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School District:Watertown
Unit of Study Title:Ecosystems Around the World
Grade Level:3-5
Time Frame:6 weeks
Key Words:biome, ecosystem, habitat, ecology
Unit Designer:Patricia Mcelhany
Unit Designer
Date Added:6/14/2002 9:54:07 AM
Date Last Revised:6/14/2002 9:54:07 AM
Topic Area:Science
Peer Reviewer:Carol Thomas
Peer Reviewer

Brief Summary of Unit: Students will study ecological relationships and interactions within our Earth’s ecosystems. They will understand the components, cycles, and changes that ecosystems experience.

Students will Understand: 1. Students will understand the components of ecosystems.
2. Students will understand that living systems involve numerous cycles.
3. Students will understand that a change process occurs with the introduction of different variables.

Link to Standards #1

Students will describe structures and attributes of living things, processes of life, and interaction of living things with each other and the environment.

Indicator:Analyze how organisms are linked to one another and the environment
Benchmark(s):a. Explore energy is transformations within a food chain
b. Identify relationships and interactions of living things
c. Identify how environmental factors affect all living things within ecosystems
Other Content Standards:None Listed

Other Components
Essential Questions to Guide this Unit and Focus Teaching and Learning: 1. What are the parts of various types of ecosystems?
2. How are food chains and webs related in an ecosystem?
3. How do the natural cycles of life influence an ecosystem?
4. How do living and nonliving things interact in an ecosystem?
5. Why are relationships of organisms important in various ecosystems?
6. Why do ecosystems go through both slow and sudden
Key Knowledge and Skills Students will Acquire: 1. Describe biotic and abiotic characteristics of various ecosystems
2. Model the flow of energy in food webs and pyramids
3. Recognize that changes in habitat may harm or help organisms
4. Describe how natural events and/or human influences can affect survival of species
5. Analyze relationships among organisms in aquatic and terrestrial food chains
Assessment Plan: Students will be assessed through multiple measures. Weekly topic reviews, an interactive worksheet, chapter tests, experiment/explore activities, and a PowerPoint presentation will be used to assess student understanding.
Learning Activities: 1. Students will read and complete selected activities and study guides from the McGraw-Hill textbook.
2. Students will investigate teacher selected explore labs.
3. Students will complete an interactive on-line worksheet to explore teacher selected sites.
4. Groups of students will create an Inspiration display of food webs.
5. Students will complete a PowerPoint Presentation for 1 biome, working in groups of 3.

Notes:Technological skills prerequisites:
1. Use of Inspiration program
2. Use of Word and PowerPoint programs
3. Use of Internet
Internet Resource Link:

Adapted from the the work of Jay McTighe and Grant Wiggins. Understanding by
Design. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Alexandria, VA. 1998.

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