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Ecosystems Unit Read Me

Ecosystems Unit Read Me

The Ecosystems Unit is a tool kit, not a script.

While the Ecosystems Unit Teachers’ Guide may look like a script with lots of activities to do one after another, it is actually designed to be more like a user’s manual for a set of tools. You can decide which tools are right for your students and your goals. This document alerts you to choices to make before each lesson.

Making Your Choices

Here is a brief summary of choices for teaching Ecosystems. See the Teacher’s Guides for more in depth discussions of your choices.

Lesson 1:

All students should complete Lesson 1.

Lesson 2:

All students should complete Lesson 2.

Lesson 3: Choose whether to use Activity 3.4.

Activity 3.4 provides students with additional information on soil carbon. Consider your students and learning goals when deciding whether to use this activity.

Lesson 4: Choose whether to teach Lesson 4.

Activities 4.1-4.4 are 2-turtle activities, which may not be appropriate for middle school students. Consider the level of your students when choosing if to teach these activities.

Lesson 5:
Choose how students will share their work in Activity 5.2 and which version of 5.3 to teach.

Activity 5.2 engages students in reading about three different managed ecosystems. You probably don’t want every student to do a worksheet on all three ecosystems, so there are several ways that students could become “experts” on one ecosystem, then compare what they have learned: a jigsaw activity, working in groups to make posters, etc.

Activity 5.3 has a 1-turtle version (5.3a) appropriate for middle school students and a 2-turle version (5.3b) appropriate for high school students that completed Activities 4.1-4.4. Consider the level of your students when choosing which version of this activity to teach.

Ecosystems Unit Map

Ecosystems Unit Map