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									Discovering Science Through Inquiry

                Presented by

                   Sally Creel
             Science Supervisor
      Cobb County Schools - Marietta, GA
       Biomes & Ecosystems
• Introductory Activities
• Overview of Resource
• Sample Lessons:
   • Predators and Prey
   • Food Chains
   • Food Webs
   • The Energy Pyramid
   • Symbiosis
            Ground Rules!
        It’s all about participation
                and respect!!
• Cell phones silent…if you have to
  make/receive a call…please step out
• Stay focused and productive during
  work/group times
• Participate! Volunteer to report out!
  Everyone has knowledge/experience
  to share….
• ….and be respectful of the
  person/group sharing
                    Facts in Three
        Here’s a fun example activity for building
                classroom community…
1. Write down three facts related to you personally-two facts should be
   true, one false.
2. Don’t use facts that others might already know (e.g., I teach 7th grade
3. Purpose of the game is for peers to guess the the false fact.
4. Select interesting true facts and create a believable false one.
5. At your table, take turns reading your facts and see if others can guess
   the false one. For example, here are my facts:
    •    My absolute favorite soft drink is Pepsi! Can’t go one day without
    •    In high school I went on an impromptu date to the opera wearing
         clothes I borrowed without asking from his mom.
    •    My pets include two cats, a dog, a blue tongued skink, and
         two hissing cockroaches.
       There’s No Photographs
       Analyzing Substitute for
              the Real Thing!
• This exercise
                          1. Groups each receive an
  illustrates the
  importance of first
  hand experience in      2. Each group records what
                             they observe about the
                             orange using their five
• Powerful way to            senses
  advocate for time to    3. Each group reports out the
  engage in hands-on         number they generated in
  learning                   four minutes
      5 E Approach to Science
            Activity or task to assess learners’ prior knowledge and helps them
Engage     become engaged in a new concept through the use of short activities
                      that promote curiosity and elicit prior knowledge.

            Provides students with a common base of activities within which
Explore     current concepts (e.g. misconceptions), processes, and skills are
                     identified and conceptual change is facilitated.

                 Focuses students’ attention on a particular aspect of their
Explain    engagement and exploration experiences and provides opportunities
             to demonstrate their conceptual understanding or process skills.

           Encourages students to assess their understanding and abilities and
Evaluate     provides opportunities for teachers to evaluate student progress
                      toward achieving the educational objectives.

           Challenge and extend students’ conceptual understanding and skills.
Extend      Through new experiences, students develop deeper and broader
                  understanding, more information, and adequate skills.

            Source: Bybee, R. (2006). 5E Instructional Model: Origins, Effectiveness, and Applications.
       Inquiry: What is it?

The inquiry-based classroom is in stark
 contrast to rote learning, memorization
 (merely for the sake of memorization), or
 fact-based learning. In an inquiry-based
 classroom, the teacher does not impart
 knowledge as much as create an
 environment in which students learn for
 themselves through their own
 inquisitiveness and experiences.
           Biomes and Ecosystems Teachers Guide p. 6
3 Types of Inquiry
Understanding the Resource


Biomes and Ecosystems
Understanding the Resource

            • What is Inquiry?
            • What the Research says
            • How to Use the Product
            • Correlation to Standards
Understanding the Resource
                Overview of
            • Standards
            • Essential Vocabulary
            • Lesson Essential
            • Brief synopsis of the
              5E approach for this
Understanding the Resource
            • This page provides a
              written overview of
              the lesson topic. Use
              this information as a
              way to prepare for
              instruction and
              classroom discussion.
Understanding the Resource
           Engage, Explore, &
            Explain Activities
             • Quick demo or “hook”
             activity for class
             • Then an opportunity to
             explore the lesson
             concept through
             •Followed by time to
             explain the info students
             have been learning
Understanding the Resource

            Inquiry Handbook
            • Accompanying the
            Explore activity is an
            experiment design page
            where students design
            and test an experiment
            related to the topic of
Understanding the Resource

                 Inquiry Handbook
                   • Reading passage with
                   background information
                   for students.
                   • Leveled to meet the
                   needs of various

     Levels    Levels    Levels    Levels
     1.5-2.2   3.0-3.5   4.5-5.2   6.5-7.2
Understanding the Resource

            Inquiry Handbook
            • Graphic Organizer to
            synthesize information
            gained from reading
            background information
            on the topic
            • One for each lesson in
            the resource
Understanding the Resource
           Engage, Explore, &
            Explain Activities
             • Quick demo or “hook”
             activity for class
             • Then an opportunity to
             explore the lesson
             concept through
             •Followed by time to
             explain the info students
             have been learning
Understanding the Resource

Elaborate & Evaluate Activities

          • English language learners
          • Below-grade-level students
          • On-grade-level students
          • Above-grade-level students
Understanding the Resource

             • Electronic
             • Blank Templates
  Lesson 9 – Predators & Prey

Lesson EQ:
• How do predators and prey interact
  with each other in the wild?
• How do certain behaviors and
  characteristics of an animal
  determine its success as either
  predator or prey?
       Lesson 9 – Predators & Prey

Lesson Vocabulary
 • camouflage       • ecosystem
 • predator         • environment
 • prey             • feature
 • trait            • shortage
 • conceal          • stalking
       Lesson 9 – Engage

Predator & Prey Sort
Lesson 9 – Explore

               •Stage 1 -
                  •Research &

               •Stage 2 -
                  •Life in the Wild

               •Stage 3 -
Lesson 9 – Explain
         •Set the purpose for
          “ Pay close attention to
         the special characteristics
         of animals that are
         mentioned in the text.”

         • Monitor
         “ Underline any
         characteristics you see”

         •Share findings
Lesson 9 – Explain
         •Record findings on a data
         •Create your own using a
Lesson 9 –
     Above Level

     On Level

      Below Level

English Language
         Lesson 9 – Elaborate
Let’s Review our Vocabulary

        camouflage            predator

            prey                trait
           Lesson 9 – Evaluate
    Respond in writing to each of the following
questions. Include examples, illustrations, details to
               support your answer.

  • How do predators and prey interact
    with each other in the wild?
  • How do certain behaviors and
    characteristics of an animal
    determine its success as either
    predator or prey?
               Lesson 9 – Evaluate
Diagnostic or Pre-Assessment
•Vocabulary Mit Game

Formative Assessment
•Predator / Prey Card Sort
•Predator / Prey Game
•Life in the Wild data chart
•4 – square graphic organizer

•Selected Response Assessment from Inquiry Handbook
•Journal Response
•Life in the Wild data chart
•Open Response to EQ
    Lesson 10 – Food Chain

Lesson EQ:
• How do changes in a food chain
  effect an entire ecosystem?
      Lesson 10 – Food Chains
• Knowledge Rating Scale
• Rate your knowledge of the following words. (For the purposes of this
   exercise put yourself in the mind of your average student.)
                                Know it         Have seen/       No clue
                                                  Heard it
  primary consumer
  secondary consumer
  cellular respiration
         Lesson 10- Engage

What are the basic needs of plants &
          plants         animals
      1. Nutrients    1. Food
      2. Water        2. Water

      3. Air          3. Shelter

      4. Light        4. Air
     Lesson 10 - Engage

Plants -> Mice -> Snakes -> Hawks
Lesson 10 - Explore
          Lesson 10 - Explore
• What happens to the food supply when
  there is the same number of animals at
  each level of the food chain?
  HINT: Think about how the energy flowed
  from one animal to the next in the Chain
  Reaction Game.

• What would happen to the food chain if
  one living organism suddenly became
  extinct? HINT: Think about animal

• What would happen if there was only half
  as much food to start with (half as many
  peanuts)? HINT: Think about how energy is
  distributed in a food chain.
Lesson – 10 Explore
        Lesson 10 - Explain

• What is a Food Chain?
  – Based on this title…Predict
    what this selection is going to
    be about.
  – Read the passage silently for
    2 minutes.
  – Partner read the passage.
• Summarize your reading on
  a the following graphic
            Lesson 10 - Explain
 Look at the vocabulary words below. Use at least five descriptive
 words or phrases to create a vocabulary web for each word.

                       from sun
                          Stores                Consumer

          Secondary                             Decomposer
         Lesson 10 - Evaluate
• Summarize what you have learned about food
  chains using no more than 140 characters.
  Challenge: Try to incorporate as many vocabulary
                              terms as possible.
             F   O   R    M   A   T   I   V   E        A   S   S   E

             S   S   M    E   N   T       H   E    L   P   S       T

             E   A   C    H   E   R   S       K    N   O   W       A

                 S    T   U   D   E   N   T    ‘   S       S   T   R

             E   N   G    T   H   S       A   N    D       W   E   A

             K   N   E    S   S   E   S       S    O       T   H   A

             T        T   H   E   Y       C   A    N       M   A   K

             E       D    E   C   I   S   I   O    N   S       A   B

             O   U    T       A   P   P   R   O    P   R   I   A   T

             E        I   N   S   T   R   U   C    T   I   O   N   .

            Lesson 10 - Evaluate
      Scientific Communication                     Scientific Understanding
Employed refined and complex                 Provided evidence of in-depth,
reasoning and demonstrated a high            sophisticated understanding of
degree of understanding                      relevant Scientific concepts, principles
                                             or theories (big ideas).
A clear explanation was presented.           Provided evidence of understanding of
                                             relevant scientific concepts, principles
                                             or theories (big ideas).
Attempted but could not completely           Minimal reference to relevant scientific
carry out the selected differentiation       concepts, principles, or theories (big
strategy.                                    ideas).
There were so many errors in the             No mention or inappropriate
application of the differentiation process   references to relevant scientific
that the strategy could not be completed     concepts, principles, or theories (big
as written.                                  ideas).
    Lesson 11 – Food Webs

Essential Question?

• How does a food web help scientists
  better understand an ecosystem?
Lesson 11 – Food Webs
        Lesson 11 - Engage

• Food Web Activity

• Lesson EQ: What happens when plants
  and animals begin disappearing from the
  food web?

• Materials:
  – Ball of yarn
  – Food Web Cards
Lesson 11 -
  Lesson 11 - Explore
Describe your ecosystem Before & After the organism
             you selected is eliminated.

Before                                After
       Lesson 11 - Explain

• We are going to read a passage called “A
  Web of Intrigue.”
1. Scan & highlight any vocabulary terms
   from word wall for this unit.
2. How many did you find?
3. Which words were repeated the most?
4. Now read the entire passage carefully.
   Using your highlighter, circle any words
   you encounter that you don’t know.
        Lesson 11 - Explain

Choose an ecosystem. Then, draw a plant
 or animal in that ecosystem in each of the
 circles below. Include and label at least
 one producer, primary consumer,
 omnivore, and secondary consumer. Use
 what you know about food webs to
 connect the plants and animals in the
       Lesson 11 - Explain
1. What are some ways in which a food chain
   and food web are similar and different?
2. Explain the ecosystem you drew in your
   graphic organizer. Why did you connect
   your plants and animals the way that you
3. What do you think might happen to an
   ecosystem if there were no decomposers?
4. How does a food web help scientists
   better understand an ecosystem?
        Lesson 11 - Explain
• Each person needs 4 post it notes.
• Draw something to represent each of the
  terms below on your post it notes.
            Producer       Primary

           Secondary      Decomposer

• Add your post it notes to our class chart.
Lesson 11 – Elaborate
        Have students select a red,
        brown, blue, and green
        crayon. Get a sheet from
        the folder. Circle the
        organisms on the chart
        using the following key:

        1. Producers – Green
        2. Primary Consumers –
        3. Secondary Consumers –
        4. Decomposers – Brown
          Lesson 11 - Elaborate
The back of the card contains another
reading passage about the topic. It
reviews the lesson vocabulary and

There are three Analyzing Science

       Above Level

       On Level

       Below Level

There are two writing prompts & and
one science research challenge.
       Lesson 11 – Evaluate

• Please complete the assessment over
  Food Webs.
• Help me know what you were thinking.
  Using a crayon, put a
  – “Red” circle next to any question(s) you didn’t
    know the answer to and guessed.
  – “Yellow” circle next to any question(s) you
    weren’t 100% sure of.
  – “Green” circle next to any questions you are
    100% sure you got right.
             Lesson 11 – Evaluate
Diagnostic or Pre-Assessment
• Brain Buster Game

Formative Assessment
•Food Web T-Charts
•Web of Intrigue Experiment
•Vocabulary 4-square with post its
•Inquiry Card center work
•Partner reflection on Food Webs

• Ecosystem Food Webs
•Journal Response
•Open Response to EQ
•Selected Response Assessment
Lesson 12 – Energy Pyramid

          • EQ:
            – How are organisms in each
              level of an energy pyramid
              related, and why is that
              relationship important?
Lesson 12 – The Energy Pyramid

          Hot Seat Vocabulary
• Ask for a volunteer to sit in the “hot seat” in the
  front of the room, with their back to the word
• Select a word from the word wall and point it out
  to rest of the class.
• Student in the “hot seat” asks questions of
  his/her classmates to try to guess the word.
• Keep a tally of the number of questions/clues it
  takes for the student to guess the word.
       Lesson 12 - Engage

• Each person needs a sticky note.
• Choose a biome we have studied.
• Choose a plant or animal that can be
  found in that biome. Write/draw this
  organism on your sticky note.
• Place it on the Energy Pyramid where you
  think it belongs.
Lesson 12 - Explore
       Lesson 12 - Explore

• Brainstorm how you would structure the
  “Explore” activity in your classroom.
• What materials would you use?
• How would you ensure that students
  stayed on task?
• How would you ensure that the task
  doesn’t take two weeks?
• What support would you need to provide
  to the diverse learners in your class?
        Lesson 12 - Explain

• Read “A Pyramid of Energy”
• Go back and re-read the passage and
  circle organisms for each level of the
  Energy Pyramid, each in its own color.
• Create a key to your color coding.
              Producers ______________
    Primary Consumers ______________
  Secondary Consumers ______________
    Tertiary Consumers ______________
Lesson 12 - Explain

          • Revisit Energy
            Pyramid from
            “Engage” lesson.
          • Are there any
            animals we need
            to move?
          • Take a moment to
            discuss at your
Lesson 12 - Explain
 Lesson 12 -
What producers to
you see?

Which organisms
transfer energy from
the sun?

Create a food chain of
organisms pictured
on this card.
      Lesson 12 – Elaborate
• Select two of the prompts below to
  respond/reflect on in your science journal.
      Lesson 12 – Evaluate

• Please answer the following question in
  paragraph form. Diagrams, illustrations,
  and visuals are encouraged.

How are organisms in each level
 of an energy pyramid related,
 and why is that relationship
Lesson 14
     Thank You!

        Thank You!
        Sally Creel

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