Reflection: Complex Tasks Yellowstone National Park Food Web - Section 4: Reflect & Apply


Throughout this Ecosystems Unit, I've intentionally color-coded scientific concepts to help students make greater sense of complex tasks, such as constructing a food web! The goal is for students to associate science terms with a certain color and for students to categorize and group information accordingly in their minds. At the beginning of the unit, I point out the purpose behind the color-coding. After a while, students are the ones helping me remember, "Mrs. Nelson, we use the green marker for producers!" 

For example, during Lesson 5: Producers, Consumers, & Decomposers, I began always using a green marker whenever I referred to producers, a red marker for consumers, and an orange marker for decomposers. You can see that on this poster, Yellowstone Poster, each of the organisms in the Yellowstone Ecosystem are identified using these colors. 

When students expanded upon this learning by studying the roles of decomposers, producers, and consumers in depth, I continued using the same colors for class anchor charts: Roles in Ecosystems PosterDecomposer PosterThe Plant System Poster, and Animals Need Energy to Surive Poster.

While studying food chains and food webs, I used the same colors to categorize the organism cards on the Yellowstone National Park ecosystem poster: Categorizing Cards By Color and Teacher Cards on the Poster.

During today's lesson, students relied heavily on this color-coding process as they organized the organism cards into a food web: Color-Categorized Cards in Food Web. What could have been a very complicated and complex process turned out to be a helpful and understandable task for students. 

I loved watching this student, Student Example of Color Categorizing, continue to use this color-coding system in his explanation today! 

  Complex Tasks: Color-Coding Scientific Concepts
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Yellowstone National Park Food Web

Unit 2: Ecosystems
Lesson 24 of 28

Objective: SWBAT build and describe a food chain web.

Big Idea: In this lesson, students construct and explain complex food web models using organisms in the Yellowstone National Park ecosystem.

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19 teachers like this lesson
Science, food web, global warming, abiotic factors, ecosystem, Ecosystems, flow of energy, flow of matter, decomposition, biotic
  70 minutes
students making a food web
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