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     Q2  Environments - Eliciting Students' Ideas


    (Handouts for use in this segment)

    On the Olympic Peninsula here in Washington State we have a large variety of environments all with very different looking plants and animals. Here are three images taken at three different locations on the Olympic Peninsula. One image is from the Hoh River Rainforest, one is from high up in Olympic National Park in the Seven Lakes Basin, and the other is near the town of Sequim on the Dungeness River. Observe the different forms of plants that live in these different areas.

    This unit begins by having students examine some images from our local environment here in Washington State. The students must consider why the plants in each of these images are so different in appearance from one another. Students are asked to make careful observations of the plant structures and then to consider the factors (living and non-living) in the environment that cause such differences in the plants appearances. Students are asked to make a claim for why these plants are so different. During the first part of the investigation, students are provided futher evidence in the form of temperature data, elevation, rainfall, and wind direction.

    1. Students are provided with images from the three different environments on the Olympic Peninsula and asks “What factors impact these different environments found here on the Olympic Peninsula?”

      7 Lakes Basin  Hoh  Dungeness

    2. Students make observations about the plants (trees) focusing on the differences
    3. Teacher asks for students to make predictions of why these plants look so different
    4. Teacher collects student responses across the range of ideas or collects 1-3 ideas that can serve as initial claims (post in classroom for reference)
    5. Provide additional “evidence cards” which show elevation, rainfall, and weather patterns 

      Rainfall  Elevation

    6. Students are asked to revisit initial claims and provide evidence in support or to refute Use this introduction activity to launch
    7. Use this introduction activity to launch exploration of the terrestrial environments
    8. Periodically revisit the initial claims in light of the new information learned during the investigations 

    Science and Engineering Practice: Engaging in Argument from Evidence- students make claims and use presented data to construct an explanation for the variation in the plant species within the three environments on the Olympic Peninsula.