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Modeling the Effects of an Introduced Species (Developed by SEPUP)

kit #547S

Students work in groups to use a set of cards to develop a model of a food web for one of four ecosystems. Students are then given an additional card representing an introduced species. They then consider the effects this new organism will have on the ecosystem and revise their models to explain how the flow of energy and cycling of matter are disrupted by this introduced species.


Key Vocabulary


food web




  • NGSS Performance Expectations

    MS-LS2-3: Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

  • NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas

    MS-LS2.B Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems: Food webs are models that demonstrate how matter and energy are transferred between producers, consumers, and decomposers as the three groups interact within an ecosystem. Transfers of matter into and out of the physical environment occur at every level. Decomposers recycle nutrients from dead plant or animal matter back to the soil in terrestrial environments or to the water in aquatic environments. The atoms that make up the organisms in an ecosystem are recycled repeatedly between the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem.

    MS-LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience: Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations.

  • NGSS Science and Engineering Practices

    Developing and Using Models: Develop a model to describe phenomena.

  • NGSS Crosscutting Concepts

    Energy and Matter: The transfer of energy can be tracked as energy flows through a natural system. Systems and System Models: Models can be used to represent systems and their interactions—such as inputs, processes, and outputs—and energy and matter flows within systems.

    Connections to Nature of Science: Scientific Knowledge Assumes an Order and Consistency in Natural Systems: Science assumes that objects and events in natural systems occur in consistent patterns that are understandable through measurement and observation.

  • Common Core State Standards—ELA/Literacy

    WHST.6-8.1: Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

Content List in Modeling the Effects of an Introduced Species (Developed by SEPUP) is as follows:

Quantity Description
1 set of Introduced Species Cards
8 sets of Food Web Cards
9 resealable bags (for storing card sets)
32 Student Worksheet and Guides
1 Teacher's Guide
Number of students
Number of groups
maximum 8 groups per period

To complete this kit requires one to two ~50-minute class periods.

Title Item # Price Quantity
Modeling the Effects of an Introduced Species 547S $59.15