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RaeKel Helman

Dimension 2: Acquire and Integrate Knowledge


STEP 1
What declarative knowledge will students be in the process of acquiring and integrating? As a result of this unit, students will be able to

Unit: Ecosystems STEP 3


Describe what will be done

STEP 2
What will be done to help students construct models for, shape, and internalize the knowledge?

5th Grade Science

Word Splash

Ecosystems: the students will be able to understand what an ecosystem is as well as identify the characteristics of many different ecosystems. Students will understand the vocabulary words for the ecosystems unit.

Knowledge Rating Guide

In order to begin the unit, I will use a Word Splash as a fun visual to introduce the vocabulary that they will be learning. The students will use the word splash to help them complete a Knowledge Rating Guide reflecting their own knowledge of each vocabulary word. The guide has three columns: In Stone, In Ink, and In Pencil. If the student definitely knows what the word is, they will write it under the In Stone column. If the student has an idea of the word but is not positive of the definition, they will write the word under the In Ink column. If the student does not know the word at all, they will write it under the In Pencil column. They will be directed to use blue pencil to complete the knowledge rating guide at this time. At the end of the unit, the students will complete the same knowledge rating guide using red pencil to show their knowledge growth. To review the essential vocabulary for the unit, the students will be working in pairs over the duration of the unit to complete a Frayer Model for each word. When each word is introduced, the students will be writing the vocabulary word in the oval in the middle of the model and the definition in the upper left hand corner box. As we progress through the unit and they learn more about each word, they will fill in the other three boxes which will be draw a picture of what the word represents, write characteristics or examples of the word, and use the word in a sentence. The Frayer Model serves as a great way to review in the process of creating each model, as well as a great study tool for future tests.

Frayer Model

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Several times throughout the unit, I will ask students to study their vocabulary words with their Frayer models either individually or in pairs. They will be able to use these models to quiz each other on definitions and characteristics for each word.

RaeKel Helman

Dimension 3: Extend and Refine Knowledge


STEP 1
What knowledge will students be extending and refining? As a result of this unit, students will be able to
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Unit: Ecosystems STEP 3


Describe what will be done

STEP 2
What reasoning process will students be using?

Comparing 5 Grade Science Classifying Abstracting The students will understand what Analyzing is in each type of ecosystem. Perspectives Inductive They will identify and recall Reasoning various plants, animals, and attributes of each ecosystem and have the ability to place each piece into the appropriate group.

The students will practice the concept of classifying by examining different pieces of ecosystems and sorting them into the appropriate group. In pairs, the students will receive a Horrible Natural Disaster packet. They will work together and follow the directions to sort each ecosystem out. They will cut out each piece from the worksheet and sort them based on which ecosystem they would be found in. For example, in the desert ecosystem, there may be pieces that have pictures of sand, cactus, sun, lizard, etc. on them. In the pond ecosystem, there may be pieces that have pictures of algae, fish, water, grass, etc. on them. Once they have classified each piece into the appropriate group, they will glue each piece under the appropriate column for each ecosystem on the next page.

RaeKel Helman

Dimension 4: Use Knowledge Meaningfully


STEP 1
What knowledge will students be using meaningfully? As a result of this unit, students will be able to

Unit: Ecosystems STEP 3


Describe what will be done

STEP 2
What reasoning process will students be using?

5 Grade Science The students will be applying their understanding of an ecosystem to make their own ecosystem.

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Systems Analysis Problem Solving Invention Decision Making

The students will be practicing the concept of invention by creating their own ecosystem. They will be using a shoe box to build their ecosystem inside of. I will set out different colored paper, colored pencils, markers, cotton balls, fake plants, clay, stones, saran wrap, goldfish crackers, animal crackers, fabric, sand, soil, pipe cleaners, paints, pop bottle bottoms for ponds/lakes, scissors, and many more crafting supplies. Before the students invent their own ecosystems, I will start by modeling the process of invention for them. I will show them step by step of how I would complete the process. First, I will be using a graphic organizer to organize my thoughts. I will write down what I need to invent, what the standards are for my invention, and different draft ideas. Next, I will start creating my ecosystem with several different materials. I might use a pop bottle bottom with saran wrap over the top to represent a pond, glue goldfish crackers on the bottom of the pond, find a bear animal cracker to glue near the pond, use pipe cleaners and fake plants to make trees, use fabric to lay on the bottom of the box to represent grass, etc. Once I have figured out my final choices for my invention, I will complete the last section of the graphic organizer. The students will then begin their invention process. They will start by using the graphic organizer to get their thoughts together in one place. Next, they will use the provided materials to invent their own

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ecosystem. They will need to be sure their ecosystem has all of the parts it needs to function as whole. Once they have finished creating their final product, they will complete the last section of the graphic organizer. For the last piece of the project they will be writing down all of the living and non-living things in their ecosystem in the appropriate column on a worksheet. Finally, they will get to share and explain their ecosystems with the class.

RaeKel Helman

Dimension 3: Extend and Refine Knowledge


STEP 1
What knowledge will students be extending and refining? As a result of this unit, students will be able to

Unit: Ecosystems STEP 3


Describe what will be done

STEP 2
What reasoning process will the students be using?

5 Grade Science The students will understand how an ecosystem works by relating it to another object that has the same general pattern.

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Comparing Classifying Abstracting Analyzing Perspectives Inductive Reasoning

The students will be working on the process of abstracting while thinking about the system of an ecosystem in a different way. First, we will work as a whole group to fill out a LiteralAbstractLiteral graphic organizer on abstracting. I will begin by modeling for the students on a graphic organizer with a simpler concept and having them help along the way. Then, we will be filling out the first column (literal) of the organizer together by using the content of ecosystems and the pattern of an ecosystem. Next, as a class, we will try to pick apart the general pattern (everything works together to function as a whole) that we see without using our content. After the first two parts of the graphic organizer are complete, I will put the students into small groups to brainstorm what other objects or things have the same general pattern as an ecosystem. They know that all of the parts of an ecosystem have to be doing their jobs in order for the entire thing to function as a whole. Once they have figured out what their other object or thing is that has the same general pattern as an ecosystem, they will all work together to draw a picture of it. Once their picture is drawn, they will label parts of an ecosystem in comparison. For example, the students may decide that a car has the same general pattern as an ecosystem because it has many parts that work together in order for the car to function properly, just like an ecosystem. The

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students would then draw a picture of a car with all of the working parts, and then label it with the parts of an ecosystem to compare. More examples that students may come up with may be a machine, a community, or a family. All of these things have to work together and do their jobs in order for them to function properly.

RaeKel Helman

Dimension 4: Using Knowledge Meaningfully


STEP 1
What knowledge will students be using meaningfully? As a result of this unit, students will be able to

Unit: Ecosystems STEP 3


Describe what will be done

STEP 2
What reasoning process will students be using?

5 Grade Science The students will understand the energy flow in an ecosystem by completing their own energy flowchart about an ecosystem. The students will understand the attributes of each ecosystem.

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Systems Analysis Problem Solving Invention Decision Making

As a culminating activity for the ecosystems unit, the students will be practicing the concept of systems analysis by learning about the flow of energy in an ecosystem. Their task will be to complete a flow chart of the energy in an ecosystem. Before they are given the flow chart, I will go over the general parts of an ecosystem. I will write the key words on the board such as habitat, producer, decomposer, consumer, etc. We will work together to create a flow chart on the Smart board while brainstorming ideas for each category (producers, consumers, decomposers). Next, the students will be put into pairs and assigned a specific ecosystem to create a flow chart for to further their practice of the concept of systems analysis. Each pair will be given a list of possible words that they may use to complete their flow chart, a large piece of colorful paper to create their flowchart on, and markers for writing and drawing. For example, if the pair was assigned to create the energy flow for a pond/stream, they will plug in words such as algae, plants, worms, fish, bear, etc. into their decomposer, producer, and consumer boxes. They will also brainstorm together for different ideas that are not in the word-bank. When the pairs are finished making their flowchart, I will go around to each group and tell them that I have taken away one of the parts of their ecosystem. For example, I may tell the group with the pond/stream ecosystem that I have taken away the bear from their ecosystem. Their job would then be to brainstorm ideas of what might happen and individually write a paragraph explaining the outcome. Their paragraph would answer

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questions such as What would happen to the animals? What would happen to the plants? What would happen to the flow of energy in that ecosystem? and How would it affect the ecosystem as a whole? Once every pair is finished writing their explanations, each pair will share their original flowchart with the class and then their explanation of what happened when I took a part away from the system. This activity will assess the students in many ways. It will test the students knowledge of each ecosystem and what types of plants, animals, etc. would be found in each. It will test their understanding of each vocabulary word since they are using the words to create their chart as well as in their writing. It will also assess whether or not the students truly understand how ecosystems function, that every part of an ecosystem must work together and each part is dependent on one another to function properly.