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Porifera and Cnidaria
Big Idea
Animal evolution has led to new classification systems and complex body structures.
Essential Questions
Compare the essential functions of porifera and cnidaria in general.
Compare in detail the circulatory and digestive (feeding) systems of porifera and cnidaria.

Support conclusions with logical scientific arguments.
Analyze, using a biological classification system (i.e., cladistics, phylogeny, morphology, DNA analysis), the degree of relatedness among various species.
Describe the levels of organization of living things from cells, through tissues, organs, organ systems, organisms, populations, and communities to ecosystems.
Science & Engineering Practices
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to evaluating the validity and reliability of the claims, methods, and designs.
  • Communicate scientific information (e.g., about phenomena and/or the process of development and the design and performance of a proposed process or system) in multiple formats (including orally, graphically, textually, and mathematically). (HS-LS4-1)
Content/Core Ideas
  • Porifera are filter feeders moving particles through the body cavity, they rely on the movement of water for respiration, circulation and excretion.
  • Cnidarians have slightly more complex mechanisms such as gastrovascular cavity and hydrostatic skeleton.
  • Porifera are simple filter feeders and Cnidaria pull paralyzed prey into its gastrovascular cavity where digestion takes place.  
  • Both Porifera and Cnidaria use the process of diffusion for circulation.
Learning Practices
Design and use graphic organizers to show relationships between and within content topics (flowcharts, venn diagrams, cladograms, mind maps...).

Active Engagement Partner work:  Students work with partner(s) to solve basic problems, build models, think pair share...

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.2d Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary and techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic; convey a knowledgeable stance in a style that responds to the discipline and context as well as to the expertise of likely readers.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.2e Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation provided (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).
Academic Vocabulary
filter feeder
gastrovascular cavity
nerve net
hydrostatic skeleton
No new vocab
These are SOME ways to assess steudent knowledge and understanding of the content.
  • Students will complete a graphic organizer comparing porifera and cnidaria.
  • Students will diagram and label both the circulatory and digestive systems of porifera and cnidaria.
  • Students will write a discussion comparing and contrasting the digestive and circulatory systems of porifera and cnidaria.