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Big Idea
Construct an aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem and observe over time to better understand interactions within an ecosystem.
Ecosystems are ever changing because of the interdependence of organismsof the same or different species and the nonliving elements of the environment. Organsims rely on physical factors, such light, temp, water, soil, and space for shelter and reproduction (A Framework For K-12 Science Education LS2.A)
Essential Questions
What abiotic factors would you consider when setting up aquatic and terrestrial miniecosystems?
How do organisms depend on their abiotic elements in their ecosystem?
What observations can be made about interactions and changes in the miniecosystems over time?

Formulate questions based on observations that lead to the development of a hypothesis.
Perform measurements using appropriate scientific tools (e.g., balances, microscopes, probes, micrometers).
Form a logical argument about a correlation between variables or sequence of events (e.g., construct a cause-and-effect chain that explains a sequence of events).
Design an investigation to test individual variables using scientific processes.
Keep a record of observations, notes, sketches, questions, and ideas using tools such as written and/or computer logs.
Communicate the results of an investigation with appropriate use of qualitative and quantitative information.
Conduct a controlled investigation, utilizing multiple trials, to test a hypothesis using scientific processes.
Analyze data obtained in a scientific investigation to identify trends.
Create a model of the interactions of living organisms within an ecosystem.
Create an aquatic and terrestrial habitat.
Science & Engineering Practices
Developing and Using Models:  students set up mini-ecosystems
Content/Core Ideas
  • An aquatic ecosystem functions in water.
  • A terrestrial ecosystem functions on land.
  • An ecosystem is a web of interactions and relationships among the organisms and abiotic factors in an area.
Crosscutting Concepts
Stability and Change
Academic Vocabulary
  • aquatic
  • terrestrial
  • interaction
  • organism
  • abiotic
  • biotic
assess informally students predictions of interactions