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  • Ecology
3RC (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Compost)
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In this lesson, students expand their understanding of solid waste management to include the idea of 3RC (reduce, reuse, recycle and compost). They will look at the effects of packaging decisions (reducing) and learn about engineering advancements in packaging materials and solid waste management. Also, they will observe biodegradation in a model landfill (composting).

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Amy Kolenbrander
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Janet Yowell
Jessica Todd
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Adaptations within Ecosystems
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CC BY-NC
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All organisms live in ecosystems where they depend on each other and the natural resources of the environment.  Learn how living and non-living things interact, survive, and change over time.

Subject:
Ecology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Author:
Laura Samorske
Heather Potts
Date Added:
05/06/2018
Adopting Sustainable Food Practices
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Hear about how respect for Earth can help us attain a more sustainable lifestyle in the face of climate change in this video segment adapted from United Tribes Technical College.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Environmental Science
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media Common Core Collection
Author:
NASA
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
03/19/2012
Alaska Native Pilots
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In this video adapted from Storyknife Productions, Alaska Native pilots share how they use traditional knowledge to read the landscape and predict the weather.

Subject:
Ecology
Environmental Science
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media Common Core Collection
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
11/04/2008
Alaska Native Teens Help Researchers
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In this video adapted from KUAC-TV and the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska Native students contribute to research on how their environment is changing as a result of global warming.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Environmental Science
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media Common Core Collection
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
11/04/2008
Alaska Tsunami
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In this video adapted from Alaska Sea Grant, discover why multiple tsunamis resulted from the Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964.

Subject:
Oceanography
Ecology
Environmental Science
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media Common Core Collection
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
11/04/2008
All Caught Up
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Commercial fishing nets often trap "unprofitable" animals in the process of catching target species. In this activity, students experience the difficulty that fishermen experience while trying to isolate a target species when a variety of sea animals are found in the area of interest. Then the class discusses the large magnitude of this problem. Students practice data acquisition and analysis skills by collecting data and processing it to deduce trends on target species distribution. They conclude by discussing how bycatch impacts their lives and whether or not it is an important environmental issue that needs attention. As an extension, students use their creativity and innovative skills to design nets or other methods, theoretically and/or through hands-on prototyping, that fisherman could use to help avoid bycatch.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Amy Whitt, Nicholas School of the Environment
Angela Jiang, Pratt School of Engineering
Aruna Venkatesan, Pratt School of Engineering
Engineering K-PhD Program,
Matt Nusnbaum, Pratt School of Engineering
Vicki Thayer, Nicholas School of the Environment
Date Added:
10/14/2015
All Caught Up: Bycatching and Design
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Bycatch, the unintended capture of animals in commercial fishing gear, is a hot topic in marine conservation today. The surprisingly high level of bycatch about 25% of the entire global catch is responsible for the decline of hundreds of thousands of dolphins, whales, porpoises, seabirds and sea turtles each year. Through this curricular unit, students analyze the significance of bycatch in the global ecosystem and propose solutions to help reduce bycatch. They become familiar with current attempts to reduce the fishing mortality of these animals. Through the associated activities, the challenges faced today are reinforced and students are stimulated to brainstorm about possible engineering designs or policy changes that could reduce the magnitude of bycatch.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Amy Whitt, Nicholas School of the Environment
Angela Jiang, Pratt School of Engineering
Aruna Venkatesan, Pratt School of Engineering
Engineering K-Ph.D. Program,
Matt Nusnbaum , Pratt School of Engineering
Vicki Thayer, Nicholas School of the Environment
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Animal Behavior, Fall 2013
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CC BY-NC-SA
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Most of the major categories of adaptive behavior can be seen in all animals. This course begins with the evolution of behavior, the driver of nervous system evolution, reviewed using concepts developed in ethology, sociobiology, other comparative studies, and in studies of brain evolution. The roles of various types of plasticity are considered, as well as foraging and feeding, defensive and aggressive behavior, courtship and reproduction, migration and navigation, social activities and communication, with contributions of inherited patterns and cognitive abilities. Both field and laboratory based studies are reviewed; and finally, human behavior is considered within the context of primate studies.

Subject:
Biology
Ecology
Psychology
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
M.I.T.
Provider Set:
M.I.T. OpenCourseWare
Author:
Schneider, Gerald
Date Added:
01/01/2013
Animals and Engineering
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Students are introduced to the classification of animals and animal interactions. Students also learn why engineers need to know about animals and how they use that knowledge to design technologies that help other animals and/or humans. This lesson is part of a series of six lessons in which students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process, to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Denise Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Katherine Beggs
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Antarctic Food Web Game
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In this interactive game adapted from the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, build a food web that illustrates the flow of energy in an Antarctic ecosystem and the relationships between predators and prey.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media Common Core Collection
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
08/09/2007
Arctic Tundra
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This video segment from Wild Europe: "Wild Arctic" explores the struggle for survival in one of Earth's most extreme environments.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media Common Core Collection
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
09/26/2003
Art and Ecology
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Artists are often particularly keen observers and precise recorders of the physical conditions of the natural world. As a result, paintings can be good resources for learning about ecology. Teachers can use this lesson to examine with students the interrelationship of geography, natural resources, and climate and their effects on daily life. It also addresses the roles students can take in caring for the environment. Students will look at paintings that represent cool temperate, warm temperate, and tropical climates.
In this lesson students will: Identify natural resources found in particular geographic areas; Discuss ways in which climate, natural resources, and geography affect daily life; Apply critical-thinking skills to consider the various choices artists have made in their representations of the natural world; Make personal connections to the theme by discussing ways they can be environmental stewards; Identify natural resources found in particular geographic areas; Discuss ways in which climate, natural resources, and geography affect daily life; Apply critical-thinking skills to consider the various choices artists have made in their representations of the natural world; Make personal connections to the theme by discussing ways they can be environmental stewards.

Subject:
Fine Arts
Art History
Performing and Visual Arts
Ecology
Geography
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Diagram/Illustration
Lesson Plan
Provider:
National Gallery of Art
Date Added:
10/13/2017
Baboon Longevity Under Adversity
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This graph depicts survival curves for 196 adult female baboons from a population in Kenya. The baboons were grouped by the number of adverse conditions that they had experienced early in life. Project or distribute the image to engage students. The downloadable Educator Materials PDF, which includes background information, graph interpretation and discussion questions, and the Student Handout, which includes the image and background information, have been remediated to comply with Section 508 of the National Rehabilitation Act for accessibility and can be used with screen readers.

Subject:
Biology
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Lesson
Student Guide
Date Added:
11/08/2018
Balance within Ecosystems
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Students will Identify there are cycles in nature that help to keep ecosystems balanced.-What is a balanced and functioning ecosystem?-What are the essential components of a balanced ecosystem?-What happens when one of these components decreases or takes over? 

Subject:
Ecology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Author:
Laura Samorske
Heather Potts
Date Added:
04/27/2018
Bears Don't Recognize Boundaries
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In this video segment from Nature, learn about the problems bears are creating on ranch land surrounding Yellowstone National Park.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media Common Core Collection
Author:
Canon
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
SC Johnson
WNET
Date Added:
11/12/2008
Bees: The Invaluable Master Pollinators
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The study of biomimicry and sustainable design promises great benefits in design applications, offering cost-effective, resourceful, non-polluting avenues for new enterprise. An important final caveat for students to understand is that once copied, species are not expendable. Biomimicry is intended to help people by identifying natural functions from which to pattern human-driven services. Biomimicry was never intended to replace species. Ecosystems remain in critical need of ongoing protection and biodiversity must be preserved for the overall health of the planet. This activity addresses the negative ramifications of species decline. For example, pollinators such as bees are a vital work force in agriculture. They perform an irreplaceable task in ensuring the harvest of most fruit and vegetable crops. In the face of the unexplained colony collapse disorder, we are only now beginning to understand how invaluable these insects are in keeping food costs down and even making the existence of these foods possible for humans.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Amber Spolarich
Megan Johnston
VU Bioengineering RET Program,
Wendy J. Holmgren
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Biodomes Engineering Design Project: Lessons 2-6
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In this multi-day activity, students explore environments, ecosystems, energy flow and organism interactions by creating a scale model biodome, following the steps of the engineering design process. The Procedure section provides activity instructions for Biodomes unit, lessons 2-6, as students work through Parts 1-6 to develop their model biodome. Subjects include energy flow and food chains, basic needs of plants and animals, and the importance of decomposers. Students consider why a solid understanding of one's environment and the interdependence of an ecosystem can inform the choices we make and the way we engineer our own communities. This activity can be conducted as either a very structured or open-ended design.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Christopher Valenti
Denise Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Katherine Beggs
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
10/14/2015
Biomes and Population Dynamics - Balance within Natural Systems
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With a continued focus on the Sonoran Desert, students are introduced to the concepts of biomes, limiting factors (resources), carrying capacity and growth curves through a PowerPoint® presentation. Abiotic factors (temperature, annual precipitation, seasons, etc.) determine the biome landscape. The vegetative component, as producers, determines the types of consumers that form its various communities. Students learn how the type and quantity of available resources defines how many organisms can be supported within the community, as well as its particular resident species. Students use mathematical models of natural relationships (in this case, sigmoid and exponential growth curves) to analyze population information and build upon it. With this understanding, students are able to explain how carrying capacity is determined by the limiting factors within the community and feeding relationships. By studying these ecological relationships, students see the connection between ecological relationships of organisms and the fundamentals of engineering design, adding to their base of knowledge towards solving the grand challenge posed in this unit.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Amber Spolarich
Megan Johnston
VU Bioengineering RET Program,
Wendy J. Holmgren
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Biomimicry and Sustainable Design - Nature Is an Engineering Marvel
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Students are introduced to the concepts of biomimicry and sustainable design. Countless examples illustrate the wisdom of nature in how organisms are adapted for survival, such as in body style, physiological processes, water conservation, thermal radiation and mutualistic relationships, to assure species perpetuation. Students learn from articles and videos, building a framework of evidence substantiating the indisputable fact that organisms operate "smarter" and thus provide humans with inspiration in how to improve products, systems and cities. As students focus on applying the ecological principles of the previous lessons to the future design of our human-centered world, they also learn that often our practices are incapable of replicating the precision in which nature completes certain functions, as evidenced by our dependence on bees as pollinators of the human food supply. The message of biomimicry is one of respect: study to improve human practices and ultimately protect natural systems. This heightened appreciation helps students to grasp the value of industry and urban mimetic designs to assure protection of global resources, minimize human impact and conserve nonrenewable resources. All of these issues aid students in creating a viable guest resort in the Sonoran Desert.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
TeachEngineering.org
VU Bioengineering RET Program,
Wendy J. Holmgren
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Remix
Boston School Forest - Backyard Habitat Investigation
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The Boston School Forest is a field trip destination for 6,000 students each year providing high quality outdoor environmental education programs that expand and authenticate classroom learning. Science education in our district is transitioning to provide greater opportunity for inquiry, and teachers are now searching for resources that can be used in either face-to-face or e-learning formats. The Backyard Habitat Series focuses on connecting kids to an outdoor place through use of sensory observation, exploring the natural features and animals, and engaging in the improvement of habitat for neighborhood wildlife species. Classroom teachers, preservice teachers, and families will discover straightforward instructions, few materials or background knowledge required, and a format that is easily adaptable to the e-learning environment.

Subject:
Environmental Literacy and Sustainability
Ecology
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Other
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Unit of Study
Author:
Karla Lockman
Date Added:
06/24/2020
Botany & Art and Their Roles in Conservation
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The lessons in this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom introduce the work of botanists and botanical illustrators, specifically their race to make records of endangered plant species around the world. “Very little of the world’s flora has been fully studied,” says one Smithsonian botanist, “and time is running out.” In the first lesson, students gets to know six endangered plants. They examine illustrations, photographs, and dried specimens of the plants as they consider this question: If a scientist can take a picture of a plant, are there advantages in having an illustration? They go on to consider some of the big questions that botanists themselves must ask: Which of these species are most in need of conservation efforts? Are any of these plants more worth saving than others?In the second lesson, the students try their own hands at botanical illustration, following the methods of a Smithsonian staff illustrator. All that is required for the lesson are pencils, markers, tracing paper, and access to a photocopier.

Subject:
Fine Arts
Life Science
Botany
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Lecture
Lesson Plan
Reading
Unit of Study
Provider:
Smithsonian Institution
Provider Set:
Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund
Author:
Smithsonian Institute
Date Added:
01/22/2018
Can Organic Farms and Mosquito Control Coexist?
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Learn about one town's conflict over the issue of spraying pesticides to combat disease-carrying insects, in this video segment from Greater Boston.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media Common Core Collection
Author:
NIEHS
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
03/02/2011
Can Venus and Mars Be Made Habitable?
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This activity is about planetary climate. Once familiar with the factors that determine a planet's surface temperature, learners will use an interactive spreadsheet model of a planet's atmosphere to determine if greenhouse gases, luminosity of the source, the distance of the planet from the source and the albedo of the planet can be manipulated so that the average surface temperature on Mars or Venus could support human life. Learners will then be asked to make some conclusions about these methods and suggest improvements for the spreadsheet model (see related resources for link to this model). The activity requires use of Microsoft Excel software. This is Activity D in the fourth module, titled "How do Atmospheres Affect Planetary Temperatures?," of "Earth Climate Course: What Determines a Planet's Climate?."

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Physics
Material Type:
Data Set
Full Course
Student Guide
Provider:
NASA
Provider Set:
NASA Wavelength
Date Added:
10/13/2017
Capturing Carbon
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In this video segment adapted from NOVA scienceNOW, a scientist, inspired by his daughter's science fair project, develops a synthetic tree to remove excess carbon dioxide from the air.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Ecology
Environmental Science
Forestry and Agriculture
Chemistry
Physics
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media Common Core Collection
Author:
Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
HHMI
National Science Foundation
Public Television Viewers
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
08/20/2008
Caught in the Net
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Bycatch can be defined as the act of unintentionally catching certain living creatures using fishing gear. A bycatched species is distinguished from a target species (the animal the gear is intended to catch) because it is not sold or used. Marine mammals (whales, dolphins, porpoises), seabirds, sea turtles and unwanted or undersized fish are some examples of animals caught as by-catch The incidental capture of these animals can significantly reduce their populations. The most well known example of by-catch may be the unintentional mortality of spotted and spinner dolphins in the tuna fishing industry. "Dolphin-Safe" tuna was a result of this interaction (Be prepared to discuss how this came about with students, as it is something close to their daily lives). One important aspect to consider when discussing this issue is that laws protect some of the animals caught as by-catch (Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act). In this lesson, students will first be shown pictures of entangled marine animals and will discuss the definition of by-catch This will lead to discussions on why by-catching exists, how it impacts specific animals as well as humans, whether the students believe it is an important issue, and how by-catch can be reduced.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Amy Whitt, Nicholas School of the Environment
Angela Jiang, Pratt School of Engineering
Aruna Venkatesan, Pratt School of Engineering
Engineering K-PhD Program,
Matt Nusnbaum, Pratt School of Engineering
Vicki Thayer, Nicholas School of the Environment
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Chemist and Biologist Catherine Drennan
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In this video produced for Teachers' Domain, learn about MIT professor Cathy Drennan's research into microorganisms that remove carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Environmental Science
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media Common Core Collection
Author:
Amgen Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
09/08/2009
Christmas Bird Count
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CC BY-NC
Rating

A pdf file that contains slides with visuals to be shown. It explains the CBC from its beginning to end with an example of Data taken from our local bird count.

Students will be instructed to build a data table and graph representing data. Then draw conclusions.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Environmental Science
Measurement and Data
Material Type:
Data Set
Lecture Notes
Author:
Daniel Rye
Date Added:
08/02/2019
Clean Up This Mess
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Students are challenged to design a method for separating steel from aluminum based on magnetic properties as is frequently done in recycling operations. To complicate the challenge, the magnet used to separate the steel must be able to be switched off to allow for the recollection of the steel. Students must ultimately design, test, and present an effective electromagnet.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Physics
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Justin Montenegro , Glencliff High School, Nashville
TeachEngineering.org
VU Bioengineering RET Program,
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Cleaning Up with Decomposers
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Students investigate decomposers and the role of decomposers in maintaining the flow of nutrients in an environment. Students also learn how engineers use decomposers to help clean up wastes in a process known as bioremediation. This lesson concludes a series of six lessons in which students use their growing understanding of various environments and the engineering design process, to design and create their own model biodome ecosystems.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Katherine Beggs
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Climate Change Impacts Alaska Glaciers
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This video adapted from KTOO takes a look at Earth's warming and cooling cycles and the current atypical trend of warming that is impacting the glaciers in Alaska's Inside Passage.

Subject:
Ecology
Environmental Science
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Lecture
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media Common Core Collection
Author:
National Science Foundation
WGBH Educational Foundation
Date Added:
11/04/2008
Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN)
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CC BY-NC-SA
Rating

The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) website includes a collection of educational resources related to climate and energy science. The site also hosts an online community for educators to share and discuss resources and teaching methodology.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Lesson Plan
Provider:
CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Date Added:
02/21/2011
Climate Wisconsin: Forestry
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Learn how a family farm in Wisconsin functions and how it is impacted by climate change in this multimedia video produced by the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board.

Subject:
Ecology
Environmental Science
Forestry and Agriculture
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
PBS LearningMedia
Provider Set:
PBS Learning Media Common Core Collection
Author:
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Educational Communications Board
Wisconsin ECB
Date Added:
11/23/2010
Colorful Critters
Only Sharing Permitted
CC BY-NC-ND
Rating

The goal of this lesson is to introduce students to the advantages behind the colors and patterns displayed on Wisconsin critters using a collection of photos from Snapshot Wisconsin, a citizen science project utilizing a statewide network of trail cameras. This lesson plan includes an optional outdoor activity.

Subject:
Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Zoology
Material Type:
Lesson
Lesson Plan
Author:
Taylor Peltier
Date Added:
08/02/2019
Common Core Curriculum: Kindergarten ELA: Listening and Learning Strand
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The goal of the Listening and Learning Strand is for students to acquire language competence through listening, specifically building a rich vocabulary, and broad knowledge in history and science by being exposed to carefully selected, sequenced, and coherent read_alouds. The 9 units (or domains) provide lessons (including images and texts), as well as instructional objectives, core vocabulary, and assessment materials. The domain topics include: Nursery Rhymes and Fables; Five Senses; Stories; Plants; Farms; Kings and Queens; Seasons and Weather; Colonial Towns; and Taking Care of the Earth.

Subject:
Language, Grammar and Vocabulary
Literature
Fine Arts
Ecology
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Unit of Study
Provider:
New York State Education Department
Provider Set:
EngageNY
Date Added:
10/10/2017
Computer Simulation of the Sonoran Desert Community
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The computer program's simulation of a Sonoran desert community should ultimately strengthen the student's comprehension of what is required for a natural ecosystem to sustain itself (remain in balance). This computer simulation program has great flexibility. It allows the student to manipulate the population numbers of five Sonoran Desert species. A species natural history attachment provides vital information for the students to familiarize themselves with each species' behaviors, its niche and food resource needs. The program includes two producers, the Saguaro cactus and the Ironwood Tree. It also includes 3 consumers, but their interactions both toward the producers and each other differ. The community's ability to remain in balance and sustain all five species so that none die out rests on the student's assessment skills enabling him to correctly identify these dependencies. The student learns by trial and error as he continues to fine tune the ecosystem that he maintains stewardship of.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Amber Spolarich
Megan Johnston
VU Bioengineering RET Program,
Wendy J. Holmgren
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Constructing Sonoran Desert Food Chains and Food Webs
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Is the food chain shown above accurate? Does the first link depict a producer, the second link a herbivore, and the third link an omnivore / carnivore? Students must correctly determine whether a species is a producer or consumer, and what type of consumer; herbivore, omnivore, or carnivore. Students are provided with a list of Sonoran Desert species and asked to construct, within their groups, several food chains. These food chains are then be used to construct a food web. In order to complete this activity, students must first research the individual species to understand their feeding habits.

Subject:
Technology and Engineering
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Amber Spolarich
Megan Johnston
VU Bioengineering RET Program,
Wendy J. Holmgren
Date Added:
09/18/2014
Remix
A Cool Connection: Using a short story or a one act play to  explore the environmental impact of electricity use
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CC BY-NC-SA
Rating

This activity uses the reading, A Cool Connection (as a short story or one act play), to increase student understanding of how electrical power gets to their home and to introduce the connections between environmental problems and personal consumption. The storyline revolves around a group of high school students seeking relief from a heatwave while planning activities for their Ecology Club.

Topics introduced and assessed:
• The steps needed to move electrical power from where it is produced to where it is consumed
• The environmental costs of energy production
• The social costs of not meeting electrical demand

Subject:
English Language Arts
Environmental Literacy and Sustainability
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Author:
Joe Riederer
Date Added:
01/16/2020