Mussels 5-7


Mussels on the Kaw

STANDARD 3: LIFE SCIENCE Grades 5-7


▲ = Grade 7 Assessed Indicator

LIFE SCIENCE – The student will apply process skills to explore and understand structure and function in living systems, reproduction and heredity, regulation and behavior, populations and ecosystems, and diversity and adaptations of organisms.

Benchmark 3: The student will describe homeostasis, the regulation and balance of internal conditions in response to a changing external environment.

▲ understands that internal and/or environmental conditions affect an organism’s behavior and/or response in order to maintain and regulate stable internal conditions to survive in a continually changing environment.

All organisms perform similar processes to maintain life. They take in food and gases, eliminate wastes, grow and progress through their life cycle, reproduce, and maintain stable internal conditions while living in a constantly changing environment. An organism’s behavior changes as its environment changes. Students need opportunities to investigate a variety of organisms to realize that all living things have similar fundamental needs. After observing an organism’s way of moving, obtaining food, and responding to danger, students can alter the environment and observe the effects on the organism.

Benchmark 4: The student will identify and relate interactions of populations of organisms within an ecosystem.

The student…

1. ▲ understands that internal and/or environmental conditions affect an organism’s behavior and/or response in order to maintain and regulate stable internal conditions to survive in a continually changing environment.


Benchmark 4: The student will identify and relate interactions of populations of organisms within an ecosystem.


The student…

1. ▲ recognizes that all populations living together (biotic resources) and the physical factors (abiotic resources) with which they interact compose an ecosystem.

2. understands how limiting factors determine the carrying capacity of an ecosystem.

TEACHER NOTES:


A population consists of all individuals of a species that occur together at a given time and place. All populations living together and the physical factors with which they interact compose an ecosystem. Populations can be categorized by the functions they serve in an ecosystem: producers (make their own food), consumers (obtain food by eating other organisms), and decomposers (use waste materials). The major source of energy for ecosystems is sunlight. This energy enters the ecosystem as sunlight and is transformed by producers into food (chemical) energy which then passes from organism to organism, which we observe as food webs. The resources of an ecosystem, biotic and abiotic, determine the number of organisms within a population that can be supported.

Middle level students understand populations and ecosystems best when they have an opportunity to explore them actively. Taking students to a pond or a field, or even having them observe life under a rotting log, allows them to identify and observe interactions between populations and identify the physical conditions needed for their survival. A classroom terrarium, aquarium, or river tank can serve as an excellent model for observing ecosystems and changes and interactions that occur over time between populations of organisms and changes in physical conditions. Constructing their own food webs, given a set of organisms, helps students to see multiple relationships more clearly.


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Kansas Riverkeeper,
Mar 13, 2010, 10:49 AM