Science Benchmark
Ecosystems are shaped by interactions among living organisms and their physical environment. Ecosystems change constantly, either staying in a state of dynamic balance or shifting to a new state of balance. Matter cycles in ecosystems, and energy flows from outside sources through the system. Humans are part of ecosystems and can deliberately or inadvertently alter an ecosystem.

Resource for Standard 1:

Learning goal needs to be filled out for every objective:

Rubrics for objectives:

You will have to create your own unless otherwise told.

Objective 1: Summarize how energy flows through an ecosystem.

a: Arrange components of a food chain according to energy flow.

b: Compare the quantity of energy in the steps of an energy pyramid.

c: Describe strategies used by organisms to balance the energy expended to obtain food to the energy gained from the food (e.g., migration to areas of seasonal abundance, switching type of prey based upon availability, hibernation or dormancy).

d: Compare the relative energy output expended by an organism in obtaining food to the energy gained from the food (e.g., hummingbird - energy expended hovering at a flower compared to the amount of energy gained from the nectar, coyote - chasing mice to the energy gained from catching one, energy expended in migration of birds to a location with seasonal abundance compared to energy gained by staying in a cold climate with limited food).

e: Research food production in various parts of the world (e.g., industrialized societies’ greater use of fossil fuel in food production, human health related to food product).

Objective 2: Explain relationships between matter cycles and organisms.

a. Use diagrams to trace the movement of matter through a cycle (i.e., carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, water) in a variety of biological communities and ecosystems.

b. Explain how water is a limiting factor in various ecosystems.

c. Distinguish between inference and evidence in a newspaper, magazine, journal, or Internet article that addresses an issue related to human impact on cycles of matter in an ecosystem and determine the bias in the article.

d. Evaluate the impact of personal choices in relation to the cycling of matter within an ecosystem (e.g., impact of automobiles on the carbon cycle, impact on landfills of processed and packaged foods).

Objective 3: Describe how interactions among organisms and their environment help shape ecosystems.

a. Categorize relationships among living things according to predator-prey, competition, and symbiosis.

b. Formulate and test a hypothesis specific to the effect of changing one variable upon another in a small ecosystem.

c. Use data to interpret interactions among biotic and abiotic factors (e.g., pH, temperature, precipitation, populations, diversity) within an ecosystem.

d. Investigate an ecosystem using methods of science to gather quantitative and qualitative data that describe the ecosystem in detail.

e. Research and evaluate local and global practices that affect ecosystems.


Calculating Carbon Footprint:

Standard 1 Videos:

Objective 1 a:

Obj. 1 b:

Obj. 1 c:

Obj. 1 d:

Obj 2 a: Its longer pushing 20 minutes so if you need to break it up into 4 different sections 1 for each cycle feel free to do so.

Water Cycle Lecture:

Carbon Cycle: If you can view this from a Mac and don't have to convert it won't have the pictures overlapping but if not I think you should still be able to see what's going on.

Nitrogen Cycle:

Oxygen Cycle:

Obj 2b Limiting Factors:

Obj 3a Predation:

Obj 3a Competition:

Obj 3a Symbiosis:

Language science students should use: predator-prey, symbiosis, competition, ecosystem, carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle, oxygen cycle, population, diversity, energy pyramid, consumers, producers, limiting factor, competition, decomposers, food chain, biotic, abiotic, community, variable, evidence, inference, quantitative, qualitative