Day Two of Landen Has Hydro-Logic!

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SWBAT explain and provide evidence for how water is cycled through ecosystems.

Big Idea

How can a model help us understand the hydrologic cycle? Students revise their models, and extend what they have learned to help them construct an understanding of how water is cycled on Earth.

Setting Up the Investigation

This is Day Two of a Two Day Lesson.  Click here for Day One of Landen Has Hydro-Logic! .

On Day One of this investigation, students engaged in a guided exploration that led to their understanding of the water cycle.

On this second day, students will further refine their understanding of the water cycle as it relates to ecosystems.  This will allow them to begin to develop an understanding of how matter is transferred through ecosystems.

Connection to The Next Generation Science Standards

 In this investigation, students continue the work that will lead them to understand the Disciplinary Core Idea of Ecosystems:  Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics -  that food of almost any kind of animal can be traced back to plants.  Organisms are related in food webs in which some animals eat plants for food and other animals eat the animals that eat plants. Some organisms, such as fungi and bacteria, break down dead organisms (both plants or plants parts and animals) and therefore operate as "decomposers."  Decomposition eventually restores (recycles) some materials back to the soil.  Organisms can survive only in environments in which their particular needs are met.  A healthy ecosystem is one in which multiple species of different types are each able to meet their needs in a a relatively stable web of life.  Newly introduced species can damage the balance of the ecosystem. (5-LS2-1) and the Crosscutting Concept of Systems and System Models  - A system can be described in terms of its components and their interactions (5-LS2-1).

 Please Note:  The Lexile Level for Plaid Pete Discovers What Matters in Ecosystems - Lab Scenario Sheet Lesson 13 is 870 (5th Grade Range is 740 - 1010).

 The Preparation Time for This Investigation is approximately 10 minutes

 Materials Needed:

One copy for each student of Plaid Pete Discovers What Matters In Ecosystems - Lab Sheet B Lesson 7

One copy of

Plaid Pete Discovers What Matters in Ecosystems - Word Wall Cards Lesson 7

One paper copy for each student of 

Plaid Pete Discovers What Matters in Ecosystems - Word Wall Cards Lesson 7

Students will need their copy of the The Water Cycle Bugaloo from yesterday.

Day One

One copy for each student of Plaid Pete Discovers What Matters In Ecosystems - Lab Scenario Lesson 6

One copy for each student of Plaid Pete Discovers What Matters in Ecosystems -Plaid Pete Discovers What Matters In Ecosystems - Lab Sheet A Lesson 6

One copy of The Water Cycle Poster from the United States Geological Services website - I download this in color, enlarge it to 135% on ledger paper, and laminate it.

One copy for each student of The Water Cycle Diagram (without text) from the United States Geological Services website - I download and copy in black and white, and use the one with text boxes

One copy of The Water Cycle Bugaloo for each student

One copy of The Science Team Evaluation Form for each student

The Water Cycle Bugaloo copied on a large piece of chart paper

One graduated cylinder for each team

One clear container for each team (I used a 1/2 liter container)

One clear plastic cup for each team that will fit inside the larger container  (I used an 8 oz. cup)

aquarium rocks

potting soil

plants with small leaves (to demonstrate transpiration)

clear plastic wrap



Focus & Motivation

5 minutes

Observe Models

As on other days when we have had an investigation that has carried over to another day, my students come racing into the classroom to see what they will find.  I hear oohhs and ahhhs as they see the condensation that has collected on the plastic wrap.  It makes my teacher heart happy to hear the appropriate vocabulary coming out of my students' mouths. They can barely contain their excitement as I share the day's objectives.

Learning Objective & Success Criteria

 Note:  Consistent with the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol, I am now including a language objective with each lesson.  These objectives were derived from the Washington State ELP Standards Frameworks that are correlated with the CCSS and the NGSS.

 I share the learning objective and success criteria:  

 Learning Objective:  I can explain and provide evidence for how water is recycled through ecosystems.

 Language Objective:  I can use a visual aid to describe the steps of the water cycle, and to explain the meaning of important words about the water (hydrologic) cycle.  [ELP.4-5.8]  Note:  This language objective has been carried over from the previous lesson, and ELL students will need to be provided with opportunities to use their diagram to explain the important water cycle words that they have diagrammed.  Preferably, they should have multiple opportunities.

Success Criteria:  I can correctly construct a model of the hydrologic cycle (water cycle), and label and explain each of the steps in the process on my model.

Guided Exploration

15 minutes

Revise Models

I pass out copies of Plaid Pete Discovers What Matters In Ecosystems - Lab Sheet B Lesson 7 to each student.  I ask them to take out Lab Sheet A, that they created during yesterday's investigation.  I tell them that today, I would like them to construct a revised model of this closed system.  I explain that their revised model, as indicated in the directions, needs to contain the words that they learned yesterday when we diagrammed Earth's water, or hydrologic cycle.  

I tell my students that they need to draw and label their models carefully, as they will become a graded item in their Science Notebooks.  Students quickly get to work using colored pencils to complete their models.

Review Hydrologic Cycle Words

As teams are working, I go by each team and take this opportunity to review the steps of the hydrologic cycle with them, by making requests such as, "Show me transpiration in your model. or Show me precipitation in your model."

Vocabulary Instruction

15 minutes

Introduce Vocabulary

Consistent with the 5E Model of Instruction - The majority of vocabulary instruction in my classroom occurs during the "Explain" or instructional stage.  This ensures that students have the experiential activities that will allow them to connect new vocabulary terms to conceptual understanding.

I pass out one set of Plaid Pete Discovers What Matters in Ecosystems - Word Wall Cards Lesson 7 to each student.  They will place these into an envelope and glue it into their Science Notebooks, for later practice.  I present the words from the Plaid Pete Discovers What Matters In Ecosystems - Lesson 7 using the same instructional routine that I have previously used with my students.  

  1. Say the word to students.
  2. Ask students to repeat the word at least 5 times.  For example, I will say, "Say it to the window.  Say it to my hand.  Say it to the door.  Say it to the ceiling."
  3. I say the word in context.  For example, I will say, " The position the plants were placed in was one of the controlled variables in the video."  
  4. I will then randomly call on a student to use the word in a sentence, giving successive prompts to assist them, if needed.

"Process" the Water Bugaloo Chant from Yesterday

Rather than have students construct our usual vocabulary chart in their Science Notebooks, I have given them a copy of the The Water Cycle Bugaloo Chant that we performed yesterday. Today we will "process" the chant by locating the vocabulary words, and annotating the text of the chant.  

After I have used the above procedure to introduce each of the eight words, I will then locate them in the text of the classroom chant I prepared on chart paper and draw a picture near the vocabulary word giving a visual representation of that word.  I will ask my students to do the same on their copies.  

I am using a different procedure for these words because they are "concept laden" words and I want to be especially mindful of that.  I want my students to have additional opportunities to practice them, so we will be reciting the chant, and I will be pointing to the visuals multiple times in the coming weeks.  Our classroom chart looks like this.  A completed student copy looks like this.  Here is an example of a class doing a different Bugaloo Chant so you can get an idea of the rhythm.

Class Discussion

20 minutes

Discussion Questions

I post the following discussion questions on a piece of chart paper and post it on the whiteboard.  Then, I ask my students to turn to the next clean page in their Science Notebooks, and divide the page into 4 sections.  I tell them to "use the question in the answer" and write one answer at the top of each each box, leaving the bottom of the box for revisions after our discussion.  They have their systems at their team as a visual reference.

We have been practicing the routine of "using the question in the answer," as it is a good "skill for classroom success" as well as a good test taking strategy.  I provide a stem underneath each question to assist those students who need it.

The discussion that we have after students make these initial answers will be an important one, as I will be guiding my students to co-construct some very important ideas.  I will be guiding them to extend what they have learned in these closed systems, to Earth's system.  They will struggle with the idea that Earth is also a closed system.  Most students at this age and stage have the magical belief that water, new, fresh, clean water is somehow magically introduced into the system - just waiting and ready for human beings to use.  The idea that all the water that is currently on Earth has been here for millions of years and is being constantly recycled is a difficult concept for 10 and 11 year old students to grasp. Having a visual model that they can refer to will help them get some idea of how this could be so.  In order for them to truly understand the transfer of matter and energy through an ecosystem - I must bring them to understand that this is a model (and a very simplistic one!) for the transfer through the biosphere of Earth's most precious resource - water!

1.  How is the model of a closed system that you created similar to Earth?

The model of a closed system that we created is similar to Earth because . . .

2.  How is the model of a closed system that you created dissimilar to Earth?

The model of a closed system that we created is dissimilar to Earth because . . .

3.  In this model of a closed system, does any new water ever enter the system?  Extend that idea to Earth.  Does any new water enter Earth's system?

In the model of a closed system that we created new water does/does not enter the system.  This means that on Earth, new water does/does not enter the system.

4.  How do plants and animals contribute to the recycling of water on Earth?

Plant's and animals contribute to the recycling of water on Earth because . . .

I tell my students that once they are finished, they are to bring their Science Notebooks with them to the meeting area.

Class Discussion

When all students have arrived in the meeting area, I pose the first question.  I give my students a moment or two to look at their answers and think about what they have written.  Then, I have them turn and talk to the person next to them.  I call on a few students to share their conversation, and ask students to use our Academic Discussion prompts to add on, elaborate, or disagree with what has been said.  

I confirm that yes, the model that we created is similar to Earth because with respect to water Earth is also a closed system.  Like the model they have created, water is constantly being cycled and recycled throughout this system.  Also, like the different models we have in our classroom - Earth has many different ecosystems where this recycling of water occurs.  Sometimes the water stays within that ecosystem, and sometimes it is carried to other ecosystems.  However, they are all connected in the larger cycle of Earth as an ecosystem. 

When we have fully explored that question, we move on to the second question.  I call on one student, who in this Video Clip 1 is able to articulate the difference between the simple models they have created, and the more complex system of recycling of water on Earth. 

When we get to the third question, much discussion is required.  It seems strange to my students that all of the water that has ever existed on Earth is still here.  They seem quite surprised at this idea.  In this Video Clip 2, students are grappling with the idea that Earth is indeed a closed system.  This discussion is necessary for them to overcome their misconception that new water is somehow introduced into the system.  Their comments reveal their lack of understanding of the natural process that exists for cleansing water as it is recycled.  This is an idea we will explore in greater depth in our next unit.

Of course, the fourth question is the one that sends them into guffaws and giggles, but it is one that we must discuss.  I relate the answer back to the 7 functions of living things and the life process of elimination.  We discuss the concept of water treatment plants - an idea that many of my students are unfamiliar with.  

After all answers are noted and we have discussed each of them, I send my students back for their revisions.  I am interested to see what they will take away from this experience.

Here is a Screencast that compares one of my students before and after models.

Reflection & Closure

10 minutes

Notebook Revisions

I tell my students to draw a "line of learning" underneath each of the answers to the four questions in their Science Notebooks with their green pens.  This way, we both can clearly see the changes in their thinking after our discussion.

Then, they are to look at each question again, and revise, by changing or adding on to their answer.  I tell them, "I am so excited to read each of your notebooks this evening, just as you will be tomorrow morning.  I am going to collect them, and comment on your revisions. Please put your best thinking into them and amaze me!

I give my students time to complete this task and turn their notebooks in to the back table when they are finished.

This is an example of one student notebook.  As you can see from this Video Clip, the discussion assisted this student in revising his thinking, overcoming a misconception, and in developing a better understanding of transpiration.  This will be important new knowledge for him to build on so that he has a more thorough understanding of the importance of water in the transfer of matter and energy through ecosystems.