Populations in Ecosystems Lesson Plan NGSS MS-LS2-1 and MS-LS2-4 with Snow Crabs
The population of snow crabs in the Bering Sea has dropped dramatically in recent years. In this lesson plan, your students will read background information about this real-life current event and analyze and interpret data to develop inferences about what is causing the population of snow crabs to decline in Alaska’s Bering Sea. Then students will answer discussion questions about how physical and biological changes to this ecosystem affect populations of snow crabs and other species in the Bering Sea.
This lesson plan includes the following:
- Thorough directions for how to implement this lesson in your classroom along with multiple ideas for use so you can choose what works best for your group of students
- Detailed snow crab information for you to get the background you need to guide your students
- A student information sheet with relevant snow crab information and two line graphs—one about the snow crab population and one about Bering Sea bottom temperatures
- A student Data Trends Reflection sheet for students to begin analyzing and interpreting the snow crab data
- An answer key to the Data Trends Reflection sheet
- A page listing 18 discussion questions
- A project grading sheet to assess your students if you choose to have them complete a written, video, or audio project
- 18 discussion cards to use as a lesson option
- 18 station cards to use as a lesson option
- Blank discussion cards and blank station cards so you or your students can write your own questions
This lesson plan was designed with the following Next Generation Science Standards in mind:
- MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
- MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
You might also like the Data Analysis of Mice and Coyote Populations Worksheet.
Need more data analysis resources for your students? Check out the Interpreting Graphs and Analyzing Data Worksheet Bundle.
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