Proficiency Assessment
H.2L.1 Energy Flow
H.2L.2 Ecosystems/Populations
H.2E.4 Human Impact
Title: Ecosystem Project
Standard H.2L.1 Explain how energy and chemical elements pass through systems. Describe how
chemical elements are combined and recombined in different ways as they cycle through the various
levels of organization in biological systems.
Standard H.2L.2 Explain how ecosystems change in response to disturbances and interactions. Analyze
the relationships among biotic and abiotic factors in ecosystems.
Standard H.2E.4 Evaluate the impact of human activities on environmental quality and the
sustainability of Earth systems. Describe how environmental factors influence resource management.
Background Information
H.2L.1 Energy Flow
Background skills and knowledge:
Energy
• Continually provided by sunlight
• Most is dissipated as heat, some is used by organisms to support life processes
• Energy needs to be continually supplied.
Chemical Elements
• Limited amount available.
• Cycled through the environment (Carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle, water cycle)
• Cell - Organism - Ecosystem – Biosphere
Learning Targets:
Explain how energy passes through systems.
Explain how chemical elements pass through systems.
Describe how chemical elements are combined and recombined in different ways as
they cycle through the various levels of organization in biological systems.
Vocabulary: heterotroph, autotroph, decomposer, trophic level, energy pyramid, food
chain/web, chemosynthesis photosynthesis, phytoplankton, zooplankton, producer, consumer
respiration, niche, biotic, abiotic, biome, biodiversity, biosphere, carrying capacity, community,
symbiotic, population, succession (primary, secondary, tertiary), limiting factors, greenhouse
effect, global warming, renewable, nonrenewable, aerosol, carbon dioxide, deforestation,
desertification, fossil-fuel, ozone, petroleum.
H.2L.2 Ecosystems/Populations
Background skills and knowledge:
Ecosystems:
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
September 4, 2012
• Dynamic, not static
• All ecosystems are interconnected.
• All aspects of ecosystems are interconnected.
• Invasive species and ecosystem changes can produce instability.
Biotic and Abiotic Factors:
• Can be limiting
• Can affect population growth
• Succession
• Niche
Types of Symbiotic Relationship
• Commensalism
• Mutualism
• Parasitism
Learning Targets:
Explain how ecosystems change in response to disturbances
Explain how ecosystems change in response to interactions.
Analyze the relationships among biotic and abiotic factors in ecosystems.
Vocabulary: niche, biotic, abiotic, biome, biodiversity, biosphere, carrying capacity, community,
symbiotic, population, succession (primary, secondary, tertiary), limiting factors
H.2E.4 Human Impact
Background skills and knowledge:
Human activities have an environmental impact which affects resource management.
 Increased consumption of fossil fuels impact habitats, contributes to climate change,
stresses natural processes that renew some renewable resource and depletes resources
that are nonrenewable.
 Human activities, such as pesticide use and strip mining, change resources and
environment. This may lead to habitat change, landscape changes, resource depletion.
 Sustainable systems require replenishment. Humans have a responsibility to continue
exploring ways to conserve or replace resources.
 Human activities and their effects have an economic impact that should include a
cost/benefit analysis.
Learning Targets:
Evaluate the impact of human activities on environmental quality.
Evaluate the impact of human activities on the sustainability of Earth systems.
Describe how environmental factors influence resource management.
Vocabulary: greenhouse effect, global warming, renewable, nonrenewable, aerosol, carbon
dioxide, deforestation, desertification, fossil-fuel, ozone, petroleum
Assessment
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
September 4, 2012
This three-part project is designed to allow students to explain and describe the flow of energy within
an ecosystem and biogeochemical cycles. Following that, students will explain and analyze the effect of
an increase and decrease of a species on other parts of an ecosystem, and the effect of abiotic and
biotic changes on an ecosystem. In the last part of the project, students will evaluate and describe the
impact of human activities on Earth systems.
Type: Poster and writing project
Time needed: 2-3 class periods for poster, 1-2 class periods for each writing portion
Materials: Poster paper, access to research (computers, library or textbooks), paper and pencil
– can be typed at teacher’s discretion
Directions: Deliver first student task description and scoring guide to students. Give them time
to create poster. Deliver second student task description and scoring guide to students. Give
them time to write. Deliver third student task description and scoring guide to students. Give
them time to write.
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
September 4, 2012
Student Handout
Ecosystem Project – Part 1
H.2L.1 Energy Flow
Research
You will be working by yourself and time is limited to complete the research. Work quickly and
efficiently. Focus on the must-haves, not the if-you-cans, first.
Choose a keystone species or biome to provide a direction for research. Inform your teacher of your
chosen species. These will be assigned first-come, first-served and you will not be allowed to use a
species already taken. Research tip: Identify a list of organisms first, then begin finding out the details.
Things to find about your organisms:
1. Common name
2. Scientific name
3. Range (where they live) [this points you in the direction of the ecosystem to research and
will tell you what other species live there]
4. Common feeding habits and energy requirements
Interesting and may help with extensions but not required:
5. Breeding habits (when, how many offspring)
6. Estimated population (average numbers per unit area would be better here)
Poster
You will make a food-web poster for a particular biome or ecosystem containing the keystone species.
The food web must contain:
o At least five food chains consisting of a producer, a primary consumer, a secondary consumer,
and decomposer.
o Each consumer must be labeled as an herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, or decomposer.
o Use scientific names in addition to any common names.
o Five abiotic factors also must be included and labeled.
o Poster may be drawn freehand, or you may cut and paste pictures from magazines or computer
printouts.
You will make an ecological pyramid for one of your food chains. Show the relative amount of energy
and/or biomass as it flows up your pyramid. Create a pyramid of numbers based on your food chain –
Caution: This may not be wider on the base than it is at the top.
See Chapters 3.2, 4.2, and 4.3 for vocabulary, and Figure 3-8 for one example of how to display
information. You will have 3+ days in the library. Posters are due at the beginning of class on
________. Bring your book to class.
Example Keystone Species
African Elephant
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Beaver
September 4, 2012
Black-bellied
Salamander
Black-tailed Prairie Dog
Gopher Tortoise
Gray Wolves
Grizzly Bears
Howler Monkey
Jaguar
Kangaroo Rat
Mountain Lions
Pacific Salmon
Plateau Pika
Red-naped Sapsuckers
Sea Otter
Sea Star (Pisaster
ochraceus)
Snowshoe Hare
Biomes
Marine
Ocean
Coral Reef
Estuary
Tropical Rainforest
Savanna
Scrub Forest
Desert
Steppe
Temperate Deciduous
Forest
Taiga
Arctic Tundra
Alpine Tundra
Temperate Rainforest
Chaparral
Prairie
Check list
Ecosystem Project – Part 1
Include the Following
Heading
Title
Name (First and Last)
Date
Class
Elements
Spelling
Conventions (capitalization, punctuation, paragraphs)
Use vocabulary from state standard: heterotroph, autotroph,
decomposer, trophic level, energy pyramid, food chain/web,
chemosynthesis photosynthesis, phytoplankton, zooplankton,
producer, consumer, respiration
See Directions/procedures
Scoring
See rubric
Format
Poster with drawing/pictures, connections
Written explanation
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Evidence = X
September 4, 2012
Ecosystem Project – Part 2
H.2L.2 Ecosystems/Populations
Research
You will be working by yourself and time is limited to complete the research. Work quickly and
efficiently. Focus on the must-haves, not the if-you-cans, first.
Choose a keystone species or biome to provide a direction for research. Inform your teacher of
your chosen species. These will be assigned first-come, first-served and groups will not be
allowed to use a species already taken. Research tip: Identify a list of organisms first, then
begin finding out the details.
Things to find out about your ecosystem/biome:
1. Dominant producer(s)
2. Temperature
a. Average
b. Range [if you can easily]
i. Annual
ii. Diurnal (daily)
c. Extreme
3. Precipitation
a. Amount
b. Distribution (season when it falls) [if you can easily]
c. Type
d. Reliability
Poster
Add and/or label your food web with:
o At least one predator-prey relationship must be shown.
o At least one correctly identified symbiotic relationship.
Conclusion
Once you finish your poster, on a clean piece of notebook paper:
1. Pick one organism from your predator-prey relationship. Explain what would happen to
your predator-prey populations if the numbers of your chosen organism went up and
what would happen if the numbers went down.
2. Pick one organism from your symbiotic relationship. Explain what would happen to
your symbiotic populations if the numbers of your chosen organism went up and what
would happen if the numbers went down.
3. Pick one organism from your food web. Explain what would happen to your entire food
web if the numbers of your chosen organism went up and what would happen if the
numbers went down.
4. Pick an abiotic factor. Explain what would happen to your entire food web if the abiotic
factor was removed or limited severely.
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
September 4, 2012
Check list
Ecosystem Project – Part 2
Include the Following
Heading
Title
Name (First and Last)
Date
Class
Elements
Spelling
Conventions (capitalization, punctuation, paragraphs)
Use vocabulary from state standard: niche, biotic, abiotic, biome,
biodiversity, biosphere, carrying capacity, community, symbiotic,
population, succession (primary, secondary, tertiary), limiting factors
See Directions/procedures
Scoring
See rubric
Format
Poster with drawing/pictures, connections
Written explanation
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Evidence = X
September 4, 2012
Ecosystem Project – Part 3
H.2E.4 Human Impact
Conclusion
On a clean piece of notebook paper, explain the impact on your ecosystem of a human activity
like:
Extinction
Overhunting
Oil spill
Fire
Mining
Farming
Logging
Chemical spill
Pesticide use
Herbicide use
Abandonment of domesticated animals (dogs, cats, pigs, goats)
Introduction of non-native species
OR anything else you can think of humans do than might disturb your ecosystem.
Check list
Ecosystem Project – Part 3
Include the Following
Heading
Title
Name (First and Last)
Date
Class
Elements
Spelling
Conventions (capitalization, punctuation, paragraphs)
Use vocabulary from state standard: greenhouse effect, global
warming, renewable, nonrenewable, aerosol, carbon dioxide,
deforestation, desertification, fossil-fuel, ozone, petroleum.
See Directions/procedures
Scoring
See rubric
Format
Written explanation
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Evidence = X
September 4, 2012
Scoring Guide
H.2L.1 Energy Flow
Standard: Explain how energy and chemical elements pass through systems. Describe
how chemical elements are combined and recombined in different ways as they cycle
through the various levels of organization in biological systems.
Score
Description:
4.0
Exceeds
Explain the interconnection of the linear path of energy and the
cyclical nature of matter.
3.5
Can complete level 3.0 and can partially complete level 4.0.
3.0
Meets
Explain how energy passes through biological systems. Describe
how chemical elements pass through biological systems and how
elements are combined and recombined in different ways as they
cycle through various levels of organization.
2.5
Can complete level 2.0 and can partially complete level 3.0 or 4.0
2.0
Nearly Meets
Recognize that energy and chemical elements can be combined in
specific ways as they move through biological systems.
1.5
Can complete level 1.0 and can partially complete level 2.0, 3.0, or
4.0.
1.0
Beginning
Recognize that matter and energy move through biological
systems in predictable ways, with help
0.5
Can produce some evidence of basic knowledge, with help.
0.0
Has no
understanding
Cannot provide any evidence of knowledge or understanding, even
with help.
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
September 4, 2012
Scoring Guide
H.2L.2 Ecosystems
Standard: Explain how ecosystems change in response to disturbances and interactions.
Analyze the relationships among biotic and abiotic factors in ecosystems.
Score
Description:
4.0
Exceeds
Predict the response that would occur in an ecosystem due to
changes in the biotic and abiotic factors related to that ecosystem.
3.5
Can complete level 3.0 and can partially complete level 4.0.
3.0
Meets
Explain how ecosystems change in response to disturbances and
interactions. Analyze the relationships among the biotic and
abiotic factors in ecosystems.
2.5
Can complete level 2.0 and can partially complete level 3.0 or 4.0
2.0
Nearly meets
Describe how biotic and abiotic factors may cause changes in
ecosystems.
1.5
Can complete level 1.0 and can partially complete level 2.0, 3.0, or
4.0.
1.0
Beginning
Recognize that an ecosystem can change and distinguish between
biotic and abiotic factors, with help
0.5
Can produce some evidence of basic knowledge, with help.
0.0
Has no
understanding
Cannot provide any evidence of knowledge or understanding,
even with help.
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
September 4, 2012
Scoring Guide
H.2E.4 Human Impact
Standard: Evaluate the impact of human activities on environmental quality and the
sustainability of Earth systems. Describe how environmental factors influence resource
management.
Score
Description:
4.0
Exceeds
Evaluate methods humans can use to support the sustainability of
the Earth’s system utilizing effective and appropriate resource
management.
3.5
Can complete level 3.0 and can partially complete level 4.0.
3.0
Meets
Evaluate the impact of human activities on the sustainability of the
Earth‘s system and how environmental factors influence resource
management.
2.5
Can complete level 2.0 and can partially complete level 3.0 or 4.0
2.0
Nearly meets
Explain how human activity affects the sustainability of the Earth’s
system and identify environmental factors that may influence
resource management.
1.5
Can complete level 1.0 and can partially complete level 2.0, 3.0, or
4.0.
1.0
Beginning
Describe that human activities impact the sustainability of the
Earth’s system and that resources need to be managed, with help.
0.5
Can produce some evidence of basic knowledge, with help.
0.0
Has no
understanding
Cannot provide any evidence of knowledge or understanding,
even with help.
Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
September 4, 2012
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H.2L.1 H.2L.2 H.2E.4 Ecosystem Assessment 1