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Instructional Focus Document
Biology Systems Macro to Micro
TITLE : Unit 01: Ecosystems SUGGESTED DURATION : 14 days

Unit Overview

Introduction

This unit focuses on the processes and interactions within ecosystems.

 

Prior to this Unit

  • Grade 7
    • 7.10A – Observe and describe how different environments, including microhabitats in schoolyards and biomes, support different varieties of organisms.
    • 7.10B – Describe how biodiversity contributes to the sustainability of an ecosystem.
    • 7.10C – Observe, record and describe the role of ecological succession such as in a microhabitat of a garden with weeds.
  • Grade 8
    • 8.11A – Investigate how organisms and populations in an ecosystem depend on and may compete for biotic factors such as food and abiotic factors such as quantity of light, water, range of temperatures, or soil composition.
    • 8.11B – Explore how short and long-term environmental changes affect organisms and traits in subsequent populations.

 

During this Unit

Students explore the ecosystems of the world and living and nonliving features that characterize individual ecosystems. Students interpret relationships between organisms, analyze the flow of matter and energy through trophic levels and cycles, and describe the impact of environmental change, including human impact, on ecosystem stability.

 

Streamlining Note

Former TEKS B.11A, B.11B, and B.12D were removed. Students are no longer expected to describe the role of internal feedback mechanisms in the maintenance of homeostasis; however, regulation in animals is still addressed in B.10A, and homeostasis at the cellular level is addressed in B.4B. Students are no longer expected to investigate and analyze how organisms, populations, and communities respond to external factors. Students are no longer expected to recognize that long-term survival of species is dependent on changing resource bases that are limited. Former TEKS B.11C and B.11D were recoded to new TEKS B.11A and B.11B respectively. Former TEKS B.12E and B.12F were recoded to new TEKS B.12D and B.12E respectively.

 

After this Unit

Students will recognize the processes occurring in their own ecosystem. Students will apply their understanding of ecosystems to make informed ethical and social decisions.

 

Additional Notes

STAAR Note

The Biology STAAR will directly assess Student Expectations in the following Reporting Categories:

  • Reporting Category 4: Biological Processes and Systems
    • B.10C – Supporting Standard
  • Reporting Category 5: Interdependence within Environmental Systems
    • B.11A – Supporting Standard
    • B.11B – Readiness Standard
    • B.12A – Readiness Standard
    • B.12B – Supporting Standard
    • B.12C – Readiness Standard
    • B.12D – Supporting Standard
    • B.12E – Readiness Standard

 

Research

“Discussions of ecosystems can both contribute to and be reinforced by students' understanding of the systems concept in general...This level is also a time to ask what this knowledge of the flow of matter and energy through living systems suggests for human beings.”

American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1993). Benchmarks on-line. Retrieved from http://www.project2061.org/publications/bsl/online/index.php


Scientists investigate natural phenomena in order to understand and explain each phenomenon in terms of systems.

  • How are the properties of systems and their components related to their classification?
  • How are the components, processes, and / or patterns of systems interrelated?

 

Scientific investigation is an orderly process to ensure that scientific claims are credible.

  •  How is scientific knowledge generated and validated?

 

Data is systematically collected, organized, and analyzed in terms of patterns and relationships to develop reasonable explanations and make predictions.

  • What gives meaning to data?
  • What is the value of observing patterns and relationships in data?

 

Scientists analyze, evaluate, and critique each other’s work using principles of scientific investigations in order to build on one another’s ideas through new investigations.

  • How can we know what to believe about a scientific claim?
  • What is the value of scientific literacy?
Unit Understandings
and Questions
Overarching Concepts
and Unit Concepts
Performance Assessment(s)

Ecosystems are complex interdependent networks of organisms and resources that interact and influence each other.

  • In what ways can organisms interact and influence each other?
  • In what ways are organism adaptations influenced by their ecosystem?
  • In what ways are organisms influenced by the resources in their ecosystem?

Systems

  • Ecosystem

 

Classifications

  • Population
  • Community

 

Properties

  • Abiotic
  • Biotic
  • Relationships among organisms

 

Patterns

  • Succession

 

Models

  • Food chain
  • Food web
  • Ecological pyramid

 

Constancy

  • Cycling of matter

 

Change

  • Microorganism disruption
  • Adaptations in different ecosystems
  • Flow of energy
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.

Ecosystems are complex interdependent networks of organisms and resources that interact and influence each other.

  • In what ways can organisms interact and influence each other?
  • In what ways is an ecosystem affected by changes in the flow of resources?
  • In what ways can ecosystems be analyzed by the levels of organization within them?
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.

Ecosystems are complex interdependent networks of organisms and resources that interact and influence each other.

  • In what ways can organisms interact and influence each other?
  • In what ways are organisms influenced by the resources in their ecosystem?
  • In what ways is an ecosystem affected by changes in the flow of resources?
  • In what ways can ecosystems be analyzed by the levels of organization within them?
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 accumulates in an ecosystem, so that a top predator has all of the energy from the organisms below it, rather than 90% of it being used by their prey and lost as heat to the environment at each level.
  • Students may think a species high on the food web is a predator to everything below it.
  • Students may think the arrows in a food web point to what an organism eats, rather than representing the flow of energy. (This causes students to place all arrows in a food web in the wrong direction.)
  • Students may think producers receive their energy through the absorption of nutrients, rather than through the process of photosynthesis or chemosynthesis.
  • Students may think that biological communities are unable to recover from human damage or natural disaster, rather than some species evolving to cope with or benefitting from environmental disturbances.

Unit Vocabulary

Key Content Vocabulary:

  • Commensalism – a symbiotic relationship where one organism benefits while the other organism is unaffected
  • Competition – two or more organisms using the same limited resources causing some organisms to be unable to access the resources
  • Ecological succession – changes in the composition of species found in a community over time
  • Ecosystem – a community interacting with its environment through a one-way flow of energy and the cycling of materials
  • Ecosystem stability – the ability of an ecosystem to return to a state of equilibrium following a disturbance
  • Hypothesis – a tentative and testable statement that must be capable of being supported or not supported by evidence
  • Mutualism – a symbiotic relationship where both organisms benefit
  • Parasitism – a symbiotic relationship where one organism benefits while the other organism is harmed
  • Predation – an ecological relationship where one organism (predator) eats the other organism (prey)
  • Trophic level – position that organism(s) occupy in a food web, which is defined by its relationship to the primary energy source

 

Related Vocabulary:

  • Adapted
  • Abiotic factor
  • Autotroph
  • Biomagnification
  • Biosphere
  • Biotic factor
  • Carbon sinks (carbon reservoirs)
  • Carnivore
  • Carrying capacity
  • Community
  • Consumer
  • Dead zones
  • Decomposer
  • Decomposition
  • Detritivore (detrivore)
  • Diversity
  • Dynamic equilibrium
  • Ecological pyramid
  • Environment
  • Environmental resistance
  • Extinction
  • Feeding methods
  • Fitness
  • Food web
  • Herbivore
  • Heterotroph
  • Infection
  • Invasive species
  • Limiting factors
  • Material cycling
  • Natural selection
  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites
  • Nitrogen cycle
  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Omnivore
  • Organism
  • Population
  • Primary consumer
  • Primary succession
  • Producer
  • Resilience
  • Resistance
  • Secondary consumer
  • Secondary succession
  • Species
  • Symbiosis
  • Tertiary consumer
  • Variation
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 Center 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)

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA – Abiotic Cycles

https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/abiotic-cycles

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA – Biological Systems: System Organization

https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/biological-systems-system-organization

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA – Ecological Succession

https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/ecological-succession

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA

Energy and Matter in Ecosystems

https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/energy-and-matter-ecosystems

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA – Homeostasis: Ecological Systems

https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/homeostasis-ecological-systems

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA – Homeostasis: Microorganisms

https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/homeostasis-microorganisms

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA – Homeostasis – Succession

https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/homeostasis—succession

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA – Relationships Between Organisms: Food Chains, Webs, and Pyramids

https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/relationships-between-organisms-food-chains-webs-and-pyramids

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA – Survival of a Species

https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/survival-species

 

Texas Gateway for Online Resources by TEA – Symbiosis

https://www.texasgateway.org/resource/symbiosis


TAUGHT DIRECTLY TEKS

TEKS intended to be explicitly taught in this unit.

TEKS/SE 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.
  • Student Expectations (TEKS) are labeled Readiness as identified by TEA of the assessed curriculum.
  • Student Expectations (TEKS) are labeled Supporting as identified by TEA of the assessed curriculum.
  • Student Expectations (TEKS) are labeled Process standards as identified by TEA of the assessed curriculum.
  • 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.

Specificity 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.
TEKS# SE# TEKS SPECIFICITY
B.1 Scientific processes. The student, for at least 40% of instructional time, conducts laboratory and field investigations using safe, environmentally appropriate, and ethical practices. The student is expected to:
B.1A Demonstrate safe practices during laboratory and field investigations.
Process Standard

Demonstrate

SAFE PRACTICES DURING LABORATORY AND FIELD INVESTIGATIONS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Wear appropriate safety equipment, such as goggles, aprons, and gloves
  • Know location of safety equipment, such as fire extinguisher, safety shower, and eye wash
  • Follow classroom safety guidelines, as outlined in the Texas Education Agency Texas Safety Standards
  • Handle organisms appropriately
  • Use lab equipment appropriately

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
B.1B Demonstrate an understanding of the use and conservation of resources and the proper disposal or recycling of materials.
Process Standard

Demonstrate

AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE USE AND CONSERVATION OF RESOURCES AND THE PROPER DISPOSAL OR RECYCLING OF MATERIALS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Use and conservation of resources
  • Reducing pollution
  • Being a wise consumer
  • Decreasing reliance on fossil fuels
  • Preserving habitats
  • Proper disposal or recycling of materials

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
B.2 Scientific processes. The student uses scientific practices and equipment during laboratory and field investigations. The student is expected to:
B.2E Plan and implement descriptive, comparative, and experimental investigations, including asking questions, formulating testable hypotheses, and selecting equipment and technology.
Process Standard

Plan, Implement

DESCRIPTIVE, COMPARATIVE, AND EXPERIMENTAL INVESTIGATIONS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Observe natural phenomena
  • Ask questions
  • Formulate testable hypotheses
  • Plan and implement investigations
    • Descriptive
    • Comparative
    • Experimental
  • Select appropriate equipment and technology

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
  • 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. 
B.2F

Collect and organize qualitative and quantitative data and make measurements with accuracy and precision using tools such as data-collecting probes, standard laboratory glassware, microscopes, various prepared slides, stereoscopes, metric rulers, balances, gel electrophoresis apparatuses, micropipettes, hand lenses, Celsius thermometers, hot plates, lab notebooks or journals, timing devices, Petri dishes, lab incubators, dissection equipment, meter sticks, and models, diagrams, or samples of biological specimens or structures.


Process Standard

Collect, Organize

DATA

Including, but not limited to:           

  • Qualitative
  • Quantitative

Make

MEASUREMENTS WITH ACCURACY AND PRECISION USING TOOLS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Data collecting probes
  • Standard laboratory glassware
  • Stereoscopes
  • Metric rulers
  • Hand lenses
  • Lab notebooks or journals (science notebooks)
  • Timing devices
  • Meter sticks
  • Models, diagrams, or samples of biological specimens or structures  

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
    • Students will be allowed to utilize 4 function, scientific, or graphing calculators on the STAAR Biology Assessment.
B.2G Analyze, evaluate, make inferences, and predict trends from data.
Process Standard

Analyze, Evaluate, Make inferences, Predict

TRENDS FROM DATA

Including, but not limited to:

  • 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
      • Data and fact tables
      • Graphs
      • Maps
      • Graphic organizers
      • Images (e.g., illustrations, sketches, photomicrographs)

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
    • Students may be asked to interpret data in multiple contexts in order to make inferences and predict trends.
  • TxCCRS:
    • I. Nature of Science – A2 – Use creativity and insight to recognize and describe patterns in natural phenomena.
    • I. Nature of Science – A4 – Rely on reproducible observations of empirical evidence when constructing, analyzing, and evaluating explanations of natural events and processes.
B.2H 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.
Process Standard

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
  • Various methods for communicating conclusions
    • Lab reports
    • Labeled drawings
    • Diagrams
    • Graphic organizers (including charts and tables)
    • Graphs
    • Journals (science notebooks)
    • Summaries
    • Oral reports
    • Technology-based reports

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
  • 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.
B.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:
B.3A Analyze, evaluate, and critique scientific explanations by using empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and experimental and observational testing, so as to encourage critical thinking by the student.
Process Standard

Analyze, Evaluate, Critique

SCIENTIFIC EXPLANATIONS SO AS TO ENCOURAGE CRITICAL THINKING BY THE STUDENT

Including, but not limited to:

  • Use
    • Empirical evidence
    • Logical reasoning
    • Experimental and observational testing
  • Examine
    • All sides of scientific evidence of those explanations

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
  • Project 2061: By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that:
    • Scientific knowledge is subject to modification as new information challenges prevailing theories and as a new theory leads to looking at old observations in a new way. 1A/M2
    • Some scientific knowledge is very old and yet is still applicable today. 1A/M3
    • Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data. 1B/M1b*
    • If more than one variable changes at the same time in an experiment, the outcome of the experiment may not be clearly attributable to any one variable. It may not always be possible to prevent outside variables from influencing an investigation (or even to identify all of the variables). 1B/M2ab
  • TxCCRS:
    • I. Nature of Science – A1 – Utilize skepticism, logic, and professional ethics in science.
    • I. Nature of Science – A4 – Rely on reproducible observations of empirical evidence when constructing, analyzing, and evaluating explanations of natural events and processes.
B.3B Communicate and apply scientific information extracted from various sources such as current events, published journal articles, and marketing materials.
Process Standard

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
    • Possible ways of communicating information:
      • Graphic organizer
      • Graphs
      • Written or verbal reports
      • Data tables
      • Advertisements
  • Evaluate the quality and accuracy of information from research sources
    • Current events
    • Published journal articles
    • Marketing materials
    • Possible additional sources may include:
      • Books
      • Interviews, conference papers
      • News reports
      • Product or food labels
      • Science notebooks
      • Search engines, databases, and other media or online tools

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
B.3E Evaluate models according to their limitations in representing biological objects or events.
Process Standard

Evaluate

MODELS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Examine and evaluate various biological models (including physical, mathematical, and conceptual)
  • Identify advantages and limitations in biological models
    • Possible examples of biological models may include:
      • Simulations
      • Food chains
      • Food webs
      • Ecological pyramids

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • The process skills will be incorporated into at least 40% of the test questions and will be identified along with content standards.
B.10 Science concepts. The student knows that biological systems are composed of multiple levels. The student is expected to:
B.10C Analyze the levels of organization in biological systems and relate the levels to each other and to the whole system.
Supporting Standard

Analyze

LEVELS OF ORGANIZATION IN BIOLOGICAL SYSTEMS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Relationships between levels of organization within biological systems
  • Hierarchy of organization
    • Organism
    • Population
    • Community
    • Ecosystem
    • Biosphere

Relate

LEVELS TO EACH OTHER AND TO THE SYSTEM AS A WHOLE

Including, but not limited to:

  • Relationships between levels of organization within biological systems
  • Differences from one biological level to the next
  • How each level of organization fits into the system as a whole
  • Examples that share the same level of organization

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • In Grade 6, students are introduced to levels of organization within ecosystems, including organism, population, community, and ecosystem (6.12F).
    • In Grade 7, students recognize levels of organization in plants and animals, including cell, tissue, organ, organ system, and organism (7.12C).  
B.11 Science concepts. The student knows that biological systems work to achieve and maintain balance. The student is expected to:
B.11A

Summarize the role of microorganisms in both maintaining and disrupting the health of both organisms and ecosystems.


Supporting Standard

 

Summarize

ROLE OF MICROORGANISMS IN MAINTAINING AND DISRUPTING THE HEALTH OF ECOSYSTEMS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Examples of microorganisms
    • Bacteria
    • Fungi
    • Protists
    • Plants (some algae)
  • Role of microorganisms in maintaining health of ecosystems
    • Aiding in the processes of decomposition required for the cycling of nutrients / elements in an ecosystem
    • Fixation of nitrogen
  • Role of microorganisms in disrupting health of ecosystems
    • Producing toxins in water systems (algal blooms)

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • This is the first time students have been introduced to the role microorganisms play in maintaining and disrupting the health of organisms and ecosystems. 
B.11B Describe how events and processes that occur during ecological succession can change populations and species diversity.
Readiness Standard

Describe

HOW EVENTS AND PROCESSES THAT OCCUR DURING ECOLOGICAL SUCCESSION CAN CHANGE POPULATIONS AND SPECIES DIVERSITY

Including, but not limited to:

  • Types of succession
    • Primary succession (e.g., volcanic activity)
    • Secondary succession (e.g., forest fires, mudslides)
  • Common organisms that are pioneer species
    • Primary succession  lichens, mosses
    • Secondary succession  grasses
  • Events and processes that occur during succession
  • Dynamics of population and species diversity throughout stages of succession
  • Relationship between biomass productivity and population change throughout succession
  • Predict the changes that will occur next in an area undergoing succession

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • In Grade 7, students are introduced to ecological succession (7.10C). Students observe, record, and describe the role of ecological succession in a microhabitat.
  • TxCCRS:
    • VI. Biology – G4 – Know the process of succession.
B.12 Science concepts. The student knows that interdependence and interactions occur within an environmental system. The student is expected to:
B.12A Interpret relationships, including predation, parasitism, commensalism, mutualism, and competition, among organisms.
Readiness Standard

Interpret

RELATIONSHIPS AMONG ORGANISMS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Symbiotic relationships
    • Parasitism
    • Commensalism
    • Mutualism
  • Community interactions
    • Predation
    • Competition for resources
  • Fitness

Note(s):

  • TxCCRS:
    • VI. Biology – G3 – Understand typical forms of organismal behavior.
B.12B Compare variations and adaptations of organisms in different ecosystems.
Supporting Standard

Compare

VARIATIONS AND ADAPTATIONS OF ORGANISMS IN DIFFERENT ECOSYSTEMS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Within different ecosystems, compare adaptations of organisms for each of the following
    • Physiological adaptations
      • Strategies that organisms use to obtain energy (e.g., autotrophs, heterotrophs)
      • Temperature regulation
      • Other possible examples may include:
        • Production of venom
        • Production of adrenaline
        • Antibiotic resistance
    • Anatomical adaptations
      • Armament (e.g., claws, thorns, teeth)
      • Body shape
      • Body covering (e.g., camouflage, mimicry, temperature control)
    • Behavioral adaptations
      • Mating (e.g., courtship behaviors, mating calls)
      • Vocalization
      • Migratory behavior
      • Searching for food
      • Feeding methods

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • In Grade 7, students are introduced to variation within populations and species that enhance survival (7.11B). Students explain variation within a population or species by comparing external features, behaviors, or physiology of organisms that enhance their survival. 
    • In Grade 3, students are introduced to the physical characteristics of environments and how they support populations and communities of plants and animals within an ecosystem (3.9A). In Grade 7, students observe and describe how different environments, including biomes, support different varieties of organisms (7.10A). 
  • TxCCRS:
    • VI. Biology – G1 – Identify Earth’s major biomes, giving their locations, typical climate conditions, and characteristic organisms present in each.
B.12C Analyze the flow of matter and energy through trophic levels using various models, including food chains, food webs, and ecological pyramids.
Readiness Standard

Analyze

FLOW OF MATTER AND ENERGY THROUGH TROPHIC LEVELS USING MODELS

Including, but not limited to:

  • Flow of matter and energy
    • Flow of matter is cyclic
    • Flow of energy requires constant input
  • Models
    • Food chains
    • Food webs
    • Ecological pyramids (e.g., food pyramids, energy pyramids, pyramids of biomass, pyramids of numbers)
  • Describe the trophic levels
    • Autotrophs (producers)
      • Possible examples may include:
        • Algae
        • Phytoplankton
        • Plants
        • Cyanobacteria
        • Mosses
        • Some protozoa
    • Heterotrophs (consumers)
      • Possible examples may include:
        • Primary
        • Secondary
        • Tertiary
        • Herbivores
        • Carnivores
        • Omnivores
    • Decomposers
      • Possible examples may include:
        • Fungi
        • Protists
        • Bacteria
    • Detritivores (detrivores)
      • Possible examples may include:
        • Millipedes
        • Wood lice
        • Types of earthworms
  • Calculate the amount of energy available at each trophic level (10% rule) using an energy pyramid
  • Solar energy drives most ecosystems
  • Biological magnification (e.g., pesticide levels)

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • In Grade 7, students are introduced the flow of energy through living systems as diagramed by food chains, food webs, and energy pyramids (7.5B). 
  • Project 2061: By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that:
    • 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
  • TxCCRS:
    • VI. Biology – G2 – Know patterns of energy flow and material cycling in Earth’s ecosystems.
B.12D Describe the flow of matter through the carbon and nitrogen cycles and explain the consequences of disrupting these cycles.
Supporting Standard

Describe

THE FLOW OF MATTER THROUGH THE CARBON AND NITROGEN CYCLES AND EXPLAIN THE CONSEQUENCES OF DISRUPTING THESE CYCLES

Including, but not limited to:

  • Carbon cycle
    • Carbon sinks (reservoirs)
    • Processes that move carbon through the cycle
    • Organisms that move carbon through the cycle
    • Examples of disruption of carbon cycle
      • Deforestation and other destruction of biota
      • Urbanization
      • Grassland conversion
      • Burning of fossil fuels
  • Nitrogen cycle
    • Nitrogen sinks (reservoirs)
    • Processes that move nitrogen through the cycle
    • Organisms that move nitrogen through the cycle
    • Examples of disruption of nitrogen cycle
      • Misuse of fertilizers
      • Dumping organic waste into bodies of water
      • High concentration of animal waste
      • Monoculture in farming
  • Consequences of disrupting these cycles (e.g., increase or decrease in nitrogen or carbon output)
    • Disruptions may affect the following:
      • Climate change
      • Greenhouse effect
      • Primary productivity (rate at which plants and other photosynthetic organisms produce organic compounds in an ecosystem)
      • Eutrophication
      • Soil acidification
      • Acid rain
      • Algal bloom
      • Smog
      • Human health

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • This is the first time students have been explicitly introduced to the carbon and nitrogen cycles.
  • TxCCRS:
    • VI. Biology – G2 – Know patterns of energy flow and material cycling in Earth’s ecosystems.
B.12E Describe how environmental change can impact ecosystem stability.
Readiness Standard

Describe

HOW ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE CAN IMPACT ECOSYSTEM STABILITY

Including, but not limited to:

  • Ecosystem stability
    • Dynamic equilibrium or dynamic balance
      • Growth factors (biotic potential)
      • Limiting factors (environmental resistance)
    • Diversity-stability relationship
    • Material cycling
    • Resilience
    • Resistance
  • Environmental changes
    • Possible examples may include:
      • Greenhouse effect
      • Climate changes
      • Pollution / biomagnifications
      • Acid precipitation
      • Deforestation
      • Overfishing or hunting
      • Building of dams
      • Disease
      • Introduction of invasive species

Note(s):

  • STAAR:
    • In Grade 7, students are introduced to sustainability of an ecosystem. Students describe how biodiversity contributes to the sustainability of an ecosystem (7.10B). Students are also introduced to how natural events and human activity can impact Earth systems (7.8A, 7.8B, and 7.8C). Students predict and describe how catastrophic events impact ecosystems (7.8A), analyze the effects of weathering, erosion, and deposition on the environment (7.8B), and model the effects of human activity on ground water and surface water in a watershed (7.8C).
    • In Grade 8, students recognize human dependence on ocean systems and explain how human activities have modified these systems (8.11C).
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 10/07/2019
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