ScienceFLEX Connections and Changes in Ecosystems Collection
Get a bird's-eye view of Earth's biomes and the living and nonliving interactions within their characteristic ecosystems, from extreme dryness in the Atacama Desert to wildfire recovery in Yellowstone. Guide students through an exciting exploration of the connections and changes in ecosystems wrapped up in 5E lesson plans where students investigate through active learning, then apply their new knowledge through content-rich gaming to see which populations change and why.
Driving Question: How could humans create an environment to live in on Mars?
Anchor Phenomenon: All the organisms and nonliving factors in an ecosystem are connected in various ways.
ScienceFLEX® Investigative and Real-World Phenomena
- Lesson 1: Parts of an Ecosystem - How do living and nonliving things act together to make up an ecosystem?
- Ecosystems with extreme conditions have organisms with features that allow them to survive in those conditions.
- Lesson 2: Populations - How do scientists determine the size of a population?
- Scientists use various counting methods and technologies depending on the kind of organism they are counting.
- Lesson 3: Communities - How do different kinds of organisms live together in the same area?
- Keystone species such as beavers affect many other populations in their community.
- Lesson 4: Biomes - How does the climate of an area affect the kinds of plants that grow there?
- Biomes are areas with similar climate patterns and similar types of vegetation, and thus characteristic animals.
- Lesson 5: Energy in Ecosystems - Where does an ecosystem's energy come from, and how does it move through the ecosystem?
- In an Antarctic Ocean food web, energy from the Sun flows to producers to consumers, and from one consumer to another throughout the ecosystem.
- Lesson 6: Nutrient Cycles in Ecosystems - How do organisms get nutrients, and how are nutrients recycled in an ecosystem?
- Nutrients are recycled in ecosystems, which can be demonstrated by a fish and a plant in a simple homemade system.
- Lesson 7: Symbiosis Close Connections - What kinds of close connections form between different kinds of organisms in an ecosystem?
- Symbiotic relationships exist among many unrelated species, and can be helpful to both species, harmful to one or the other, or helpful to one with no effect on the other.
- Lesson 8: Succession - How do ecosystems change over time?
- The kinds of plants and animals in an ecosystem change naturally over time as the general condition of the ecosystem changes.
- Lesson 9: Survival and Extinction - How do changes in ecosystems affect the survival of populations?
- Human activities have endangered populations, such as hairy rattleweed, or caused them to become extinct, such as passenger pigeons.
- Lesson 10: Protecting Ecosystems - How do human activities affect ecosystems?
- Conservation efforts in the Florida Everglades are restoring and stabilizing parts of that ecosystem.