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EDUC 513: Elementary Science Methods

5E Lesson Plan

Lesson Title 3rd Grade Ecosystem Interdependence and Food Webs

Your Name Elizabeth Martin

Purpose The purpose of this lesson is to enrich students with an inquiry-based science lesson
that will teach them about ecosystem interdependence and food webs. Students will
follow a 5E model of Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate.
State/National/NG PA Standards Aligned System (SAS):
SS Standards  Standard 3.1.3.A1 – Describe characteristics of living things that help to identify
and classify them.
 Standard 3.1.3.A2 – Describe the basic needs of living things and their
dependence on light, food, air, water, and shelter.
 Standard 3.1.3.C1 – Recognize that many plants and animals can survive harsh
environments because of seasonal behaviors (e.g. hibernation, migration, trees
shedding leaves).
 Standard 3.1.3.C2 – Describe animal characteristics that are necessary for survival.

NGSS Standards:
 3-LS4-3 – Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some
organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at
all.
 3-LS4-4 – Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when
the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may
change.
Materials &  Food Web and Food Chain Anchor Chart
Equipment  (5) large corkboards (24”)
 Thumbtacks
 Animal cards
 What If There Were No Gray Wolves? By Suzanne Slade
 Food Chain Writing Sheet
 The Class’s Interactive Science Notebooks (pre-existing)

Instructional At the end of this lesson the students will be able to:
Objectives 1. Demonstrate understanding of what producers, consumers and decomposers are and
how they show interdependence within a food chain.
2. Classify living things as producers, consumers or decomposers.
3. Construct a food web model, knowing the specific characteristics of the given
plants/animals.
Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.
There must be a will to produce a superior thing.
John Ruskin
EDUC 513: Elementary Science Methods
4. Demonstrate an understanding of the transfer of energy within a food web.
5. Demonstrate an understanding of adaptations within an ecosystem and their
importance.
6. Define why certain animals do not survive within an ecosystem and how this affects
the entire system.
7. Hypothesize ways that animals within an ecosystem can adapt to changes in the
environment.
ENGAGE  Students will see a single question written on the Smartboard when they enter
Activities the classroom–
What is a Food Chain?
The class will brainstorm what they already know about the concept together and
write it on the K(now) part of a KWL chart on the anchor board.

 Students will play “Food Web Rock, Paper, Scissors.” For this game, students
will all stand so that they can circulate around the room. There are four
possible living things that they can be and each is represented by a body
motion:
o Grass (hands wiggle at top of head)
o Bunny (hands up like paws and they hop)
o Snake (hands together and form an S in front of them, going out from
chest area
o Hawk (hands flap up and down as they fly)
Students can start out as whatever organism they would like, as indicated by their
hand motions. They will quietly walk around and engage in (1) one game of Rock,
Paper, Scissors with a classmate. Rules:
o You can only play with someone else who is the same organism as
yourself.
o The winner moves up the food chain and becomes the next higher
organism (grass -> bunny, bunny -> snake, etc.). They continue
playing but must now find someone who is their new organism to play
against.
o The loser stays the same organism and must then go find another
person who is the same organism as himself to play against.
o Hawks do not eat each other, so once you are a hawk, you are the top
of the food chain.
After the game has ended, when just about everyone is a hawk, the students will return
to their seats and the investigation question is formed:
Which member of this ecosystem would affect the food web the most if removed?
EXPLORE  Students take out their Interactive Science Notebooks (ISN), which they have
Activities been using all year for Science. Per our classroom process, we have a title for
each new topic and then the left-hand side of the notebook is reserved for
Engage and Explore(Inquiry) and the right-hand side is for Explain and
Evaluation. At this point, the students take a few minutes to brainstorm on

Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.


There must be a will to produce a superior thing.
John Ruskin
EDUC 513: Elementary Science Methods
their left-hand side. They can write hypotheses, draw pictures and brainstorm
thoughts in order to process the investigation question. Below is a sample of an
ISN, with inquiry notes on the left and pictures, notes, on the right.

 The class comes back together and as a class they propose some inquiry
questions they would like to know. This is noted on the (W)hat I Want to
Know section of the KWL chart up front.
 The class is then divided into groups of four and each group is given a large
corkboard, a pile of thumb tacks and a stack of animal cards. They are
instructed to work collaboratively to construct a food web in geoboard form,
based on what they know about the different plants/animals presented. The
teacher tells the students to explore how energy may be involved in a food web
and to discuss with their peers as they explore together. Similar to below:

 Halfway through the exploration time, the teacher has everyone stop what they
are doing and poses the investigation question once again - Which member of
an ecosystem would affect the food web the most if removed?- telling students
to now explore removing an animal from their food webs. They should
physically test removing certain animals to see what other changes must then
be made to accommodate. How does this affect the rest of the ecosystem and
food web? Explore.
 Students are always encouraged to have their ISN open during the Inquiry
portion of the lesson to write notes, observations, draw pictures as they
explore.

Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.


There must be a will to produce a superior thing.
John Ruskin
EDUC 513: Elementary Science Methods
EXPLAIN  As the class comes back together, the teacher has them engage in discussion
Activities about what they have observed and discovered. She goes around to each group
and they tell the class a “3-2-1” (3 things they discovered, 2 problems they
found and 1 question they still had).
 The teacher uses an anchor chart similar to this one to visually reinforce the
food chain and food web concept.

 A discussion on how energy is passed from animal to animal as they move up


the food chain is discussed. It can graphically be depicted on this chart,
allowing students to demonstrate the movement of energy visually.
 Students are encouraged to relate the animals in the two interactive activities to
this chart. Where are the grass, rabbit, snake and hawk depicted? Which other
animals that they had in the geoboard food web activity could they relate to
this chart and where would they fit in? How?
 Another question is posed as a result of this explanation –
What do certain animals’ eating habits have in common and how are they
different from others?
 The class will begin to note that some eat other animals, some eat plants and
that some make their own food. Direct instruction for the terminologies
consumer, producer, carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, and decomposer will help
to classify these groupings. What are some examples of a decomposer?
Similar to these anchor charts below, living organisms will start to be
classified by this trait.

Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.


There must be a will to produce a superior thing.
John Ruskin
EDUC 513: Elementary Science Methods

ELABORATE  Now that we have discussed different roles in the food chain, have classified
Activities animals into these different categories, have seen how intertwined food chains
form food webs and have discussed how energy travels through a food chain,
lets read the following book:

 How are similarities and differences used to aid survival? What helps the
survival rate of some animal to increase?
 Students return to their investigation groups and the terminology Adaptations
is written on the board. Students are given two half-size hula hoops and are
told to lay them on the table as shown below, forming a Venn Diagram Each
group has a stack of index cards. They are to nominate a scribe for the group
who will do the group’s writing. On three cards they will write the words
ANIMALS, PLANTS and BOTH. Those are placed in the Venn Diagram as
shown. As a group, they are to hypothesize what the terminology Adaptation
means and to write examples on individual index cards, placing their general
adaptations into the appropriate position in their Venn Diagram. After the
groups have worked, they should have a populated Venn Diagram similar to

Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.


There must be a will to produce a superior thing.
John Ruskin
EDUC 513: Elementary Science Methods
this one: .

 When all groups have finished, the teacher will draw a blank Venn Diagram
onto the board. Students raise hands and share an adaptation their group
thought of and will tape that index card on the board in the ANIMAL, PLANT
or BOTH section of the class Venn Diagram.
 Applying this content: The class will discuss which specific adaptations they
found within the book that they read and how they helped certain animals to
survive.
EVALUATE  Students will now fill out the right-hand side of their ISN and this will be
Activities collected for evaluation. They are given the worksheet under the Handouts
section. Once they have completed it, they can tape it into their ISN to be
collected.
 Students are to fill in the boxes to demonstrate understanding of the food
chain. They can choose to write their answer or to draw and label pictures in
the boxes. Below the boxes, students are to write a response to our
investigation question, with relation to the animals in the initial Rock, Paper,
Scissors game they played:
Which member of this ecosystem would affect the food web the most if removed?
Grading will be done based on the attached rubric and a self-evaluation is done for
each unit and turned in for the teacher to see.
References  Self-evaluation. Retrieved from http://www.anacrusic.com/blog/
 Food Chain Evaluation. Retrieved from
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Food-Chain-Writing-Activity-
English-Spanish-665916
 Adaptation; Consumer/Producer/Decomposer Anchor Charts; Interactive
Notebook; Geoboard Game; Food Webs Anchor Chart. Retrieved from
http://www.pinterest.com
 Food Web Rock, Paper, Scissors Game. Retrieved from
https://www.youtube.com/watch/?v=eOHEmuF4E4Q
 Slade, Suzanne (2010). What If There Were No Gray Wolves? New York, NY.
Picture Window Books.
Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.
There must be a will to produce a superior thing.
John Ruskin
EDUC 513: Elementary Science Methods
Handouts (attach) Evaluation
Worksheet:

Evaluation Rubric:

Needs
Description Excellent Good Improvement

Student demonstrates a clear


knowledge of food webs. 3 2 1
Student uses effective learning
strategies to come to a conclusion,
including talk of concepts learned
throughout the lesson (energy flow,
adaptations, food web, food chain,
consumer, producer, decomposer,
etc.) 3 2 1
Student applies logical thinking,
using what is known to logically
come to a conclusion.
Understanding of the concepts is
evident. 3 2 1
Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.
There must be a will to produce a superior thing.
John Ruskin
EDUC 513: Elementary Science Methods
Student's work is written according
to the conventions of good grammar,
capitalization and good spelling. 3 2 1
Student has answered the
investigation question posed in his
answer. 3 2 1

Self Evaluation:

Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.


There must be a will to produce a superior thing.
John Ruskin