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Kristen Davison

A. TITLE/TYPE OF LESSON: ​Exploring Ecosystems

On Monday, we began our Living Systems unit by talking about behavioral and structural
adaptations of animals. Tuesday, we continued to talk about and explore camouflage.
Students are now ready to zoom out and look at ecosystems as a whole. I think it is
important that students understand the makeup of ecosystems before diving into the
specifics, such as animal roles, food chains, etc.

Understand​ – what are the Know​ – what are the facts, Do​ – what are the specific
broad generalizations the rules, specific data the thinking behaviors students
students should begin to students will gain through will be able to do through this
develop? this lesson? lesson?

Students will understand that Students will know that Students will fill out guided
ecosystems include smaller individuals make up notes on ecological
parts that are “nested” within - populations, populations organization.
communities, populations, and make up communities, and
individuals. communities make up an Students will participate in
ecosystem. an expert group and research
Students will understand that more about a specific
ecosystems are characterized Students will know and be ecosystem. They will record
by the living and nonliving able to recognize living and their findings.
things within them. nonliving factors in an
ecosystem. Students will participate in a
“Jigsaw” group in order to
share what they learned
about their specific

● I will assess students through observation during group work. I will make notes on whether
they are participating in the group discussion as well as filling out their recording sheet. I
will also be grading their recording sheet afterward.
● I will observe students during the Jigsaw and make notes on whether or not students are
able to share accurate information about their ecosystem.


4.5 The student will investigate and understand how plants and animals, including
humans, in an ecosystem interact with one another and with the nonliving
components in the ecosystem.
Key concepts include
b) organization of populations, communities, and ecosystems and how they

● Students’ MNB (Mind Notebook)
● Ecological Organization ​note page
● Ecosystem recording sheet​ (for Jigsaw expert groups)
● Ecosystem sheet with picture​ (which will be given out to each expert group in order
to assign the specific ecosystem)
● Ecosystem chart
● Chromebooks
○ Websites on Google Classroom for each ecosystem


Preparation of the Learning Environment

Before the lesson begins, I will have students turn to page 1 in the Living Systems section of
their MNB and get out a highlighter or light-colored crayon. I will also pass out the
Ecological Organization​ ​note sheet​ to every student.

I will make sure everyone is at the right place before I begin.

Engage: Introduction of the Lesson

● Tell the class that today we will be talking about ecosystems.
● Show the BrainPOP video on Ecosystems to introduce the lesson. This gives a quick
overview of ecological organization. This will help us when going over guided notes.

Implementation of the Lesson

● Show the model MNB page “Interactions of Living and NonLiving Things” under the
document camera and take out your own highlighter. Go through the 4 paragraphs
of notes, highlighting the key points and terms. Have students follow along with you
and highlight in their own MNB.
● Now, turn to the ​Ecological Organization​ page. Go circle by circle starting with the
innermost one. Label this circle “Individual” and have students trace the circle in a
color of their choice. Give an example of an individual animal (ex: turtle) and
label/draw it within the circle.
● Then, do the same with all other circles:
○ Population - draw multiple turtles (of the same species)
○ Community - all living things (draw examples of living things that a turtle
may live by -- bears, other turtles, worms, birds, grass, flowers)
○ Ecosystem - living and nonliving things (rewrite living things and add
nonliving things, like rocks, the sun, and water)
● Have students clip their notes into their binder.
● Explain what the students will be doing next: “We are now going to explore different
kinds of ecosystems by doing something known as a Jigsaw! I will be dividing you all
into 5 groups and assigning you an ecosystem. You will work together with your
group members to research your ecosystem and find out some information about it
(using resources listed on Google Classroom). I will have a recording sheet to help
guide you. These are known as your “expert” groups. During the last 10-15 minutes
of class, I will put you in another group with one member from each ecosystem. You
will share information about your ecosystem with the rest of the group, and
everyone will fill in an ecosystem chart. At the very end of class, you will turn in
both sheets.” **Show both worksheets on the document camera and quickly go over
each part.
● Divide students into 5 groups using Class Dojo’s group maker. Display groups on the
board and tell each group where they will be sitting in the classroom.
● Once groups are sitting in their assigned spots, pass out the ecosystem recording
sheets and assign an ecosystem to each group.

While students are working in their groups, assign each group member a number. During
the last 10-15 minutes of science, have students form their new groups (all 1’s will sit
together, as well as all 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, and 5’s). They will each share about their ecosystem and
record their findings on the ecosystem chart.

Remind students that they are to turn in both sheets to the black bin once they are finished.
At the end of science, play the Batman transition song. (When students hear this, they know
it is time for math and they are to grab their Daily Math Review notebooks, sit down in their
seats, and get started on DMR.)

● One student in the earlier class has a reading accommodation on his IEP. Once I pass
the worksheets out, I will assign him a buddy who will sit beside him and read the
information on the worksheet and the websites.

● Individual students are off task / misbehaving during guided instruction or group
○ I will first redirect the student. Then, I will take Dojo points if need be.
● The class as a whole is talking while I am teaching or not participating during group
○ I will take “teacher points” on the class scoreboard.
● They do not understand the Jigsaw format
○ I will have them repeat directions to their shoulder partner / clarify
directions in another way