I originally worked on this unit at the beach, where we viewed the gulf ecosystem first hand! Large clusters of small fish pressed together close to the shore, while larger fish began to jump inside those clusters as they ate the small fish. Small birds hopped through the incoming waves, looking for tiny fish that were washed onto the sand. From our balcony we could see a large shape in the water further in the distance. As the waves came in, we were able to see more clearly. IT WAS A SHARK!!!!! In time, we were able to spot three of them. They were only about 4 feet long, but still, we were very excited (and GLAD that we weren't in the water!). A few different times we were able to see clouds of pink fill a small area of the water. WHAT do you think that was?!?!?! This is just one type of ecosystem!
Unit 8 - Ecosystems
Our essential question for this unit is: How does the flow of energy affect the roles of organisms within an ecosystem?
When we complete this unit, the students should have an enduring understanding of the following topics:
- What are the roles of the producers, consumers, and decomposers in the community?
- How can an organism's energy source generally be traced back to the sun?
- How does the population affect the number of plants and animals in the community?
- How do living things interact with each other to form a system?
- How will changes in the environment affect a community of organisms?
We've had a wonderful time disecting OWL PELLETS!!! How could anything so gross be so much FUN!!!!
Identifying bones was both challenging and rewarding!
Here are some of our ecosystems in a bottle. If you need to replace a cricket, I bought them at PetsMart. The small are .05, and the large ones are .09. Until your plants grow, please be sure to add a small piece of apple or other fruit.
Here are a few of our favorite songs! You can listen at home, and practice singing them on our way in and our to recess. : )
(This isbacteria under a microscope, and an example of a decomposer!)
Topic 1- Producers, Consumers, and Decomposers
- Identify the roles of consumers, producers, and decomposers in a community
- Create, diagram, and explain how consumers, producers, and decomposers interact in a community.
Topic 2- Food Webs/Food Chains
- Food webs and food chains begin with sunlight and include producers, consumers, and decomposers.
- Students will identify and illustrate food webs and food chains.
- food web
- food chain
Topic 3- Environmental Changes
- Examine changes to the environment through natural and unnatural methods.
- Predict how changes affect a community of organisms
Topic 4- Population Changes
- Scarcity of resources can lead to population changes within a community.
- Analyze the effects on a population based on resources that are too scarce or too abundant.
I've created a set of flashcards for this unit. You may print them for use at home. (NOT COMPLETE- WAIT TO PRINT)