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Planting Preferences- Written Assessment

Unit Plan: Cycles: From Rot to RadishesLesson: 5 Time: 40-60 min Setting: Classroom
3-5, 6-8Schoolyard Ecology
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Students work in groups to rank four sites according to their suitability for planting shrubs, then independently complete a diagram showing a nutrient cycle for the preferred site.


    Students will be able to: understand that nutrients available on a site depend o the history and current condition of the site, weigh pros and cons to make and support judgements, diagram steps in a nutrient cycle, judge their own work and reflect on their understanding of nutrient cycling.


    For each group of 3-4 students:

    • copy of four "Planting Preference Cards"
    • copy of "Scoring Sheet"

    For each student:

    • copy of "Challenge Sheet, Part I"
    • copy of "Challenge Sheet, Part 2"
    • copy of "Scoring Sheet"
    • copy of "Reflections"

    See Lesson Resources for further details.

    Lesson Files

    Planting Preferences - Written Assessments

    Benchmarks for Science Literacy

    1B Scientific Inquiry, 5D Interdependence of Life, 5E Flow of Matter and Energy

    NYS Standards

    MST 3- Mathematics in real-world settings, MST 4- Physical setting, living environment and nature of science, ELA 4 - Language for communication and social interaction with a wide variety of people
    Next Generation Science Standards

    Science and Engineering Practices

    Planning and carrying out investigations, Engaging in argument from evidence

    Cross Cutting Concepts

    Patterns, Cause and effect

    Disciplinary Core Ideas

    LS1C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms, LS2A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, LS2B: Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
    New York State Science Learning Standards

    Performance Expectations

    MS-LS2-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem., MS-LS2-4. Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

    Hogan, Kathleen. Eco-Inquiry: A Guide to Ecological Learning Experiences for the Upper Elementary/Middle Grades. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, PO Box 1840, 4050 Westmark Drive, Dubuque, IA 52004-1840., 1994.