Lesson Plan – How do ecosystems work?

Learning Intention: Students will learn about how food webs represent the energy flow in an ecosystem and the impact of the introduction of non-native species in an ecosystem.

In the lesson students will learn:

  • Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems ACSSU176
    • Learn about how animals require energy from food that can be found in the environment in which they inhabit and this energy is passed up through the food web/chain
  • Interactions between organisms, including the effects of human activities can be represented by food chains and food webs ACSSU112
    • Learn about the conditions that affect the survival of organisms in an ecosystem including the introduction of non-native species, habitat destruction etc
  • Explore and draw conclusions from the data they collected (Under the Science Inquiry Skills provided by ACARA)

Timing:

This lesson is designed to be accomplished in a 60 minute time period, but you may find that your students benefit from additional time. This lesson can also be extended where students are able to write up a scientific report using the information they have collected and answered during the process of doing the worksheet.

Assumed Knowledge:

  • Animals are required to do a variety of things to survive – some of these behaviours are unique to the animal, others all living things have in common such as eating.
  • Food provides energy for an organism to carry out the basic necessities required for living

Preparation:

To facilitate a streamlined lesson, it would be useful to let the students know that their upcoming lesson involves the use of technology. Students can play Arludo games on any device with internet connectivity including laptops, tablets and smartphones. Quokkapocalypse is also embedded directly into the worksheet, so there is no need for students to download any apps for this lesson.

Australian Curriculum Points (ACARA)

 

Year 7

  • Interactions between organisms, including the effects of human activities can be represented by food chains and food webs (ACSSU112)
  • Identify questions and problems that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge (ACSIS124)
  • Collaboratively and individually plan and conduct a range of types, including fieldwork and experiments, ensuring safety and ethical guidelines are followed (ACSIS125)
  • Measure and control variables, select equipment appropriate to the task and collect with accuracy (ACSIS126)
  • Construct and use a range of representations, including graphs, keys and models to represent and patterns or relationships in using as appropriate (ACSIS129)
  • Summarise , from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions based on evidence (ACSIS130)
  • Reflect on scientific investigations including evaluating the quality of the data collected, and identifying improvements (ACSIS131)
  • Use scientific knowledge and findings from investigations to evaluate claims based on evidence (ACSIS132)

Year 9

  • Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (ACSSU176)
  • Scientific understanding, including models and theories, is contestable and is refined over time through a process of review by the scientific community (ACSHE157)
  • Formulate questions or hypotheses that can be investigated scientifically (ACSIS164)
  • Plan, select and use appropriate investigation types, including field work and laboratory experimentation, to collect reliable data; assess risk and address ethical issues associated with these methods (ACSIS165)
  • Use knowledge of scientific concepts to draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence (ACSIS170)
  • Evaluate conclusions, including identifying sources of uncertainty and possible alternative explanations, and describe specific ways to improve the quality of the data (ACSIS171)

Year 10

  • The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of living things and is supported by a range of scientific evidence (ACSSU185)
  • Formulate questions or hypotheses that can be investigated scientifically (ACSIS198)
  • Plan, select and use appropriate types investigation types, including field work and laboratory experimentation, to collect reliable data; assess risk and address ethical issues associated with these methods (ACSIS199)
  • Analyse patterns and trends in data, including describing relationships between variables and identifying inconsistencies (ACSIS203)
  • Use knowledge of scientific concepts to draw conclusions that are consistent with evidence (ACSIS204)
  • Evaluate conclusions, including identifying sources of uncertainty and possible alternative explanations, and describe specific ways to improve the quality of the data (ACSIS205)

    NSW Syllabus Points

     

     Stage 4

    • LW1 There are differences within and between groups of organisms; classification helps organise this diversity (ACSSU111)

    Students:

    a. identify reasons for classifying living things

    b. classify a variety of living things based on similarities and differences in structural features

    c. use simple keys to identify a range of plants and animals

    d. identify some examples of groups of micro-organisms

    e. outline the structural features used to group living things, including plants, animals, fungi and bacteria

    f. explain how the features of some Australian plants and animals are adaptations for survival and reproduction in their environment

    Stage 5

    • LW2 Conserving and maintaining the quality and sustainability of the environment requires scientific understanding of interactions within, the cycling of matter and the flow of energy through ecosystems.

    Students:

    a. recall that ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment (ACSSU176)

    b. outline using examples how matter is cycled through ecosystems such as nitrogen (ACSSU176)

    c. describe how energy flows through ecosystems, including input and output through food webs (ACSSU176)

    d. analyse how changes in some biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem affect populations and/or communities

    e. assess ways that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ cultural practices and knowledge of the environment contribute to the conservation and management of sustainable ecosystems  

    f. evaluate some examples in ecosystems, of strategies used to balance conserving, protecting and maintaining the quality and sustainability of the environment with human activities and needs      

     

    LW4 The theory of evolution by natural selection explains the diversity of living things and is supported by a range of scientific evidence. (ACSSU185)

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