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Science - Secondary Curriculum
Science - Biology
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Lesson Plans  
Standard 1
Students will understand that living organisms interact with one another and their environment.
Objective 1
Summarize how energy flows through an ecosystem.
  • Building Food Chain/Energy Pyramid Mobiles
    In this activity students will be building hanging mobiles which represent food chains and energy pyramids from a specific biome.
  • Carrots vs. Snickers
    Students will understand strategies organisms use to balance energy intake with energy expenditure.
  • Choices, Choices: Frontloading Food
    This activity will help students access their prior knowledge about what food is made of, how food is produced and which foods are healthy. It also provides some reading materials to begin the process of research in to meet the indicator from the Biology Core Curriculum that states: Standard1, objective 1e. Research food production in various parts of the world (e.g., industrialized societies’ greater use of fossil fuel in food production, human health related to food product).
  • Choices, Choices: Energy Opinionaire
    Students will complete an activity that will lead to a final product which is to identify and eat a day's worth of food that is good for them and the environment.
  • Choices, Choices: Food For Thought
    Students will keep a food diary for 2 days and then complete a food web showing their place in the ecosystem.
  • Choices, Choices: Fossil Fuels and Food
    Students will develop a rubric to rate foods on their "ecological friendliness".
  • Choices, Choices: My Favorite Food
    Students will chose a favorite food and create a poster or brochure to describe the source of this food, it's health benefits and it's cost to the environment.
  • Ecosystem Analysis
    Students will watch a video that discusses ecosystems and food chains and complete the accompanying video guide.
  • Energy Flow Reading
    Students will become acquainted with the concepts of energy flow through an ecosystem. Students will practice pulling out important ideas from the text. They will do this by highlighting things they think are important to answer three questions.
  • Energy Flow Review Posters
    Students will design poster summarizing the main points of the study of energy flow.
  • Energy and Calories
    In this lab students will learn to correlate calories with obtaining and using energy. They will do this by analyzing several meals, calculating caloric value and calculating their own calorie expenditure.
  • Food Distribution
    This activity provides a visual example of the distribution of the world’s food and wealth as well as the human energy needed to produce food.
  • In the Meatrix
    Students will view several video clips to stimulate interest in how food is grown in the US. They will select two facts presented in each video to research on the Internet to report to the class.
  • Introduction to Habitat Alteration
    Students will be introduced to the concepts of habitat and habitat change through lecturing and guided inquiry. Students will engage in an open discussion of habitat change, view time-lapse footage of change, and identify /evaluate images of natural and human caused habitat alteration. Attention will be focused on identifying indicators and causes of habitat alteration.
  • Measuring an Ecosystem
    This is a lab in which students randomly choose a plot of land and measure the biotic organisms contained within in. They relate this to food chains and the energy pyramid.
  • Pond Water Ecology and Habitat Change
    Students will understand how abiotic (physical) factors alter the biotic elements of an ecosystem through an examination of microbial life in water. Students will observe water from three aquatic habitats that differ in their physical characteristics. Students will also experimentally alter the physical factors of an aquatic habitat. By observing and experimentally changing different aquatic habitats, students will understand that the abiotic components of an environment shape the type of life living there.
  • Reading Strategies: Comparing Pyramids
    Using their textbook, students will compare 3 types of ecological pyramids.
  • Starburst Energy Pyramid
    Students will model energy transfer through an ecosystem using Starburst candy as the energy.

UEN logo - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).  Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - Richard Scott and see the Science - Secondary website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - DIANA SUDDRETH .  
These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State Board of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State Board of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.
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