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High School Curriculum

High school is a very different world for students and for educators. Teachers must find a path that bridges the material that was taught in middle school with what their students will need to know for life beyond high school. More Info


Science and Global Issues: Biology, Ecology

Science and Global Issues: Biology, Ecology

29-45 (6-9 weeks)

Unit issue: People rely on natural resources, including fish, for many reasons, including food, yet many fisheries are no longer sustainable..
Overarching question: How can we use our knowledge about ecology to make informed decisions about managing fisheries to be more sustainable? 

This unit begins with students reviewing what they have learned thus far about how humans affect the environment, particularly through their use of resources; the questions students had about the effect of humans on the environment; and which of their questions have not yet been answered. Students are introduced to the issue for this unit: people rely on natural resources, including fish, for many reasons, including food, yet many fishers are no longer sustainable. Students’ initial ideas and questions about fisheries are elicited, as are their initial ideas about how to gather evidence to address their questions. Students also begin to consider both local and global consequences if steps aren’t taken to manage fisheries more sustainably.

Performance Expectations 
HS-LS2-1: Use mathematical and/or computational representations to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales.
HS-LS2-2: Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.
HS-LS2-3: Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
HS-LS2-4: Use mathematical representations to support claims for the cycling of matter and flow of energy among organisms in an ecosystem.
HS-LS2-5: Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere. 
HS-LS2-6: Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
HS-LS2-7: Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.

Content in Science and Global Issues: Biology, Ecology is organized into activities, as follows:

Activity Title Activity Overview
1. Establishing a Baseline In this activity, students examine two commonly used methods to quantify population size in a variety of organisms and determine how best to estimate the size of a population. Students work through the two methods using the science and engineering practice of using mathematics and computational thinking in order to compute or estimate population size. Students brainstorm causal relationships for the changes in population growth for four example populations exhibiting different growth patterns. This requires students to activate their prior middle school learning about interdependent relationships in ecosystems. Working Toward HS-LS2-1
2. Population Growth Models Building on their understanding of how researchers estimate population size and then use that data, in this activity students consider how to use mathematical and computational thinking to describe changes in population size. They use a computer simulation to explore two models of population growth, and examine the patterns in the data generated by the two models. By drawing on the disciplinary core ideas from middle school regarding abiotic and biotic resources that can limit population size, students begin thinking about what might cause the population changes depicted in Activity 1. Working Toward HS-LS2-1
3. Factors Affecting Population Size Students examine factors affecting the nesting success, and thus the population growth, of song sparrows on Mandarte Island. Students use a computer simulation based on real data to perform a quantitative analysis and comparison of multiple factors affecting the carrying capacity of song sparrows, including resources, climate, competition, and characteristics of individual birds. This activity completes the first learning sequence and provides an opportunity to assess Performance Expectation HS-LS2-1. Working toward HS-LS2-2
4. Scaling Up: Ecosystems Students obtain information about four different ecosystems to determine what defines an ecosystem. They use the crosscutting concept of systems and system models to identify that ecosystems are defined by their components, the interactions among those components, and their boundaries. They also use the crosscutting concept of scale, pro-portion, and quantity to realize that an ecosystem can exist at many different scales, from vast to tiny. Working Toward HS-LS2-2, Applying HS-LS2-1
5. Patterns of Biological Diversity Diversity Students examine quantitative data, represented on maps, for five different groups of organisms to identify patterns in their distribution across the United States or the world. Students look at one map and develop an initial explanation for what might cause the different distribution patterns they observe. After examining maps of additional abiotic factors that might help explain these patterns, students revise their explanations. This activity provides an opportunity to assess Performance Expectation HS-LS2-2.
6. Producers and Consumers Students begin their investigation of the flow of energy and the cycling of matter in ecosystems by looking at these processes on a macroscopic scale. They analyze patterns in population data and use their observations as evidence to develop explanations for the role of phytoplankton as the basis for the ocean ecosystem. Students draw on disciplinary core ideas from middle school that relate to the cycling of matter and the flow of energy, food web models, and interactions of organisms within ecosystems. Working toward HS-LS2-3, Working toward HS-LS2-4
7. The Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration Shuffle Students investigate the cellular processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in order to develop explanations of how these processes drive matter cycling and energy flow in ecosystems. Students deepen their understanding of the inputs, outputs, and cyclical nature of these processes as they revise their ecosystem models from the previous activity to incorporate cellular-level interactions. Working toward HS-LS2-3, Working toward HS-LS2-4
8. Life in the Dark Having constructed an initial explanation for the cycling of matter and the flow of energy in an ecosystem where photosynthesis pro-vides the energy for life processes, students use video and text to obtain more information about other conditions in which these life processes occur. Students revise their initial explanations to include the process of chemosynthesis, while deepening their understanding that independent of the source of energy, all ecosystems rely on the flow of energy and the cycling of matter. This activity provides an opportunity to assess Performance Expectation HS-LS2-3.
9. Modeling Energy Flow in Ecosystems Students evaluate models of energy transfer in ecosystems in order to determine the best representation of that process. They use proportional reasoning to determine the inefficiencies in this process, and analyze mathematical representations and text-based evidence to support and revise their evaluations, ultimately developing an evidence-based explanation for their choice of best model. Working toward HS-LS2-4
10. Crossing Ecosystem Boundaries Students expand their existing models of the ocean-based orca ecosystem to show how Chinook salmon cross ecosystem boundaries. Students then develop new models to illustrate the connections between energy flow and matter cycling in the river ecosystem, including mathematical representations of energy trans-formation efficiencies within this ecosystem. They use these models to construct explanations for the cycling of matter, the flow of energy, and how matter and energy are conserved within the ecosystem. Build Understanding item 2 is an opportunity to formally assess Performance Expectation HS-LS2-4.
11. Ecosystems and the Carbon Cycle Students develop an initial system model based on atmospheric carbon dioxide data to explain the cycling of carbon among Earth’s four subsystems. Based on this model, students explain the role of cellular respiration and photosynthesis in the flux of carbon dioxide between the biosphere and the atmosphere. Working toward HS-LS2-5
12. Rebalancing the Equation? Students revise their system models of the global carbon cycle to account for the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels in the last 100 years. Students incorporate additional data on increased carbon dioxide production that results from human activity. They use their revised models to analyze the feasibility of ecosystem-based solutions for the increased carbon dioxide levels. Procedure Step 4 provides an opportunity to formally assess Performance Expectation HS-LS2-5.
13. Ecosystems at the Tipping Point Students obtain information about the causes and short- and long-term effects of natural and anthropogenic disruptions in two ecosystems. Students obtain information from a video about the Aral Sea. They identify the cause-and-effect relationships that led to the instability and ultimate collapse of this ecosystem. They evaluate claims, or make a new claim, about disruptions to this ecosystem based on evidence from the video. Working toward HS-LS2-6, Working toward HS-LS2-7
14. The Great Lakes Ecosystem Students obtain and evaluate scientific information from a variety of sources to evaluate the claim that if two species of carp were to invade the Great Lakes, the ecosystem would be permanently changed and possibly collapse. Students explore engineering solutions to prevent this invasion. This activity provides an opportunity to assess Performance Expectation HS-LS2-6. Working toward HS-LS2-7
15. Is Aquaculture a Solution? Students begin to consider strategies for reducing the impact of hu-man activities on the environment, specifically related to fisheries. Students examine the complexity of interactions in these ecosystems and how the ecosystems are impacted by human activity. They begin to develop criteria and constraints for possible solutions, based on scientific evidence and trade-off considerations. Applying HS-LS2-6, Working toward HS-LS2-7
16. Sustainable Fisheries Case Studies Students evaluate four possible strategies for sustainable fisheries, incorporating information on ecosystem dynamics, functioning, and resilience. Students consider the possible economic, social, and environmental impact of these changes to the associated ecosystems and how lessons learned from their evaluation could be applied to designing, evaluating, and refining a solution for another fishery. Applying HS-LS2-6, Working toward HS-LS2-7
17. Making Sustainable Fisheries Decisions Students complete the unit by de-signing a monitoring plan for one fisheries-management strategy, setting the criteria and constraints for the plan. They evaluate the plan using data based on their monitoring plan. Their final task is to refine or change their plan based on their data evaluation. This activity provides an opportunity to assess Performance Expectation HS-LS2-7.

Science and Global Issues: Biology, Ecology

Student Book

Science and Global Issues: Biology, Redesigned for the NGSS (SGI: Biology) is a year-long hardbound book with all five units. Like the previous edition, SGI: Biology wraps the entire program around the issue of sustainability, and each unit around a specific Unit Issue to anchor the content.
Science and Global Issues: Biology, Ecology

The Lab-Aids© Science Lab Notebook

The use of a science journal or notebook is strongly recommended for all science classes. A journal not only models the way scientists work but it helps to develop and reinforce students’ science learning and literacy skills.

The LAB-AIDS Science Lab Notebook was designed with “Best Practices” in mind. Each of the 160 LABLOG pages, has a 2-column design with GraphAnywhere, which allows data tables and graphs to be drawn in a fraction of the usual time, and plenty of room to record data, notes, and responses to questions. It is also three-hole punched to allow students to store the entire notebook, or individual completed pages, in their binder.

Science and Global Issues: Biology, Ecology

Teacher Edition

Science and Global Issues: Biology, Ecology

Student and Teacher Portals

In addition to hardbound print books, instructional materials are also available through the online portal. Student navigation through each activity is facilitated by section tabs, and the interactive design allows students to respond directly in their portal. The online student portal is also where helpful resources can be found, like LABsent (for students who are absent from a lab), Spanish text, and embedded assessments.
Science and Global Issues: Biology, Ecology Item # Price Quantity
Lab-Aids© Science Lab Notebook
(bulk pricing up to 48% off)
SLN-1 $8.95