How Can We Predict Change in Ecosystems?

How Can We Predict Change in Ecosystems?

How Can We Predict Change in Ecosystems? is part of Smithsonian Science for the Classroom, a curriculum series by the Smithsonian Science Education Center. It is aligned to a group of grade 5 standards. It has a focus on life science with a secondary focus on physical science. In this module, students:

  • Carry out investigations to provide evidence that plants get most of their matter from air and water.
  • Analyze data showing that animals get both matter and energy by consuming food.
  • Develop and use food web models to track matter and energy flows in ecosystems.
  • Obtain information about the causes and effects of invasive species.
  • Use models to support a prediction about which of two coastal locations is more likely to be invaded by a non-native sea squirt.

Below are digital resources that support teaching this module.

Lesson 2: It’s a Gas

Bromothymol Blue
This image shows how the color of bromothymol blue (BTB) changes as carbon dioxide levels increase.
Download the Bromothymol Blue PDF

Lesson 4: What’s the Matter?

Key for Representing Energy and Matter
This file is a key to the symbols used to represent energy and matter in models created throughout the module.
Download the Key for Representing Energy and Matter PDF

Lesson 7: Cubs and Caterpillars

Cup and Medium Weight
This file contains a data table showing the weight of a cup containing caterpillar food (medium) weighing less over time due to the loss of moisture.
Download the Cup and Medium Weight PDF

Lesson 8: A Mystery at the Pond

Fish Kill [0:10]
This video shows a pond with dead fish floating on the surface.
Download Fish Kill Video
Download the Accessible Version of Fish Kill Video
Download the Fish Kill Video transcript

Aquatic Plants [0:20]
This video shows gas bubbles forming on aquatic plants under a lamp.
Download Aquatic Plants Video
Download the Accessible Version of Aquatic Plants Video
Download Aquatic Plants Video transcript

Lesson 9: A Tangled Web

Sample Food Web
This image shows a simplified food web that includes plants and animals in a pond environment.
Download the Sample Food Web PDF

Lesson 12: Worming Their Way

Kitchen Compost
These images show the kitchen compost a week apart.
Download the Kitchen Compost PDF

Worm Investigation
This image shows students the materials they have available to plan an investigation.
Download the Worm Investigation PDF

Lesson 14: Surveying Sea Squirts Part 1
Lesson 15: Surveying Sea Squirts Part 2

Science Challenge: Surveying Sea Squirts
This file contains a description of the Science Challenge.
Download the Surveying Sea Squirts PDF

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