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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

    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.