Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Trophic Level Lab - Section 4: Independent Practice


I really like this lab and my students do, as well.  Initially, students may balk at going outside to run around.  But, once they go outside, they forget about "not wanting ti sweat or get dirty" and they really get into running around and having loads of fun chasing and running from one another. ON more than one occasion, I've had students fall and dirty themselves so reiterate the safety rules.  It's really hard to hold them back from the rough and tumble running that seems to jump off once they get into the 2nd or 3rd trial of the experiment.

Beyond the fun factor, this outdoor lab experience allows students to better develop a conceptual understanding of the concepts of density dependent factors and density independent factors.  By assuming the roles of predators and prey, they also are afforded a real-world perspective about how unstable life is for most organisms, other than humans.

Lastly, the opportunity to collect data, record it in a table display it graphically and use the information to respond to questions is a great reinforcement of the scientific method.  For these reasons,  I give this lab "two thumbs up".  


  Hands on Application
  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Hands on Application
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Trophic Level Lab

Unit 1: Unit 1- Organization and Relationships
Lesson 19 of 23

Objective: Students will be able to construct an energy pyramid using trophic levels and explain the flow of energy and its components. Students will be able to describe the effect competition, density-dependent factors and density independent factors have on an ecosystem.

Big Idea: Students get to run around and have fun pretending to be rabbits; snakes, hawks and grass, while learning firsthand how environmental factors have a great effect on an organism's ability to survive.

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