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    Investigation 1: Systems Investigation 2: Nutrient Systems
      1.1 Everyday Systems
    1.2 The Earth System
    1.3 Kelp Forest Food Web
    1.4 Recycling
      2.1 Yeast Nutrition
    2.2 Plant Nutrition
    2.3 Animal Nutrition
           
    Investigation 3: Transport Systems Investigation 4: Sensory Systems
      3.1 Plant Vascular System
    3.2 Circulatory System
    3.3 Respiratory System
      4.1 Stimulus/Response
    4.2 Attention
    4.3 Instinct and Learning
    4.4 Ecosystems

     


    Investigation 1: Systems

    Students are introduced to a system as a collection of interacting parts that work together to make a whole or produce an action. They explore earth as a system, focusing on the biosphere and describing ecosystems by looking at feeding relationships and energy transfers, described as food webs. Students model food chains and food webs in a wood ecosystem and a marine ecosystem. Each group of students sets up a redworm habitat to study detritivores and the role of decomposition in ecosystems.

    1.1 Everyday Systems

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students are introduced to a system as a collection of interacting parts that work together to make a whole or produce an action. They are presented with a common device and identify all the elements that go together to make that system. Students describe other systems and subsystems.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    A system is a collection of interacting objects, ideas and/or procedures that together define a physical entity or process.A subsystem is a small system that is inside a larger system.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    How can you identify a system?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    Xxx

    Formative Assessment Task

    xxx

    1.2 The Earth System

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students explore Earth as a system. Through video, they are introduced to four subsystems of planet Earth--the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. Students focus on the biosphere and describe ecosystems by looking at feeding relationships and energy transfers, described as food webs.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Earth can be described as the interaction of four earth systems.
    Food webs are subsystems within ecosystems. They describe the transfer of matter and energy within the system.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    Is planet Earth a system?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    Xxx

    Formative Assessment Task

    xxx

    1.3 Kelp Forest Food Web

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students work with organism cards to create food webs in a kelp forest. They are introduced to a marine ecosystem and investigate food webs in the system.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    A kelp forest has similarities to a rain forest.
    Phytoplankton are the major producers in most aquatic systems.
    Food webs and competition for resources exist in marine systems.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    What organisms are both predators and prey in the kelp forest ecosystem?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    Xxx

    Formative Assessment Task

    xxx

    1.4 Recycling

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Each group of students sets up a redworm habitat system to study detritivores. They record what organic materials go into the habitat with about 15 redworms and observe changes in the worm jar over 1-2 months.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Food webs are made up of producers (organisms that make their own food), consumers (organisms that eat other organisms to obtain food) and decomposers (organisms that consume and recycle dead organisms and organic waste).

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    What happens when compost worms interact with organic litter?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    Xxx

    Formative Assessment Task

    xxx

    Investigation 2: Nutrient Systems

    Students investigate nutrient systems of yeast, plants, and animals. They design an investigation to determine the necessary conditions for activating dry yeast. They plant wheat and observe the seedlings to determine which plants have chlorophyll. Students infer that the plants growing in light are producing food to provide nutrients to their cells. Students investigate how animals acquire nutrients by eating and digesting food.

    2.1 Yeast Nutrition

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students design an investigation to determine the necessary conditions for activating dry yeast. After determining that water and a cookie produce yeast activity, they conduct experiments to discover that it is the sugar in the cookie that activates the yeast. Yeast is introduced as a single-celled fungus.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Yeast is a single celled fungus.
    Dormant yeast cells can become active with water, warmth and sugar as a food source.
    Carbon dioxide is a waste by-product of yeast metabolism.
    A nutrient is a substance that is used by a cell to produce the energy needed to perform the functions of life.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    What does yeast need to break its dormancy?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    Xxx

    Formative Assessment Task

    xxx

    2.2 Plant Nutrition

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students think about how to break the dormancy of another organism, the wheat plant. They plant wheat seeds in containers of soil and place half of the planters in a lighted environment and the other half in a dark environment. Students read about the action of chlorophyll and its role in the manufacture of sugar. They observe their wheat plants to determine which plants have chlorophyll. Students infer that the plants growing in light are the ones prepared to produce food to provide nutrients to their cells.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Plants make their own food by photosynthesis.
    Chlorophyll is the green pigment that absorbs sunlight in the cells or producer organisms.
    Green plant cells make sugar (food) from carbon dioxide and water in the presence of sunlight and release oxygen.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    How do plants get the food they need?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    Xxx

    Formative Assessment Task

    xxx

    2.3 Animal Nutrition

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students investigate how animals acquire nutrients for their cells by eating and digesting food. The painted lady butterfly goes through its life cycle while students observe the larvae and adults eating different food sources. The human digestive system is explored through a video that shows an experiment on chemical digestion in the stomach.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Animals obtain nutrients by eating other organisms.
    Digestion is the process used by animals to break down complex food items into simple nutrients.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    How do animals get the nutrients they need?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    Xxx

    Formative Assessment Task

    xxx

    Investigation 3: Transport Systems

    Students learn that all cells have basic needs: water, food, gas exchange, and waste disposal. They explore the transport systems that multicellular organisms have for moving nutrients and wastes. Students investigate leaf transpiration, model a human heart system, and investigate their lung volume to find out about the interacting parts of the vascular system in plants and the circulatory and respiratory system in humans.

    3.1 Plant Vascular Systems

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students continue their exploration of plants by observing the veins in leaves. They plant wheat seeds in clear straws to allow detailed observation of the development of leaves and to investigate their functions. Students go outdoors to discover what happens when some foliage of a growing plant is constrained in a clear plastic bag. When moisture condenses inside the bag, students speculate about the source of water they find.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Vascular bundles are arranged in predictable patterns of veins in the leaves of vascular plants.
    Vascular plants have specialized tissues for the transport of water, minerals, and sugar to cells: xylem tubes carry water and minerals from the plant's roots to the cells in a one-way flow; phloem tubes carry sugar from the leaves to all cells that need it.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    How are nutrients transported to cells in a plant?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    Xxx

    Formative Assessment Task

    xxx

    3.2 Circulatory Systems

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students see a video showing how blood is delivered to every human cell by a system of vessels connected to a pump, the heart. They read about the structures inside the human heart. Students use simple equipment to assemble a functional model of a circulatory system that can pump blood to the lungs, collect blood from the lungs, and pump it to the body, where it is recycled.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    All cells have basic needs: water, food, gas exchange and waste disposal.  Multicellular organisms have systems for transporting nutrients and waste.
    In the human circulatory system, blood transports resources to the cells and wastes from the cells.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    How do humans transport nutrients to all their cells?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    Xxx

    Formative Assessment Task

    xxx

    3.3 Respiratory Systems

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students study the structures and functions of the interacting parts of the respiratory system, learning about the acquisition and distribution of oxygen, and the process of waste removal. They measure their lung volume (vital capacity) and read about the circulatory and respiratory systems of other animals.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    In humans, the respiratory system transports oxygen to the blood and carbon dioxide from the blood.
    All cells have basic needs: water, food, gas exchange and waste disposal.  Multicellular organisms have systems for transporting nutrients and waste.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    Why do people breathe?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    Xxx

    Formative Assessment Task

    xxx

    Investigation 4: Sensory Systems

    Through video, text, and simulations, students learn about the role of sensory and motor neurons in brain messages. They explore ways that animals communicate through sound, visual displays, and smell. They find out about the roles that instinct and learned behavior plays in the life of animals. Students revisit the redworm habitats established in Investigation 1 and take a final look at the process of decomposition. To bring closure to the study of systems, students find out about the North Atlantic Ocean ecosystem and its importance in the carbon cycle.

    4.1 Stimulus/Response

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Through video and text, students learn about the role of sensory and motor neurons in brain messages. They use a falling cup to investigate the time that elapses between a visual stimulus and a response. They compare food-response time to hand-response time.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    A stimulus is something that triggers (starts) a response. A stimulus is often information received through the senses.
    A response is a reaction of a living thing to a stimulus.
    Response time is the length of time it takes for a person to respond to a stimulus.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    In dodgeball, how are you able to avoid being hit?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    Xxx

    Formative Assessment Task

    xxx

    4.2 Attention

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Each student chooses attention-getting colors, patterns, and a habitat for an action card. The cards are distributed to other students, who create organisms outdoors to attract the attention of the student who completed the card.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Animal adaptations include pattern and color that attract attention to warn predators off or to attract a mate.
    Animals communicate to warn others of danger, scare predators away, or locate others of their kind, including family members.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    What features of organisms attract attention?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    Xxx

    Formative Assessment Task

    xxx

    4.3 Instinct and Learning

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students learn about instinctive and learned behaviors. They study the monarch butterflies and their instinctive migration over several generations.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Instinctive behaviors, such as knowing what to eat, how to find shelter and how to migrate help organisms survive.
    Some animals learn behaviors by watching adults or through trial and error.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    What behaviors are instinctive, and what behaviors are learned?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    Xxx

    Formative Assessment Task

    xxx

    4.4 Ecosystems

    Key Activity - What Students Do

    Students bring their study of decomposers to an end by dismantling the worm-habitat system they started 2 months earlier. They study marine ecosystems and are introduced to the importance of the ocean in the carbon cycle.

    Key Learning/NGSS Connections - What do Students figure out?

    Marine ecosystems have biotic (living) and abiotic (nonliving) parts.
    Phytoplankton are the base of the food chain in the ocean.
    The ocean plans an important role in the carbon cycle.

    Big Idea - Focus Questions

    What are the parts of a marine ecosystem?

    Connection to Anchoring Phenomenon

    Xxx

    Formative Assessment Task

    xxx