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Dead Leaf Storyboards- Performance Assessment

Unit Plan: Decomposer DynamicsLesson: 4 Time: Session 1 (40min), Session 2 (1hr) Setting: Classroom
3-5, 6-8Schoolyard Ecology
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Students work in groups to create displays that show what happens to a dead leaf over time.


Students will be able to: know how the appearance of a dead leaf changes during decomposition, understand that the primary cause of decomposition is decomposers that use dead material as food, know that the matter a leaf is made of does not vanish during decomposition, it all can be accounted for event though it is in new forms and places, communicate their knowledge of decomposition in a way that engages and teaches others.


Sessions 1 and 2

For each group of 3-4 students:

  • materials for making storyboards
  • copy of "Challenge Sheet"
  • copy of "Scoring Sheet"

For each student:

  • copy of "Group Work Evaluation" (see "Eco-Inquiry's Multiple Forms of Assessment")
  • copy of "Reflections" (see "Eco-Inquiry's Multiple Forms of Assessment")
  • copy of "Scoring Sheet"

See Lesson Resources for further details.

Lesson Files

Dead Leaf Storyboards- Perfromance Assessment
Eco Inquiry's Multiple Forms of Assessment- contains "Group Work Evaluation" and "Reflections"

Benchmarks for Science Literacy

5D Interdependence of Life, 5E Flow of Matter and Energy, 12D Communication Skills

NYS Standards

MST 4- Physical setting, living environment and nature of science, ELA 1- Language to collect and interpret information and understand generalizations, ELA 4 - Language for communication and social interaction with a wide variety of people
Next Generation Science Standards

Science and Engineering Practices

Construction explanations and designing solutions, Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

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.