This is a 4-5 day set of activities that uses a systems thinking approach to teach students about the various components of ecosystems as well as the different roles that organisms have within the ecosystem.
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Students use the engineering design process to design and build magnetic-field detectors, and use them to find hidden magnets. Parallels are drawn to real-world NASA missions and how NASA scientists use magnetic field data from planets and moons. The website has video clips, teaching suggestions, a student handout, and a link to the pdf of the Teachers Guide for Mission: Solar System. The Inspector Detector challenge is a series of activities that form a unit in the Mission: Solar System collection. * NOTE: The Teachers Guide does not contain the lesson plan. You will need to click on the Student Handout heading of the website to download the Inspector Detector Challenge Leaders Notes.
Students watch video clips of animals and plants in their natural environments to determine what living things need to survive. They will then complete an illustration of their own real or imagined plant or animal fulfilling one or more of their needs for survival, within their natural environment. While this lesson does a good job explaining how animals meet their needs through their environments, additional lessons and experiences with plants would need to be provided in order to meet the full standard.
In this activity, the learner explores various ways in which organisms reproduce. The learner discusses the role that reproduction plays in the cycle of life. By watching short videos and participating in follow-up discussion: 1. They observe that no individual organism lives forever and in order to continue species, organisms must pass their genetic instructions on to the next generation. 2. They learn that organisms reproduce asexually, by dividing and producing two identical copies of themselves. 3. They learn that many plants reproduce sexually, often using complex strategies that have evolved over millions of years. 4. They explore the pros and cons of asexual and sexual reproduction and the reasons both strategies persist.