to many ecosystems (chemical contamination, invasive species, watershed pollution, etc.). They will learn more about the LOCAL issue, find out what solutions have already been tried (if any), and suggest a solution of their own. As they research their topic, they complete a "Research Organizer" sheet to help them organize their information and thinking. To demonstrate what they have learned. students use your choice of a website tool to construct a presentation (several websites are listed).
Teachers will appreciate this project because the instructions and expectations are simple and straightforward. The rubric is student-friendly and uncomplicated. And, the included graphic organizer makes it easy for students to organize what they are learning as they perform their research.
While the problems listed are applicable to any area, it's always great if a teacher adds a few very specific local problems to the list. This is not necessary, however, and the project can easily be assigned "as is". The assignment directions (with rubric) is one front/back page and the graphic organizer to help them organize their research is one front/back page.
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Always effective, easy to follow, and standards-based.
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