Reflection: Real World Applications Outdoor Experience - Section 2: Practice

 

This year I changed a few things to better align this unit with biodiversity and MS-LS2-4, primarily adding in specific focus questions and a connection to the cross-cutting concepts found in the Field Journal Questions and Locations document.  This helped the students better gather evidence connected to a specific idea and helped me better teach content vocabulary in context, such as symbiosis, commensalism, parasitism, and mutualism.

Additionally, prior to the final summative essay, I had students watch this video that demonstrates how wolves are a keystone species within Yellowstone National park.  I also play this podcast which is an interview with the scientist who gives more information on other keystone species, as well as introduces the idea of rewilding. 

After discussing these ideas with students, I have them choose an organism from one of the outdoor environments, whichever is the richest ecosystem, and create a connections map that shows all of the interactions/connections this organism has with other plants and animals.  I show students this example and discuss all of the connections that stem off (or to) the frog displayed in the center. We discuss the examples I included, along with some other ideas generated from the students to ensure they have a strong idea of their task.  This is the rubric I use to assess this assignment. After students complete the connection maps, I have them use it as a reference point for the summative essay.

  Real World Applications: 2015-16 UPDATE
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Outdoor Experience

Unit 3: Field Journals
Lesson 5 of 5

Objective: SWBAT apply their field journal skills in an outdoor environment and create an argument supported by evidence that changes in physical/biological components of an ecosystem affects populations.

Big Idea: Students put their field journal experience to the test as they attempt answer a specific question.

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