The Pop Ecology Files
Description of the Lesson
Students will learn to enter data into a spreadsheet, graph said data, and interpret the data in order to identify a group of mystery species.
Computational Thinker Middle School 5b: Students find or organize data and use technology to analyze and represent it to solve problems and make decisions.
SC8.3.3.d Ecosystems: Determine the biotic and abiotic factors that impact the number of organisms an ecosystem can support.
Rubric Used for Assessment
Example Student Artifact(s)
Student Example 1
Student Example 2
Lesson Design Reflection
- Summary: Students will learn to enter data into a spreadsheet, graph said data, and interpret the data in order to identify a group of mystery species.
- Subject and Grade Level: Science 6-8
- Student Learning Objectives:
- Students will be able to create a variety of line graphs on Google Sheets.
- Interpret graphs that depict populations charted over time.
- Compare population growth of species.
- State Standard(s):
- SC8.3.3.d Ecosystems: Determine the biotic and abiotic factors that impact the number of organisms an ecosystem can support.
- ISTE Standard:
- Computational Thinker Middle School 5b: Students find or organize data and use technology to analyze and represent it to solve problems and make decisions.
- HOOK/ATTENTION GETTER:
- Present the following dilemma: “Your aunt left a stack of her papers with you while she was traveling in the wilderness. These papers include important population data that she has gathered on the species she’s studied over the years. She’s due back in town today, so you want to give her papers back to her, but they’ve gotten all mixed up. You have the data, and you know the list of species, but you can’t tell what data goes with what species. By graphing the population data for each species, you’ll be able to sort it all out. “
- DIRECT INSTRUCTION:
- The class will have already learned about populations, ways to count populations, and factors that affect population sizes.
- GUIDED PRACTICE:
- Students will be given this document (Links to an external site.) that gives them step-by-step instructions for entering data into a Google Sheet and for making line graphs of the data they entered. The class will read it aloud together while the teacher gives a live demonstration on the projector.
- INDEPENDENT PRACTICE:
- Once the students read through this document (Links to an external site.), they will work with a partner to create their spreadsheets and graphs.
- DESCRIPTION OF LEARNING ARTIFACT:
- See student samples below.
- Students will create one tab on Google Sheets with their Data.
- Students will create separate tabs for each Unknown Species graph.
- Students can create an additional tab with their species identification and explanation, or they can include that on their LMS.
- Once students have finished graphing their data, they will then refer to the Species List section of the handout (Links to an external site.) in order to identify each unknown species and offer a scientific reason explaining how they came to each conclusion. Students will answer these questions on a separate tab on their Google Sheet. The Sheet will then be submitted on the LMS.
- ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING ARTIFACT:
- Student work will be graded out of 144 points. Points are earned for entering the data correctly, graphing the data correctly, identifying the unknown species correctly, and explaining how each species is identified correctly. The answer key is included on the handout (Links to an external site.).