TLI Unit Plan: Upsetting the Stability of an Ecosystem
Big Idea: Humans’ impact on ecosystems
Power Standard: Students investigate the impact human beings have on both land and
water ecosystems through observation, experimentation and research.
West Virginia Content Standards & Objectives:
SC.O.6.1.01 realize that scientists formulate and test their explanations of nature using observation and
SC.O.6.1.05 cooperate and collaborate to ask questions, design and conduct investigations to find
answers and solve problems.
SC.O.6.1.06 formulate conclusions through close observations, logical reasoning, objectivity,
perseverance and integrity in data collection.
SC.O.6.1.08 use a variety of technologies and scientific instruments to conduct explorations,
investigations and experiments of the natural world.
SC.O.6.1.09 demonstrate safe techniques for handling, manipulating and caring for science materials,
equipment, natural specimens and living organisms.
SC.O.6.1.10 utilize experimentation to demonstrate scientific processes and thinking skills
SC.O.6.1.11 construct and use charts, graphs, and tables to organize, display interpret, analyze and
SC.O.6.1.12 use inferential reasoning to make logical conclusions from collected data.
examine how abiotic and biotic factors affect the interdependence among organisms.
analyze the ecological consequences of human interactions with the environment
construct a variety of models of an object, event or process
compare and contrast changes that occur in an object or a system to its original state.
21st Century Skills (technology tools):
21C.O.5-8.1.LS1 Student, when presented with a problem, identifies the information
needed, uses text, people, online databases and search engines to filter
relevant information efficiently, analyzes information for biases, synthesizes
information gathered and creates an effective and efficient response to the
21C.O.5-8.1.TT1 Student connects peripheral devices (e.g., scanners, digital cameras, video
projectors, USB drives, printers, media storage devices) to computers and
uses them efficiently and effectively. Student accesses server and/or
network resources (e.g., file folders/software programs, bookmarked sites).
How do humans affect land and water ecosystems?
What are some common pollutants and what are their sources?
How do these pollutants affect the biotic factors, including humans, within an ecosystem?
How do scientists conduct fair or unbiased experiments to uncover crucial information?
What does the term “trade-off” mean and how does this term apply to people’s choices
and the environment?
Human interaction with the environment changes the environment.
Know (Students will know):
how to ask a question, develop a hypothesis, and design an experiment to test his or her
pollutants can and do harm both land and water ecosystems.
humans must recognize different points of views of various stakeholders regarding
Do (Students will):
use a search engine to research a type of pollutant.
utilizing a group-generated question, design an experiment that will simulate a type of
conduct the experiment recording observations of the terrarium and aquarium noting the
possible affects generated by the simulated pollutant.
collect and record the data in a computer science journal.
make connections between the simulation experiment and real world problems to create a
Teacher Background Information:
This unit will be an extension of an STC Ecosystems unit in which students construct an
ecocolumn comprised of a terrarium, a connector and an aquarium. Small groups of students use
2-liter bottles for the basis of the model, and observe the interdependent and dependent
relationships between abiotic and biotic factors of the model.
Multiple Instructional Strategies for Engaged Learning:
Managing Technology including graphic organizer software
Inspiration software concept maps (before and after Lesson 1)
Computer science journal with daily entries of observations and predictions for the
duration of the project
Individual sketches, digital photos, and a student-selected sample observation
Letter to the editor or poster
Group presentation in the form of a newscast interview
Possible simulated pollutants like lemon juice, vinegar, powdered fertilizer, table salt
2-liter bottles with lids
pH paper and code
student science journals, computers for word processing and flash drives
Various cups, stirring sticks, paper towels, beakers
Access to the Internet and to Inspirations software
Northern spotted owl Power Point Presentation
Copies of rubrics and worksheets
Biggs, A., Daniel, L. Feather, R., Ortleb, E., Snyder, S., Zike, D. (2005). Glencoe
science level red. Columbus,OH: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
George, J. (1995). There’s an owl in the shower. New York: HarperCollins
National Science Resources Center. (1996). Ecosystems. Burlington, NC: Carolina
Biological Supply Company.
Zike, D. (2001). Dinah Zike’s big book of science middle school and high school.
San Antonio, TX: Dinah-Might Adventures, LP.
Contact author: [email protected]