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Instructional Focus Document
Environmental Systems
TITLE : Unit 02: Modeling Earth's Systems SUGGESTED DURATION : 25 days

Unit Overview

Introduction

This unit bundles Student Expectations addressing energy interactions, energy transformations, and energy flow.

 

Prior to this Unit

  • Grade 4
    • 4.8B – Describe and illustrate the continuous movement of water above and on the surface of Earth through the water cycle and explain the role of the Sun as a major source of energy in this process.
  • Grade 5
    • 5.8B – Explain how the Sun and the ocean interact in the water cycle.
  • Grade 6
    • 6.9A – Investigate methods of thermal energy transfer, including conduction, convection, and radiation.
    • 6.10A – Build a model to illustrate the compositional and mechanical layers of Earth, including the inner core, outer core, mantle, crust, asthenosphere, and lithosphere.
    • 6.10C – Identify the major tectonic plates, including Eurasian, African, Indo-Australian, Pacific, North American, and South American.
    • 6.10D – Describe how plate tectonics causes major geological events such as ocean basin formation, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building.
  • Grade 8
    • 8.9A – Describe the historical development of evidence that supports plate tectonic theory.
    • 8.9B – Relate plate tectonics to the formation of crustal features.
    • 8.10A – Recognize that the Sun provides the energy that drives convection within the atmosphere and oceans, producing winds and ocean currents.
  • Biology
    • B.10C – Analyze the levels of organization in biological systems and relate the levels to each other and to the whole system.
    • B.12C – Analyze the flow of matter and energy through trophic levels using various models, including food chains, food webs, and ecological pyramids.
    • B.12D – Describe the flow of matter through the carbon and nitrogen cycles and explain the consequences of disrupting these cycles.

 

During this Unit

This unit also addresses Student Expectations relating to the interrelationship between abiotic cycles and interactions among Earths’ systems. Students diagram abiotic cycles (including the rock, hydrologic, carbon, and nitrogen cycles) in order to make observations and compile data about fluctuations in abiotic cycles and to evaluate the effects of abiotic factors on local ecosystems and local biomes. Through designing models, students will describe how matter cycles and energy flows through specific components of Earths’ systems (including the geosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere). Furthermore, students explain the flow of energy in an ecosystem (including conduction, convection, and radiation) as well as investigate and explain the effects of energy transformations. This is done in terms of the laws of thermodynamics within an ecosystem and through identification of energy interactions in an ecosystem.


After this Unit

Students will focus on land use and management and the impact of these practices on the quality and sustainability of resources. Students will evaluate the relationship between consumption and sustainability of resources.

 

Research

“By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that:

  • At times, environmental conditions are such that land and marine organisms reproduce and grow faster than they die and decompose to simple carbon containing molecules that are returned to the environment. Over time, layers of energy-rich organic material inside the earth have been chemically changed into great coal beds and oil pools. 5E/H1*
  • The chemical elements that make up the molecules of living things pass through food webs and are combined and recombined in different ways. At each link in a food web, some energy is stored in newly made structures but much is dissipated into the environment. Continual input of energy from sunlight keeps the process going. 5E/H3”

American Association for the Advancement of Science. (2009). Benchmarks on-line. Retrieved from http://www.project2061.org/publications/bsl/online/index.php.


Earth’s environmental system is a network of relationships among components and systems that interact with and influence one another.

  • How do living and non-living components interact within environmental systems?
  • In what ways is an understanding of environmental systems an integral part of everyday life?

A system is a collection of interactive, interrelated, or interdependent cycles, structures, and / or processes.

  • How are the components and parameters of a system defined?
  • How are the functions of the components in a system related to the cycles and / or processes of the system?
  • How are systems affected by change(s)?
  • How can one system be considered a component of another system?

Physical or conceptual models can be used to describe, investigate, and make predictions about a system in terms of its components and how they relate to each other, to the whole, and to the external environment.

  • In what ways are models used to help us interpret systems?
  • To what extent do limitations of models affect their reliability, validity, and usefulness?

Patterns of constancy and change in systems can be observed, measured, and / or modeled.

  • Why is it important to observe, measure and / or model patterns of a system?
  • What information do patterns provide about a system(s)?

A system can be described by its basic properties and analyzed in terms of interactions.

  • In what ways can a system be described by its properties? 
  • How are interactions within a system analyzed?
  • In what ways do interactions affect the basic properties of a system?

Scientific processes are used to explore and understand a system.

  • What makes a process scientific?
  • In what ways can a system be scientifically examined?
  • Which scientific processes are most appropriate when studying a system and why?
  • What significant conclusions can be drawn from investigating a system?

Scientific decision-making is a way of answering questions about systems within the natural world.

  • Who should be scientifically literate and why?
  • What does it mean to be scientifically literate?
Unit Understandings
and Questions
Overarching Concepts
and Unit Concepts
Performance Assessment(s)

Ecosystems contain interconnected cycles and layers of matter and energy.

  • In what ways do the abiotic cycles interact and affect one another?
  • How do natural occurrences impact abiotic cycles, and what affects can that impact have on an ecosystem or biome?
  • In what ways do the components of the geosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere interact?
  • In what ways can energy transfer in an ecosystem?
  • What are the effects of energy transformations within Earth’s environmental system?
  • In what ways do energy transformations in ecosystems demonstrate the laws of thermodynamics?
  • How is the economic significance of resources within an environment evaluated?

Systems

  • Ecosystem
  • Earth
  • Matter
  • Energy

Properties

  • Systems


Models

  • Systems


Constancy

  • Conservation of energy

Change

  • Energy

Patterns

  • Cycles

Associated Scientific Investigation and Reasoning Processes

  • Plan and implement investigations
  • Collect data using tools and equipment
  • Make observations
  • Record data
  • Organize data
  • Develop / evaluate models
  • Think critically
  • Analyze, interpret, and evaluate
  • Communicate observations
  • Communicate conclusions and make predictions
Assessment information provided within the TEKS Resource System are examples that may, or may not, be used by your child’s teacher. In accordance with section 26.006 (2) of the Texas Education Code, "A parent is entitled to review each test administered to the parent’s child after the test is administered." For more information regarding assessments administered to your child, please visit with your child’s teacher.

MISCONCEPTIONS / UNDERDEVELOPED CONCEPTS

Misconceptions:

  • Students may think energy transformations are 100% efficient, rather than energy is “lost” to the environment or universe as heat.

Underdeveloped Concepts:

  • Students may not understand that energy does not cycle within a system like matter, but flows through a system.

Unit Vocabulary

Key Content Vocabulary:

  • Atmosphere – all of Earth’s air; divided into troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, and ionosphere
  • Biosphere – all of Earth’s life forms as distributed in biomes, such as tundra, boreal forest, deciduous forest, grassland, desert, savannah, rainforest, chaparral, freshwater, and marine
  • Conduction – transfer of energy through matter by colliding particles (direct contact)
  • Convection – transfer of thermal energy, in a liquid or gas, in which the warmer substance rises and the cooler substance sinks; forms a current
  • Cryosphere – places where water is in frozen form, as well as areas of permafrost
  • Energy transformation – process of energy changing from one form to another
  • Eutrophication – the enrichment of an ecosystem with chemical nutrients, typically compounds containing nitrogen, phosphorus, or both
  • First law of thermodynamics – The energy of the universe is constant. Energy can be transferred and transformed, but it cannot be created or destroyed. Energy for the functioning of an ecosystem comes from the Sun. Solar energy is absorbed by plants where in it is converted to stored chemical energy. Plants act as energy transformers, converting light to chemical energy. Whenever energy is converted from one form into another, some of it is given off as heat, which is the most random form of energy.
  • Geosphere – the core, mantle, and crust of the Earth
  • Hydrosphere – all of the liquid, solid, and gaseous water on Earth
  • Hypotheses – a tentative and testable statement that must be capable of being supported or not supported by evidence
  • Limiting factors – an environmental factor that tends to limit population size
  • Nonrenewable resources – natural resources that are used up at a rate faster than they can be replaced
  • Radiation – transfer of energy through the emission of electromagnetic waves
  • Renewable resources – natural resources that are constantly being recycled
  • Second law of thermodynamics – Every energy transfer or transformation increases the entropy (measure of disorder or randomness) of the universe. The increasing entropy takes the form of an increase in the amount of heat. Energy flows into an ecosystem in the form of light and leaves the ecosystem in the form of heat. The entropy of a particular system may decrease, so long as the total entropy of the universe increases.
  • Theory – a well-established and highly reliable explanation, but may be subject to change as new areas of science and new technologies are developed
  • Tolerance range – the limits for each of the physical and biological components of the environment an organism can tolerate (in order to survive)

 

Related Vocabulary:

  • Fluxes
  • Processes
  • Reservoirs
  • System
Unit Assessment Items System Resources Other Resources

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Unit Assessment Items that have been published by your district may be accessed through Search All Components in the District Resources tab. Assessment items may also be found using the Assessment Creator if your district has granted access to that tool.

System Resources may be accessed through Search All Components in the District Resources Tab.

State:

Texas Education Agency – Texas Safety Standards

http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=5483 (look under Documents)


TEKS# SE# Unit Level Taught Directly TEKS Unit Level Specificity
 

Legend:

  • Knowledge and Skills Statements (TEKS) identified by TEA are in italicized, bolded, black text.
  • Student Expectations (TEKS) identified by TEA are in bolded, black text.
  • Portions of the Student Expectations (TEKS) that are not included in this unit but are taught in previous or future units are indicated by a strike-through.

Legend:

  • Supporting information / clarifications (specificity) written by TEKS Resource System are in blue text.
  • Unit-specific clarifications are in italicized, blue text.
  • Information from Texas Education Agency (TEA), Texas College and Career Readiness Standards (TxCCRS), and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Project 2061 is labeled.
  • A Partial Specificity label indicates that a portion of the specificity not aligned to this unit has been removed.
E.1 Scientific processes. The student, for at least 40% of instructional time, conducts hands-on laboratory and field investigations using safe, environmentally appropriate, and ethical practices. The student is expected to:
E.1A

Demonstrate safe practices during laboratory and field investigations, including appropriate first aid responses to accidents that could occur in the field such as insect stings, animal bites, overheating, sprains, and breaks.

 

Demonstrate

SAFE PRACTICES DURING FIELD AND LABORATORY INVESTIGATIONS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Wear appropriate safety equipment, such as goggles, aprons, and gloves
  • Follow classroom safety guidelines, as outlined in the Texas Education Agency Texas Safety Standards, 2nd Edition
  • Use lab equipment appropriately
  • Follow field investigation guidelines
  • Limit habitat disturbance / destruction
E.1B

Demonstrate an understanding of the use and conservation of resources and the proper disposal or recycling of materials.

 

Demonstrate

AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE DISPOSAL OR RECYCLING OF MATERIALS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Proper disposal or recycling of materials
    • Disposal
      • Solid and liquid chemical waste
      • Broken glassware
    • Spill cleanup
    • Recycling
      • Paper products
      • Plastics
      • Glass
      • Metals
E.2 Scientific processes. The student uses scientific methods during laboratory and field investigations. The student is expected to:
E.2A

Know the definition of science and understand that it has limitations, as specified in subsection (b)(2) of this section.

Know

THE DEFINITION OF SCIENCE

Including, but not limited to:

  • Science, as defined by the National Academy of Sciences, is the "use of evidence to construct testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process".

Understand

SCIENCE HAS LIMITATIONS

Including, but not limited to:

  • “...some questions are outside the realm of science because they deal with phenomena that are not scientifically testable.”
  • Scientific inquiry may be limited by current technology
E.2B

Know that scientific hypotheses are tentative and testable statements that must be capable of being supported or not supported by observational evidence. Hypotheses of durable explanatory power which have been tested over a wide variety of conditions are incorporated into theories.

Know

THAT SCIENTIFIC HYPOTHESES ARE TENTATIVE AND TESTABLE STATEMENTS THAT MUST BE CAPABLE OF BEING SUPPORTED OR NOT SUPPORTED BY OBSERVATIONAL EVIDENCE

Including, but not limited to:

  • Determine if statements represent testable hypotheses
  • Analyze data to determine whether the data support or do not support hypotheses
  • Widely tested hypotheses
    • Can have durable explanatory power
    • May be incorporated into theories

Note(s):

  • TxCCRS Note:
    • I. Nature of Science – A3 – Formulate appropriate questions to test understanding of natural phenomena. 
E.2E

Follow or plan and implement investigative procedures, including making observations, asking questions, formulating testable hypotheses, and selecting equipment and technology.

Plan, Implement

DESCRIPTIVE, COMPARATIVE, AND EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATIONS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Observe natural phenomena
  • Ask questions
  • Formulate testable hypotheses
  • Follow or design and conduct investigations
    •  Descriptive
    •  Comparative
    •  Experimental
  • Select appropriate equipment and technology

Note(s):

  • TEA:
    • Descriptive, comparative and experimental investigations (Texas Education Agency. (2007-2011)). Laboratory and Field Investigations–FAQ, August 2010. Retrieved from http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index2.aspx?id=5483)
      • Descriptive investigations involve collecting qualitative and/or quantitative data to draw conclusions about a natural or man-made system (e.g., rock formation, animal behavior, cloud, bicycle, electrical circuit). A descriptive investigation includes a question, but no hypothesis. Observations are recorded, but no comparisons are made and no variables are manipulated.
      • Comparative investigations involve collecting data on different organisms/objects/ features/events, or collecting data under different conditions (e.g., time of year, air temperature, location) to make a comparison. The hypothesis identifies one independent (manipulated) variable and one dependent (responding) variable. A ―fair test* can be designed to measure variables so that the relationship between them is determined.
      • Experimental investigations involve designing a ―fair test* similar to a comparative investigation, but a control is identified. The variables are measured in an effort to gather evidence to support or not support a causal relationship. This is often called a ―controlled experiment.
      • * A fair test is conducted by making sure that only one factor (variable) is changed at a time, while keeping all other conditions the same. 
  • TxCCRS:
    • I. Nature of Science – A3 – Formulate appropriate questions to test understanding of natural phenomena.
E.2F

Collect data individually or collaboratively, make measurements with precision and accuracy, record values using appropriate units, and calculate statistically relevant quantities to describe data, including mean, median, and range.

Collect

DATA

Including, but not limited to:

  • Qualitative and / or quantitative
  • On an individual or collaborative basis
  • Record values using appropriate units
  • Demonstrate use of appropriate equipment to collect data
E.2G

Demonstrate the use of course apparatuses, equipment, techniques, and procedures, including meter sticks, rulers, pipettes, graduated cylinders, triple beam balances, timing devices, pH meters or probes, thermometers, calculators, computers, Internet access, turbidity testing devices, hand magnifiers, work and disposable gloves, compasses, first aid kits, binoculars, field guides, water quality test kits or probes, soil test kits or probes, 100-foot appraiser's tapes, tarps, shovels, trowels, screens, buckets, and rock and mineral samples.

 

Demonstrate

THE USE OF COURSE APPARATUSES, EQUIPMENT, TECHNIQUES, AND PROCEDURES

Including, but not limited to:

  • Appropriate use of equipment
    • Rulers
    • Calculators
    • Computers with Internet access
    • Work and disposable gloves
E.2H

Use a wide variety of additional course apparatuses, equipment, techniques, materials, and procedures as appropriate such as air quality testing devices, cameras, flow meters, Global Positioning System (GPS) units, Geographic Information System (GIS) software, computer models, densiometers, clinometers, and field journals.

 

Use

A WIDE VARIETY OF ADDITIONAL COURSE APPARATUSES, EQUIPMENT, TECHNIQUES, MATERIALS, AND PROCEDURES

Including, but not limited to:

  • Additional equipment (as needed)
    • Air quality testing devices
    • Computer models
    • Field journals
E.2I

Organize, analyze, evaluate, build models, make inferences, and predict trends from data.

 

Organize, Analyze, Evaluate, Build models, Make inferences, Predict

TRENDS FROM DATA

Including, but not limited to:

  • Using models
  • Analyze data using different modes of expression (narrative, numerical, graphical)
  • Use appropriate mathematical calculations
    • Possible examples may include:
      • Averaging
      • Percent change
      • Probabilities and ratios
      • Rate of change
  • Use appropriate standard international (SI) units
  • Analyze and evaluate data (narrative, numerical, graphical) in order to make inferences and predict trends
    • Possible data format examples may include:
      • Food chains / food webs
      • Ecological pyramids
      • Abiotic cycles
      • Data and fact tables
      • Graphs
      • Maps
      • Climatogram / climatograph
      • Graphic organizers
      • Feedback loops
      • Images (e.g., illustrations, sketches, photomicrographs)
E.2K

Communicate valid conclusions supported by the data through methods such as lab reports, labeled drawings, graphic organizers, journals, summaries, oral reports, and technology-based reports.

Communicate

VALID CONCLUSIONS SUPPORTED BY DATA

Including, but not limited to:

  • Communicate conclusions in oral, written, and graphic forms
  • Use essential vocabulary of the discipline to communicate conclusions
  • Use appropriate writing practices consistent with scientific writing
  • Present scientific information in appropriate formats for various audiences
  • Methods for communicating conclusions
    • Labeled drawings
    • Diagrams
    • Graphic organizers (including charts and tables)
    • Journals (science notebooks)
    • Summaries
    • Oral reports
    • Possible additional methods for communicating conclusions:
      • Graphs

Note(s):

  • TxCCRS:
    • IV. Nature of Science: Scientific Ways of Learning and Thinking – E1 – Use several modes of expression to describe or characterize natural patterns and phenomena. These modes of expression include narrative, numerical, graphical, pictorial, symbolic, and kinesthetic.
E.3 Scientific processes. The student uses critical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem solving to make informed decisions within and outside the classroom. The student is expected to:
E.3B

Communicate and apply scientific information extracted from various sources such as current events, news reports, published journal articles, and marketing materials.

Communicate, Apply

SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION

Including, but not limited to:

  • Review scientific information from a variety of sources
  • Summarize and communicate scientific information from a variety of sources
  • Evaluate the quality and accuracy of information from research sources
    • Current events
    • News reports
    • Published journal articles
    • Marketing materials
    • Possible additional sources may include:
      • Books
      • Interviews, conference papers
      • Science notebooks
      • Search engines, databases, and other media or online tools
E.4 Science concepts. The student knows the relationships of biotic and abiotic factors within habitats, ecosystems, and biomes. The student is expected to:
E.4C

Diagram abiotic cycles, including the rock, hydrologic, carbon, and nitrogen cycles.

Diagram

ABIOTIC CYCLES

Including, but not limited to:

  • Abiotic cycles
    • Rock
    • Hydrologic
    • Carbon
    • Nitrogen
      • Chemical forms of each element at each stage of the cycle (TxCCRS)
    • Possible additional examples include:
      • Oxygen-water
      • Sulfur
      • Phosphorus

Note(s):

  • TxCCRS Note:
    • X. Environmental Science – A1 – Recognize the Earth’s systems.
    • X. Environmental Science – A5 – Be familiar with Earth’s major biomes.
    • X. Environmental Science – A6 – Describe the Earth’s major biogeochemical cycles.
E.4D

Make observations and compile data about fluctuations in abiotic cycles and evaluate the effects of abiotic factors on local ecosystems and local biomes.

Make

OBSERVATIONS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Fluctuations in abiotic cycles
    • Precipitation data
    • Temperature ranges
    • Nutrient concentrations
    • Energy

Compile

DATA

Including, but not limited to:

  • Fluctuations in abiotic cycles
    • Precipitation data
    • Temperature ranges
    • Nutrient concentrations
    • Energy

Evaluate

THE EFFECTS OF ABIOTIC FACTORS ON LOCAL ECOSYSTEMS AND LOCAL BIOMES

Including, but not limited to:

  • Impact of abiotic cycles on ecosystems and biomes
    • Where an organism can live
    • How much a population can grow
      • Limiting factors
    • Tolerance range
    • Eutrophication

Note(s):

  • TxCCRS Note:
    • VI. Biology – C2 – Recognize variations in population sizes, including extinction, and describe mechanisms and conditions that produce these variations.
    • X. Environmental Science – A1 – Recognize the Earth’s systems. 
E.5 Science concepts. The student knows the interrelationships among the resources within the local environmental system. The student is expected to:
E.5E

Analyze and evaluate the economic significance and interdependence of resources within the environmental system.

 

Note: The focus of Unit 01: Ecosystem Dynamics included an introduction to the economic significance and interdependence of resources within the environmental system. The focus for this unit is the interdependence of these resources (how matter cycles and energy flows through abiotic cycles).

Analyze

INTERDEPENDENCE OF RESOURCES WITHIN THE ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEM

Including, but not limited to:

  • Interdependence of resources within the environmental system
    • Abiotic and biotic
      • Sunlight
      • Organisms
      • Soil
      • Water
E.6 Science concepts. The student knows the sources and flow of energy through an environmental system. The student is expected to:
E.6A

Define and identify the components of the geosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere and the interactions among them.

Define, Identify

COMPONENTS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL SYSTEM

Including, but not limited to:

  • Geosphere
    • Characteristics (location, composition, interactions of layers, and changes through time)
      • Core
      • Mantle
      • Crust
        • Tectonic plates
  • Hydrosphere
    • Characteristics (solid, liquid, and gaseous water on Earth; composition and location of bodies of water)
      • Fresh water
        • Percentage of Earth’s total supply
      • Salt water
        • Percentage of Earth’s total supply
  • Cryosphere
    • Characteristics (location, composition)
      • Glaciers
      • Permafrost areas
  • Atmosphere
    • Characteristics (location, composition, interactions of layers, atmospheric circulation, relative temperature, and pressure)
      • Troposphere
      • Stratosphere
      • Mesosphere
      • Thermosphere
  • Biosphere
    • Characteristics (location, characteristic organisms, climate, interactions of abiotic and biotic factors)
      • Desert
      • Deciduous forest
      • Rainforest
      • Grassland
      • Tundra
      • Taiga
      • Savanna
      • Salt water
      • Fresh water

Identify

INTERACTIONS AMONG EARTH SYSTEMS

  • Interactions
    • Atmosphere and hydrosphere interactions
      • Weather and climate
      • Air currents and ocean currents
  • Possible additional interactions may include:
    • Hydrosphere and cryosphere interactions
      • Global climate
    • Cryosphere and geosphere interactions
      • Glaciation (e.g., increased soil fertility and additional water sources)
    • Geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere interactions
      • Effects of volcanic eruption
      • Effects of Amazon deforestation
    • Hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere
      • Wind farm development

Note(s):

  • TxCCRS Note:
    • VI. Biology – G1 – Identify Earth’s major biomes, giving their locations, typical climate conditions, and characteristic organisms present in each.
    • VI. Biology – G2 – Know patterns of energy flow and material cycling in Earth's ecosystems.
    • X. Environmental Science – B1 – Know the various sources of energy for humans and other biological systems.
E.6C

Explain the flow of energy in an ecosystem, including conduction, convection, and radiation.

Explain

FLOW OF ENERGY IN AN ECOSYSTEM

Including, but not limited to:

  • Conduction
    • Heat transfer from earth or soil to organisms
  • Convection
    • Currents
      • Air
      • Water
      • Mantle
  • Radiation
    •  Transference of solar energy to Earth

Note(s):

  • TxCCRS Note:
    • VI. Biology – G2 – Know patterns of energy flow and material cycling in Earth's ecosystems.
    • X. Environmental Science – A6 – Describe the Earth’s major biogeochemical cycles.
    • X. Environmental Science – B1 – Understand energy transformations.
    • X. Environmental Science – B1 – Know the various sources of energy for humans and other biological systems.
E.6D

Investigate and explain the effects of energy transformations in terms of the laws of thermodynamics within an ecosystem.

Investigate, Explain

EFFECTS OF ENERGY TRANSFORMATIONS IN TERMS OF THE LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS WITHIN AN ECOSYSTEM

Including, but not limited to:

  • Energy transformation in terms of the laws of thermodynamics
    • Laws of thermodynamics
      •  First law of thermodynamics: The energy of the universe is constant. Energy can be transferred and transformed, but it cannot be created or destroyed. Energy for the functioning of an ecosystem comes from the Sun. Solar energy is absorbed by plants where in it is converted to stored chemical energy. Plants act as energy transformers, converting light to chemical energy. Whenever energy is converted from one form into another, some of it is given off as heat, which is the most random form of energy.
        • Possible example:
          • Within a food web, light energy is transformed into chemical energy for producers and consumers, and then into mechanical energy for consumers. The amount of energy being transferred through the web cannot be greater than the amount initially supplied by the Sun (via a producer)
      • Second law of thermodynamics: Every energy transfer or transformation increases the entropy (measure of disorder or randomness) of the universe. The increasing entropy takes the form of an increase in the amount of heat. Energy flows into an ecosystem in the form of light and leaves the ecosystem in the form of heat. The entropy of a particular system may decrease, so long as the total entropy of the universe increases.
        • Possible example:
          • Energy decreases as it moves up trophic levels as illustrated in a food web, because energy is lost as metabolic heat
          • When one animal feeds off another, there is a loss of heat (energy) in the process
          • In an ecosystem, predators evolve so as to be better able to capture their prey, which increases the efficiency of flow of energy through trophic levels (decreased entropy) but reduces a system's stability (increased entropy overall)  

Note(s):

  • TxCCRS Note:
    • VI. Biology – G2 – Know patterns of energy flow and material cycling in Earth's ecosystems.
    • X. Environmental Science – B1 – Understand energy transformations.
    • X. Environmental Science – B1 – Know the various sources of energy for humans and other biological systems.
E.6E

Investigate and identify energy interactions in an ecosystem.

Investigate, Identify

ENERGY INTERACTIONS IN AN ECOSYSTEM

Including, but not limited to:

  • Energy interactions between biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere
  • Photosynthesis
  • Ecological pyramids
  • Food webs

Note(s):

  • TxCCRS Note:
    • X. Environmental Science – B1 – Understand energy transformations.
The English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS), as required by 19 Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 74, Subchapter A, §74.4, outline English language proficiency level descriptors and student expectations for English language learners (ELLs). School districts are required to implement ELPS as an integral part of each subject in the required curriculum.

School districts shall provide instruction in the knowledge and skills of the foundation and enrichment curriculum in a manner that is linguistically accommodated commensurate with the student’s levels of English language proficiency to ensure that the student learns the knowledge and skills in the required curriculum.


School districts shall provide content-based instruction including the cross-curricular second language acquisition essential knowledge and skills in subsection (c) of the ELPS in a manner that is linguistically accommodated to help the student acquire English language proficiency.

http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter074/ch074a.html#74.4 


Choose appropriate ELPS to support instruction.

ELPS# Subsection C: Cross-curricular second language acquisition essential knowledge and skills.
Click here to collapse or expand this section.
ELPS.c.1 The ELL uses language learning strategies to develop an awareness of his or her own learning processes in all content areas. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.1A use prior knowledge and experiences to understand meanings in English
ELPS.c.1B monitor oral and written language production and employ self-corrective techniques or other resources
ELPS.c.1C use strategic learning techniques such as concept mapping, drawing, memorizing, comparing, contrasting, and reviewing to acquire basic and grade-level vocabulary
ELPS.c.1D speak using learning strategies such as requesting assistance, employing non-verbal cues, and using synonyms and circumlocution (conveying ideas by defining or describing when exact English words are not known)
ELPS.c.1E internalize new basic and academic language by using and reusing it in meaningful ways in speaking and writing activities that build concept and language attainment
ELPS.c.1F use accessible language and learn new and essential language in the process
ELPS.c.1G demonstrate an increasing ability to distinguish between formal and informal English and an increasing knowledge of when to use each one commensurate with grade-level learning expectations
ELPS.c.1H develop and expand repertoire of learning strategies such as reasoning inductively or deductively, looking for patterns in language, and analyzing sayings and expressions commensurate with grade-level learning expectations.
ELPS.c.2 The ELL listens to a variety of speakers including teachers, peers, and electronic media to gain an increasing level of comprehension of newly acquired language in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in listening. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.2A distinguish sounds and intonation patterns of English with increasing ease
ELPS.c.2B recognize elements of the English sound system in newly acquired vocabulary such as long and short vowels, silent letters, and consonant clusters
ELPS.c.2C learn new language structures, expressions, and basic and academic vocabulary heard during classroom instruction and interactions
ELPS.c.2D monitor understanding of spoken language during classroom instruction and interactions and seek clarification as needed
ELPS.c.2E use visual, contextual, and linguistic support to enhance and confirm understanding of increasingly complex and elaborated spoken language
ELPS.c.2F listen to and derive meaning from a variety of media such as audio tape, video, DVD, and CD ROM to build and reinforce concept and language attainment
ELPS.c.2G understand the general meaning, main points, and important details of spoken language ranging from situations in which topics, language, and contexts are familiar to unfamiliar
ELPS.c.2H understand implicit ideas and information in increasingly complex spoken language commensurate with grade-level learning expectations
ELPS.c.2I demonstrate listening comprehension of increasingly complex spoken English by following directions, retelling or summarizing spoken messages, responding to questions and requests, collaborating with peers, and taking notes commensurate with content and grade-level needs.
ELPS.c.3 The ELL speaks in a variety of modes for a variety of purposes with an awareness of different language registers (formal/informal) using vocabulary with increasing fluency and accuracy in language arts and all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in speaking. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.3A practice producing sounds of newly acquired vocabulary such as long and short vowels, silent letters, and consonant clusters to pronounce English words in a manner that is increasingly comprehensible
ELPS.c.3B expand and internalize initial English vocabulary by learning and using high-frequency English words necessary for identifying and describing people, places, and objects, by retelling simple stories and basic information represented or supported by pictures, and by learning and using routine language needed for classroom communication
ELPS.c.3C speak using a variety of grammatical structures, sentence lengths, sentence types, and connecting words with increasing accuracy and ease as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.3D speak using grade-level content area vocabulary in context to internalize new English words and build academic language proficiency
ELPS.c.3E share information in cooperative learning interactions
ELPS.c.3F ask and give information ranging from using a very limited bank of high-frequency, high-need, concrete vocabulary, including key words and expressions needed for basic communication in academic and social contexts, to using abstract and content-based vocabulary during extended speaking assignments
ELPS.c.3G express opinions, ideas, and feelings ranging from communicating single words and short phrases to participating in extended discussions on a variety of social and grade-appropriate academic topics
ELPS.c.3H narrate, describe, and explain with increasing specificity and detail as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.3I adapt spoken language appropriately for formal and informal purposes
ELPS.c.3J respond orally to information presented in a wide variety of print, electronic, audio, and visual media to build and reinforce concept and language attainment.
ELPS.c.4 The ELL reads a variety of texts for a variety of purposes with an increasing level of comprehension in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in reading. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across the foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. For Kindergarten and Grade 1, certain of these student expectations apply to text read aloud for students not yet at the stage of decoding written text. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.4A learn relationships between sounds and letters of the English language and decode (sound out) words using a combination of skills such as recognizing sound-letter relationships and identifying cognates, affixes, roots, and base words
ELPS.c.4B recognize directionality of English reading such as left to right and top to bottom
ELPS.c.4C develop basic sight vocabulary, derive meaning of environmental print, and comprehend English vocabulary and language structures used routinely in written classroom materials
ELPS.c.4D use prereading supports such as graphic organizers, illustrations, and pretaught topic-related vocabulary and other prereading activities to enhance comprehension of written text
ELPS.c.4E read linguistically accommodated content area material with a decreasing need for linguistic accommodations as more English is learned
ELPS.c.4F use visual and contextual support and support from peers and teachers to read grade-appropriate content area text, enhance and confirm understanding, and develop vocabulary, grasp of language structures, and background knowledge needed to comprehend increasingly challenging language
ELPS.c.4G demonstrate comprehension of increasingly complex English by participating in shared reading, retelling or summarizing material, responding to questions, and taking notes commensurate with content area and grade level needs
ELPS.c.4H read silently with increasing ease and comprehension for longer periods
ELPS.c.4I demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing basic reading skills such as demonstrating understanding of supporting ideas and details in text and graphic sources, summarizing text, and distinguishing main ideas from details commensurate with content area needs
ELPS.c.4J demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing inferential skills such as predicting, making connections between ideas, drawing inferences and conclusions from text and graphic sources, and finding supporting text evidence commensurate with content area needs
ELPS.c.4K demonstrate English comprehension and expand reading skills by employing analytical skills such as evaluating written information and performing critical analyses commensurate with content area and grade-level needs.
ELPS.c.5 The ELL writes in a variety of forms with increasing accuracy to effectively address a specific purpose and audience in all content areas. ELLs may be at the beginning, intermediate, advanced, or advanced high stage of English language acquisition in writing. In order for the ELL to meet grade-level learning expectations across foundation and enrichment curriculum, all instruction delivered in English must be linguistically accommodated (communicated, sequenced, and scaffolded) commensurate with the student's level of English language proficiency. For Kindergarten and Grade 1, certain of these student expectations do not apply until the student has reached the stage of generating original written text using a standard writing system. The student is expected to:
ELPS.c.5A learn relationships between sounds and letters of the English language to represent sounds when writing in English
ELPS.c.5B write using newly acquired basic vocabulary and content-based grade-level vocabulary
ELPS.c.5C spell familiar English words with increasing accuracy, and employ English spelling patterns and rules with increasing accuracy as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5D edit writing for standard grammar and usage, including subject-verb agreement, pronoun agreement, and appropriate verb tenses commensurate with grade-level expectations as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5E employ increasingly complex grammatical structures in content area writing commensurate with grade-level expectations, such as:
ELPS.c.5F write using a variety of grade-appropriate sentence lengths, patterns, and connecting words to combine phrases, clauses, and sentences in increasingly accurate ways as more English is acquired
ELPS.c.5G narrate, describe, and explain with increasing specificity and detail to fulfill content area writing needs as more English is acquired.
Last Updated 09/17/2019
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