Reflection: Rigor Exploring Energy Pyramids - Section 5: Evaluate


Using visual models is common in science and should become more common in classrooms. Visual models are not narrowly defined. Their purpose is conceptual, which means they can be manipulated to make them more accessible for students.

Some examples of visual models are flow charts, mind maps, diagrams, drawings, science cartoons, stock and flow diagrams, feedback loops, timelines, tables, graphs, charts, posters, Punnett squares, and so on. What is critical isn't "what" choice is made (so long as students can use it and it is appropriate to the task), it is what you expect students to do with it. 

Visual representations can be, and should be, rigorous for students. First, they must have a purpose - explain a system, make a prediction, etc. Second, they should be used in more than one way - explain your model (write, speak), revise your model over time as more data/information is collected, make predictions that are justified by your model. Third, give students room to "do" - to have the experience of explaining connections, showing systems, and so on without too many constraints. This could be allowing students choices, once they've become familiar with different modeling systems. It is by doing that we learn best.

  Visual Models
  Rigor: Visual Models
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Exploring Energy Pyramids

Unit 8: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Lesson 4 of 10

Objective: SWBAT Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

Big Idea: Students explore the flow of energy in ecosystems through analysis of energy pyramids.

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18 teachers like this lesson
Science, Ecology, Energy Pyramid, ecosystem, ELL, interaction, Energy, dynamic
  60 minutes
55 10netproductpyramid l
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