Ecosystems are constantly going through gradual changes. Sometimes those changes are natural, and sometimes they are caused by humans.
The classroom resource provides a video that will describe how ecosystems can change over time due to natural and human activity. There is also a short test that can be used to assess students' understanding.
Students investigate different solutions to human impacts on animal migration and identify different stakeholders; this information will be represented in the final map layer for their unit project. Groups develop and present an evidence-based argument that takes a stand on a specific human impact on animal migration and aims to convince stakeholders to implement a recommended solution. This lesson is part of the Detours and Distractions: How Humans Impact Migration Patterns unit.
Students brainstorm what they know and need to learn about endangered species, in order to best answer the driving question for the unit. Students then engage with a variety of sources about the Sumatran rhino to learn about conservation concepts, including causes of extinction, food webs, and ecosystem services. This lesson is part of the Extinction Stinks! unit.
Students receive their target species and perform background research. Students learn about working with local populations to protect endangered species and read several conservation success stories. Students engage with two conservation storytellers and apply the power of storytelling to their target species. They then compare two grant proposals to prepare for writing their own proposals. This lesson is part of the Extinction Stinks! unit.
Students explore drivers of extinction across Earth’s major biomes, including human-to environment interactions that threaten biodiversity and seek solutions to mitigate habitat loss and prevent extinction. As a result, they develop research-based action steps critical to protecting a certain species and incorporate key findings into their culminating conservation pamphlets. This lesson is part of the Engaging in the Fight Against Extinction unit.
In this series of activities, students learn about how microbial diseases are transmitted and start to think about who is involved in a community response to an outbreak of an infectious disease. Students use the case of John Snow to learn how epidemiologists can use maps to locate the source of an outbreak and map a hypothetical pathway of disease transmission for a particular disease. This lesson is part of the Menacing Microbes unit.
Students will engage with photographs, videos, handouts, and animations to learn why and how animals migrate, methods used to track and map migrations, and how humans are impacting animal migration. Students use a variety of resources to research a focal animal in order to create a map layer showing its migration pattern, which is part of their unit project. This lesson is part of the Detours and Distractions: How Humans Impact Migration Patterns unit.
The teacher will present two pieces of informational text from the website, ReadWorks. Students will interact with these non-fiction texts by annotating the text digitally. The students will answer the questions associated with the articles as an assessment. This learning activity will describe two different threatened species, one plant, and one animal species, and explain how changes in the species' ecosystem led to a population shift.
This lesson focuses on the concept of natural selection, through the use of an interactive activity. This interactive is based on the story of the peppered moths that lived in the forests of Manchester England in the 1800's and were affected by a rise in pollution. In this activity, students will be able to observe the process of natural selection by changing the amount of pollution in an environment and then observing its effects on the survival of the green and orange bugs.
This lesson is part of a two-part series on endangered species. The purpose of this lesson is to orient students to the plight of endangered species and to help them understand and gain perspective on human issues that continue to endanger species and threaten our global environment.
This lesson is the second of a two-part series on endangered species. The purpose of this lesson is to explore the Endangered Species Act and the work of scientists who strive to protect species. It is important for students to ultimately see their government's role in addressing the ongoing endangerment crisis—through enforcement of the Endangered Species Act and the variety of conservationist agencies and scientific research efforts that are funded through public taxation. They will come to learn about their government's critical role in preserving natural resources and parks by establishing laws and enforcing them in order to protect society.
This lesson is part of a lesson series that addresses the concept of cities as urban ecosystems that include both nature and humans in a largely human-built environment. This lesson introduces some of the principles of ecology, including the definition of an ecosystem as a community of living organisms interacting with its non-living environment. Students will be introduced to the study of ecosystems and models that are used by urban ecologists. The class will be invited to visit websites to see where the cities are on the planet, and they will have a chance to try some hands-on urban nature education activities.
This is the second lesson in a series that addresses the concept of cities as urban ecosystems that include both nature and humans in a largely human-built environment. This lesson looks at the conditions that led to the development of early cities (i.e. food production), as well as some of the factors that caused the decline of early cities (i.e. unsustainable resource use). Students will visit a variety of online sites to see pictures and perform exercises. They will try to bring their learning back home again in the summary exercises that focus on their personal family histories and the history of their local urban ecosystems.
This is the third lesson in a series that addresses the concept of cities as urban ecosystems that include both nature and humans in a largely human-built environment. This lesson looks at the enormous increase in size and number of cities in the very recent past and the influence of fossil fuel use in particular on urbanization. In this lesson, students will visit a variety of websites that deal with urban population, fossil fuel consumption, and the signals (i.e., carbon dioxide emissions) that can be used to track population changes.
This is the last lesson in a series that addresses the concept of cities as urban ecosystems that include both nature and humans in a largely human-built environment. In this lesson, the class will learn about the concept of an ecological footprint. They will use an online ecological footprint calculator to compare the environmental impact of different levels of resource use, kinds of transportation, and similar factors. The second exercise will explore the natural world that exists in their community, no matter how urban it might be. Finally, they will brainstorm the qualities and characteristics of what they might consider an excellent, livable community.
This lesson is about how ecosystems purify water and human activities that can alter these processes. It also discusses the value of the natural water purification service to humans. The take-home message is that the key to maintaining water purification services is to protect and restore the ecosystems that provide these services.
In this lesson, students will use the Internet to explore relationships between habitats and species (specifically the gray wolf and those species with which it must coexist) as well as the effect of physical and human forces on living things and their environment. This investigation uses the conflict between ranchers and wolves to explore the relationships between living things and their environments and the effects of physical and human forces on the natural world.
This lesson uses the example of the Burrowing Owl to illustrate how human activities can control the fate of a species. In addition to exploring the negative impact community development has had on the owl's habitat, students will read about proactive steps people have taken to reverse this destruction.