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Ecosystems | Activity 2.2

Activity 2.2: The Meadow Simulation (50 min)

Students use the online Meadow Simulation to observe changes in biomass of the producer, herbivore, and carnivore populations over a 100-year period.

Materials You Provide

  • Computer with internet access for students

Resources Provided

Setup

Set up a computer for each pair of students to work at as well as a projector to display the 2.2 Meadow Simulation PPT. Also print a copy of the 2.2 Meadow Simulation Worksheet for each student.

Directions

1. Introduce the activity.

Open 2.2 Meadow Simulation PPT. Use slides 2 – 4 to review the features of the online Meadow Simulation.

Assessment

  • Use 2.2 Meadow Simulation Worksheet to get a sense of students’ initial ideas and explanations about patterns in biomass in ecosystems. At this point, students should not be penalized for incorrect ideas, and they should not be given the “correct” answers.
  • During this activity, pay particular attention to the explanations students have for why it takes so much plant mass to support so few foxes. This will be important in the next lesson.