Students learn about the flow of matter in ecosystems as the practices of science are demystified and made engaging. Eco-Inquiry was developed by Dr. Kathleen Hogan, a former Associate Scientist.
Lessons from this book have been scanned and are available as PDFs through our curriculum database.
Author and Project Director:Kathleen Hogan
Project Co-Director:Alan Berkowitz
Project Coordinator:Lisa Morganstern
Evaluation Research Assistant:JoEllen Fisherkeller
Ecology Research Assistant:Erik Lillescov
Students' central challenge is to determine the food web of a local site. By investigating a familiar area, such as their schoolyard or a neighborhood park, students see their everyday environment as an ecosystem of which they are part. After exploring outdoor study plots, students design investigations to answer thier questions about animal feeding behaviors. This unit develops students' communication and application skills through assessment activities. Students set up outdoor study stations to teach others about food web clues, and create an exhibition to share their findings.
In this module students learn about microbes as decomposers, develop experimental design skills, and apply their knowledge to a variety of everyday situations.
The central investigation of this unit helps students answer the question "Where does the stuff living things are made of go after those organisms die?" Throughout the unit, students grapple with the notion that matter is neither created nor destroyed, but it takes different forms as it cycles - as part of a living thing at one point in time, then as part of the non-loving environment at another
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