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Climate Change & Human Impact Unit Plan

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Climate Change & Human Impact Unit Plan

Human population growth, globalization, and industrialization are having profound impacts on the long term health and stability of ecosystems, permanently altering the products of billions of years of evolutionary history on planet Earth. In this unit, students create plans to address the population decline of endangered species, gaining a greater understanding of how humans have altered ecosystems and what actions may be taken (including the use of biotechnology) to preserve biodiversity. Students create models and utilize simulations to gain a deeper understanding of large scale geological and biological processes.

Components of a Stable Ecosystem 5E Instructional Model Plan

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Components of a Stable Ecosystem 5E Instructional Model Plan

Stable ecosystems are complex and dynamic systems that rely on the interconnectedness between organisms and between organisms and their environment. In this sequence, students explore the components and organization of ecosystems, how energy flows through food chains and webs, and how nutrients are cycled to maintain life.

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Ecosystem Disruption & Recovery 5E Instructional Model Plan

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Ecosystem Disruption & Recovery 5E Instructional Model Plan

Ecosystems can return to dynamic equilibrium after a natural or human-caused disruption. After a disruption, ecosystems proceed through a process that may return them to their initial state or to a new equilibrium based on the complexity of the ecosystem and the nature of the disturbance. In this sequence, students explore different examples of disturbances and how ecosystems recover and change from these events.

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Evolution, Natural Selection, and Extinction 5E Instructional Model Plan

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Evolution, Natural Selection, and Extinction 5E Instructional Model Plan

 

The history of the Earth is filled with environmental changes, extinction events, and the evolution of a diversity of organisms. In this sequence, students explore the process of adaptation through natural selection and how this compares to the individual acclimatization of organisms in a changing environment in order to gain a better understanding of how life on Earth will adjust (or not!) to global changes such as human-caused climate change.

Invasive Species 5E Instructional Model Plan

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Invasive Species 5E Instructional Model Plan

New species may be introduced into ecosystems by accident or for a specific purpose. Some of these introduced species will become invasive, others cause little disruption or fail to establish themselves. Due to increased competition or predation some invasive species may have devastating effects on ecosystems. In this instructional sequence, students explore a data set in order investigate the impacts of the introduction of the zebra mussel on the Hudson River.

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Investigating Solutions to Human Impact 5E Instructional Model Plan

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Investigating Solutions to Human Impact 5E Instructional Model Plan

 

Finding solutions to complex global concerns such as human-caused climate change will require coordination between stakeholders at multiple levels, and the innovative use of technology. In this sequence, students review the causes behind important environmental concerns, and explore specific actions that can be taken to address or mitigate the impacts of climate change and the overconsumption of natural resources.

Mechanisms and Effects of Resource Use 5E Instructional Model Plan

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Mechanisms and Effects of Resource Use 5E Instructional Model Plan

Many natural resources, both renewable and nonrenewable, are being used at an unsustainable rate. Additionally, the human population is growing at an exponential rate with increasing access to consumer goods and services?driving the demand for both energy and raw materials. In this sequence, students explore the difference between renewable and nonrenewable resources and how the unsustainable use of resources contributes to the depletion and degradation of the natural world.

Population Dynamics 5E Instructional Model Plan

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Population Dynamics 5E Instructional Model Plan

In stable ecosystems, populations are often in a state of dynamic equilibrium; following cycles of increasing and decreasing based on feeding relationships and resource availability. In this sequence, students explore how predator-prey and symbiotic relationships highlight the interdependence of living things and between living things and their environment.

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Species Survival Plan Performance Task

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Species Survival Plan Performance Task

In this performance task, students address the following task: "How are human activities altering the physical and living environment? Is it possible to save species from extinction? To answer these questions, write a narrative explaining three possible actions that could lead to the survival of a specific keystone species that is currently under threat. Use evidence from texts, videos, and secondary data sources, along with sound scientific reasoning and logic, to create your narrative."