Thursday, 9 May 2013

Interactions with Ecosystems Resources

     I have officially started planning for my first classroom which will start in September! I don't have my full teaching schedule yet, as a few things need to still be worked out, but I know that I will for sure have Grade 7 Science. As such, I've started my year planning and hope to have everything planned out for the full Grade 7 course by May 18th. Of course, things will change around once I meet my students and get to understand their needs and interests, but I want to prepare as much as possible.
ecosystem resources, ecosystem classroom resources, ecosystems for kids
I Spy an Ecosystem. (Accessed 2013). Uploaded by ASU Ask a Biologist. Available online at:

     Not having any experience with this curriculum before, I started with square one: unit one, which is Interaction with Ecosystems. I went through and organized the curriculum outcomes into four general themes which I hope to cover over the course of 4-5 weeks. Here is how I organized them:

Introduction to Ecosystems
Enduring Understanding: Ecosystems contain complex interactions between organisms and their environment.
7-1-01     Use appropriate vocabulary related to their investigations of interactions
                within ecosystems. Include: ecosystem, biosphere, abiotic, biotic, 
                organisms, ecological succession, photosynthesis, cellular respiration, 
                ecological pyramid, bioaccumulation, scavengers, decomposers, 
7-1-02     Define ecosystem, and describe various examples that range from the 
                microscopic to the entire biosphere. Include: a place on Earth where living 
                things interact with other living things as well as non-living things.
7-1-03     Identify abiotic and biotic components of ecosystems that allow particular
                organisms to  survive.
7-1-04     Define ecological succession & identify signs of succession in a variety of
                ecosystems. Include: the natural process whereby some specific are 
                replaced by other species in a predictable pattern.

Ecosystem Protection & Preservation
Enduring Understanding: Environmental, social, and economic factors influence human relationships with ecosystems, including management and preservation.
7-1-05     Identify & describe positive and negative examples of human interventions 
                that have an impact on ecological succession or the makeup of ecosystems.
7-1-06     Identify environmental, social, & economic factors that should be considered 
                in management & preservation of ecosystems
7-1-07    Propose a course of action to protect the habitat of particular organism within 
              an ecosystem.

Matter Cycling, Food Webs & Ecological Pyramids
Enduring Understanding: Matter and energy are cycled naturally within an ecosystem through the relationship between producers and consumers.
7-1-08     Compare photosynthesis to cellular respiration, and explain how both are
                part of the cycling of matter and the transfer of energy in ecosystems.
                Include: photosynthesis, cellular respiration
7-1-09     Analyze food webs, using ecological pyramids, to show energy gained or
                lost at various consumer levels.
7-1-10     Analyze, using ecological pyramids, the implications of the loss of producers 
                and consumers to the transfer of energy within an ecosystem.
7-1-11     Explain, using ecological pyramids, the potential or bioaccumulation within
                an ecosystem.
7-1-12     Provide examples of scavengers & decomposers, and describe their role in
                cycling matter in an ecosystem.

Micro-Organisms & Humans
Enduring Understanding: Knowledge and understanding of micro-organisms have improved food production and preservation techniques, as well as ease of human consumption.
7-1-14     Identify beneficial & harmful roles played by micro-organisms
7-1-15     Research & describe human food production or preservation techniques that
                apply a knowledge of micro-organisms.

     In addition to hard-copy resources I have available in the school and from colleagues, I also started to organize some online resources to supplement our classroom activities. If you happen to be following along with me on Twitter you have probably noticed how excited I've been about some of the neat things I've been finding! Not wanting to keep all the fun to myself, I wanted to share them with all of you! Here are the resources I found, organized by the themes I stated above. For each one I've included the title, a very brief point about what it includes, and the link. 

Introduction to Ecosystems
 National Geographic - Ecosystems Education
- Articles, activities, colouring pages, etc

University of Alberta Biology Department - Ecosystem Labeling Interactive
- Biotic, abiotic, mimicry, producer, consumer, parasitism, mutualism, commensalism

Ecosystem Sampling Outdoor Activity
- Biotic and abiotic components

Ecosystems Rap Song
- Abiotic, biotic, niche, limiting factors, adaptation, mutualism, commensalism, 
- Review activity
- Good copy Music Video available at:
- Lyrics available at:

Web of Life Interactive Game
- Abiotic, biotic, human interference, preservation/protection
- Good lead up to next section

Manitoba Conservation Wildlife Management Branch
- Wildlife management, special conservation areas
- Provincially relevant

“Partner Interview” Review Activity
- Negative effects, positive effects, protected habitats, management, endangered 

Matter Cycling
Sheppard Software - Food Chain Game
- Simple, large, marine, mixed, full, human intervention

Sheppard Software - Matter Cycling Info
- Producers/Consumers, food chain, bigger chains, photosynthesis, decomposers

BrainPop - Food Fight Game
- Make food pyramids
- Educators Support Document

“Candle in a Jar” Photosynthesis Candle/Plant in Jar
- Photosynthesis and cellular respiration

Food Safety Music - “Microbes They Might Kill You” - “We Are The Microbes”
- Queen Song Parody

Micro-organisms - Environmental Literacy Council
- Environment, humans, negatives

Love Your Gut Activity Book
- Bacteria, fungi, viruses, good effects, bad effects

I hope you find these resources as awesome as I do! If there is something you think I should add to my list let me know, I'd love to hear about the awesome things you are using with your class :)

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