Environmental Science Chapter 5 Lesson Plan

Unit Title:
Grade Level:
Unit Cover Page
Ecosystems & Biomes
Subject/Topic: AP Environmental Science – Ecosystems
Key Words:
Cellular respiration
Food Chain
Trophic Level
Carbon cycle
Nitrogen-fixing bacteria
Nitrogen cycle
Trophic level
Natural selection
Biogeochemical cycle
Law of Conservation of Matter
Law of Conservation of Energy
Designed By:
School District:
Time Frame: 4 Weeks (10 lessons)
School: Energized for STEM High School
Summary of Unit (curricular context and unit goal)
Most organisms are dependent on the sun for energy, energy which is
harnessed by producers via photosynthesis. All the other organisms in an
ecosystem are consumers which can access energy via cellular respiration.
The interactions of these organisms can be illustrated via food chains, webs
and/or trophic levels. Because of increasing entropy only about 10% of
energy that an organism contains is transferred to the next tropic level
upon ingestion.
The Conservation of Mass and Earth acting as a closed system informs us
that materials in ecosystems are recycled and reused by biogeochemical
cycles. Organic elements such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur
cycle which is a process necessary to maintain life. Humans can impede
this process through burning fossil fuels and fertilizer administration.
Change over time is a theme of biology and present in ecosystems, after a
distribution a pattern of change occurs over time known as ecological
succession. Primary succession is preceded by the absence of organisms in
a habitat whereas, secondary succession occurs in a habitat where a
previous ecosystem existed before. Climax communities are derived of
organisms that take over an ecosystem and persist until there are other
disturbances in that ecosystem.
Stage 1 – Desired Results
Established goals:
Designate the steps that allows energy to be transferred from the sun to producers
and then to consumers
Describe one way in which consumers depend on producers
List two types of consumers
Explain how energy transfer in a food web is more complex than energy transfer in
a food chain
Clarify why an energy pyramid is a representation of trophic levels
Describe the short-term and long-term process of the carbon cycle
Identify one way that humans are affecting the carbon cycle
List the 3 stages of the nitrogen cycle
Define the role that nitrogen-fixing bacteria play in the nitrogen cycle
Explain how excess use of fertilizer can affect the nitrogen and phosphorous cycles
List two types of ecological succession
Explain how a pioneer species contributes to ecological succession
Explain what happens during old-field succession
Describe how lichens contribute to primary succession
Students will understand that
The sun supplies the energy for every
component of the ecosystem
Within ecosystems the Law of
Conservation of Energy is maintained
For earth to be a closed systems
matter must be recycled through
biogeochemical cycles
There are various visual
representations of the relationships
between species in an ecosystem
Key elements such as carbon,
phosphorus, sulfur and nitrogen are
cycled from organic to non-organic
Ecosystem evolve and change over
time and
Students will know…
Key terms: See cover page
The specific reactants and products of
The specific reactants and products of
cellular respiration
The types and organisms that can be
The types and organisms that can be
Producers that can function without
What occurs at the various trophic
levels of an energy pyramid
The movement of carbon through the
carbon cycle
Steps of ecological succession
Essential questions?
1. Which organisms participate in
2. What are the four major types of
3. What are the products of
4. Which kingdoms contain organisms
that perform cellular respiration?
5. What is the distinguishes a food
chain from a food web?
6. What is the unique role of carbon in
7. How to humans impact the carbon
8. Which processes have increased
global carbon dioxide levels?
9. What is the role that nitrogen plays
in organisms?
10. What is acid precipitation?
Performance Tasks
Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence
Other tasks
Students will design a food web, then based on alte
rations made (i.e. drought, predatorprey relationships, etc) they will show how the food
web can be affected.
Each section will have a
corresponding Kahaoot! Quiz that
students will complete at home
Students will define species, populations, communi
ties, and ecosystems, and summarize the ecological
significance of trophic levels.
Cornell Notes
Each student will be responsible
for completing their own review
over each section. All of which will
be reviewed with feedback
Students will complete a Storyboard for Ecological
Succession. It will differentiate primary vs.
secondary succession and illustrate a climax
Students will complete a storyboard for Artificial
eutrophication to demonstrate what occurs when
human interaction disturbs that natural nitrogen
Daily Bellwork/Exit Ticket
To assess keywords and basic
Stage 3 – Learning Plan
Learning Activities
Daily – Bell Work (Hook) & Exit Ticket
Day 1
- Chapter 4 Review
- Chapter 5.1 PowerPoint Presentation
- Chapter 5 Guided Notes
Day 2
- Chapter 5.1 Written Notes/ Concept Mapping
- Energy Pyramid with questions
- HW: What’s for Dinner Worksheet
Day 3
- Chapter 5.1 Review
- Group work (in pairs) Food Web
- HW: Kahoot! Chapter 5.1
Day 4
- Group work (in Pairs) Food Web
- Students will present Food Webs to teacher for assessments
- Chapter 5.1 Cornell Notes
Day 5
- Chapter 5.2 PowerPoint & Lecture
Students will create their own biogeochemical cycle packets
Carbon cycle game
Day 6
- Continue to work on cycles
- Chapter 5.2 Cornell Notes
- Kahoot! Chapter 5.2
Day 7
- Chapter 5. 3 Lecture and PowerPoint
- Chapter 5.2 Cornell Notes
Day 8
- Storyboard: Ecological Succession
- Storyboard: Artificial Eutrophication
- Kahoot! Chapter 5.3
Day 9
- Study Guide Review
- Class Jeopardy Review
Day 10
- Summative exam