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Science and Global Issues: Biology, Sustainability

Science and Global Issues: Biology, Sustainability

8-4 (2-3 weeks)

Unit issue: The ways that humans interact with the environment can cause dramatic changes over time.

Overarching question/Suggested driving question: How do humans affect the environment over time? 

Investigative phenomenon: Environmental change over time.

This four-activity sequence begins the Science and Global Issues: Biology course by having students investigate human effects on the natural environment in different parts of the world. Students are introduced to the issue for this introductory sequence: The ways that humans interact with the environment can cause dramatic changes over time. Students ask questions about the effects of humans on the environment and analyze data relating to those effects. They reflect on their own knowledge and observations of environmental change and discuss ways that human actions may or may or may not be considered sustainable. In the final activity of the sequence, students use a model to explore the effects of human actions on a specific environment and test their ideas for a sustainable solution. 

This sequence provides an opportunity to initially assess and then further develop students’ skills with the practices of asking questions and developing and using models. Students develop a definition of sustainability, which they will use throughout the course.

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

Activity Title Activity Overview
1. Changing Landscapes Students analyze and interpret data that reveals global environmental changes induced by human activity. They focus on tree cover loss and its primary causes in four different regions and generate questions about observed changes. The crosscutting concept of stability and change is introduced as students consider connections to sustainability.
2. Measuring Human Impact Students conduct a laboratory experiment to test soil samples for organic matter, using an experimental control as a basis of comparison. They analyze and interpret the data to determine the effect of human land use on the quality of soil. The class learns about the crosscutting concept of cause and effect as they discuss the economic, social, and environmental impacts of different kinds of land use.
3. Our Global Community Students analyze and interpret patterns in indicator data pertaining to the three pillars of sustainability, including indicators of human activity and impacts on the environment and biodiversity. They evaluate the impacts of human activity on sustainability and consider social, economic, and environmental impacts.
4. Sustaining the Commons Students use a physical model of a commercial fishery to explore the impact of human choices and actions on a shared resource and how changes in human activity affect that resource. Students test the effects of different fishing limits on the fish populations in the fishery, in terms of both population size and the diversity of species. Students investigate the trade-offs involved with setting different limits on the use of the resources. They use the model to design and test the effects of a variation on the limits of resource use.

Science and Global Issues: Biology, Sustainability

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, Sustainability

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, Sustainability

Teacher Edition

Science and Global Issues: Biology, Sustainability

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, Sustainability Item # Price Quantity
Lab-Aids© Science Lab Notebook
(bulk pricing up to 48% off)
SLN-1 $8.95