This is an excellent way to reinforce and then assess student knowledge on food webs and food chains! Students work in groups to create a model of the Mississippi Gulf Marsh ecosystem (pictures included) based on what they know. Then, students are given data on the organisms' diets and revise their initial models and answer conclusions questions about the food web and human impact. This is a revisable 2-3 day lesson plan with everything needed! Students can simply be graded on their final models and conclusion questions to demonstrate knowledge!
This lesson begins with a class discussion on what the students know about the BP oil spill of 2010. Then the teacher clicks on the provided link to share images of the disaster and the organisms it affected. Students are given photos of organisms (shrimp, sea turtle, grouper fish, dolphin, and many more) and they are instructed to draw a food web based on what they know. Working in groups, students use data to revise their models to understand not only the correct placement of the organisms in the food web, but also their energy roles (producer, consumer, scavenger, etc). Using this information, students make conclusions about the meaning of these words,discuss the competition of species, make predictions about organisms, and discuss human impact. It's a FUN and ENGAGING way to teach the content and assess the performance expectation!!
Note: This 2-3 day lesson should be taught after students have a basic understanding of what a food chain and a food web is. This lesson is designed to assess student knowledge on food webs, parts of a food web (producer, consumer, scavenger, etc) in relation to a real world situation – the BP Oil Spill of 2010.
NGSS performance Expectation: MS-LS2-3. Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
Content Strand: LS2.B: Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
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