ALEX Lesson Plan

     

Pollution and the Peppered Moth

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Hannah Bradley
System: Dothan City
School: Carver Magnet School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 35586

Title:

Pollution and the Peppered Moth

Overview/Annotation:

This lesson will begin with students reviewing the steps of the scientific method, then applying the steps of the scientific method using an online interactive game. Next, students will utilize the steps of the scientific method to explore factors that caused the population of the peppered moth to change over time. The students will conduct an experiment to gather data regarding the factors that led to a population shift in the peppered moth species. Then, students will read an article about the history of the peppered moth and play an online interactive game to further explore the factors that led to a change in this species's population. Lastly, students will develop a writing piece that includes a claim related to the change in the peppered moth's population and evidence that was gathered from the experiment, reading, and online activity.

This lesson results from the ALEX Resource Gap Project.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 7
20 ) Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence. [W.7.1]

a. Introduce claim(s), acknowledge alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically. [W.7.1a]

b. Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant evidence, using accurate, credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic or text. [W.7.1b]

c. Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), reasons, and evidence. [W.7.1c]

d. Establish and maintain a formal style. [W.7.1d]

e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the argument presented. [W.7.1e]


Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.7.20- Compose an argument to support a claim by stating a claim, providing facts or reasons supporting the claim, and providing an appropriate conclusion related to the stated argument.


Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 7
Life Science
7 ) Use empirical evidence from patterns and data to demonstrate how changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem (e.g., deforestation, succession, drought, fire, disease, human activities, invasive species) can lead to shifts in populations.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Crosscutting Concepts: Stability and Change
Disciplinary Core Idea: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Use information gained from data patterns and analysis to demonstrate that any change in an ecosystem can lead to shifts in populations.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Empirical evidence
  • Patterns
  • Data
  • Ecosystem
  • Populations
  • Physical components (e.g., water, air, temperature, sunlight, soil, etc.)
  • Biological components (e.g., plants, animals, etc.)
  • Phenomena (e.g., deforestation, succession, drought, fire, disease, human activities, invasive species, etc.)
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Ecosystems are dynamic in nature and can change over time.
  • Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations.
  • Changes in the physical or biological components of an ecosystem (e.g., rainfall, species introduction) can lead to changes in populations of species.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Demonstrate the scientific idea that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem can affect the populations living there.
  • Identify and describe the given evidence needed to demonstrate the scientific idea that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem can affect the populations living there.
  • Evaluate the given evidence, identifying the necessary and sufficient evidence for supporting the scientific idea.
  • Use reasoning to connect the evidence and support an explanation using patterns in the evidence to predict the causal relationship between physical and biological components of an ecosystem and changes in organism populations.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Changes in the amount and availability of given resource may result in changes in the population of an organism.
  • Changes in the amount or availability of a resource may result in changes in the growth of individual organisms.
  • Resource availability drives competition among organisms, both within a population as well as between populations.
  • Resource availability may have an effect on a population's rate of reproduction.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Investigating Biodiversity and Interdependence
Studying the Development and Reproduction of Organisms

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
L8.8a: All organisms cause changes in the environment where they live.

NAEP Statement::
L8.8b: Some of these changes are detrimental to the organisms or other organisms, whereas others are beneficial.



Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.7.7- Interpret data to see how changes in an ecosystem (e.g., drought, forest fires) affect the animal population in an area.


Local/National Standards:

 

Primary Learning Objective(s):

  • Students will use evidence from data to demonstrate how a physical change to the components of an ecosystem can lead to a shift in population.
  • Students will write a claim to answer a scientific question.
  • Students will use relevant evidence to support their claim. 

Additional Learning Objective(s):

  • Students will identify and describe the steps in the scientific method.
  • Students will apply the steps of the scientific method in an online interactive activity.

 

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Greater than 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Student Materials

Internet capable device (tablet, laptop, etc.)

Notebook paper

Pencil or pen

Scientific Method Graphic Organizer: The Peppered Moth

Picking Off the Peppered Moth Data Record

Websites for Before Activity:

“Using the Scientific Method to Solve Mysteries” from Arizona State University

“Science Detectives Training Room Escape” from Arizona State University

Websites for After Activity:

“The Peppered Moth: A Seasoned Survivor” from Arizona State University

-Note: If students will not have access to an internet capable device, the teacher can print and copy this article for students to read.

“Picking Off the Peppered Moth” from Arizona State University

For Acceleration Activity:

“Preparing for Lizard Island: Population” from Arizona State University

Calculator

Materials Needed for Rice Experiment (per each group of four students)

One dark-colored piece of construction paper (dark brown/black)

One light-colored piece of construction paper (white/light brown)

Forceps

Wild rice blend (rice that contains grains of different colors)-Each group will need 15 dark-colored grains of rice and 15 light-colored grains of rice

Stopwatch or timer

Rice Experiment Data Record (for student assigned to the role of recorder)

Calculator

Teacher Materials

Chart paper and markers OR interactive whiteboard

Scientific Communication Checklist

 

Technology Resources Needed:

Student Technology Resources

Internet capable device (tablet, laptop, etc.)

Teacher Technology Resources

Interactive whiteboard (if available)

Background/Preparation:

Student Background Information

The students will need to be able to navigate to a website and use an interactive online activity. The students will be required to work collaboratively in a group of approximately four students to complete a scientific experiment. The teacher should ensure that students are aware of group work procedures and expectations.

It would be helpful (but not required) for students to have background knowledge related to the Industrial Revolution, which is related to the Sixth Grade Social Studies Alabama Course of Study Standard 1:

1.) Explain the impact of industrialization, urbanization, communication, and cultural changes on life in the United States from the late nineteenth century to World War I.

Teacher Background Information

This lesson will focus on the evolution of the peppered moth due to an increase in air pollution during the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s. The teacher can read the article “Peppered Moth Evolution” for more detailed information about the evolution of this species. 

Each student will need a copy of the Scientific Method Graphic Organizer: The Peppered Moth and the Picking Off the Peppered Moth Data Record. The teacher should collect the materials needed for the experiment prior to teaching the lesson. One student per group will need a copy of Rice Experiment Data Record for use during the experiment portion of this lesson.

The teacher may wish to split this lesson into three different class periods by introducing the concepts of the lesson on Day 1 (before strategy and step 1 of the during strategy), allowing the students to complete the experiment on Day 2 (steps 2-9 of the during strategy), then concluding the lesson on Day 3 (after strategy).

This lesson was adapted from “Sooty Selection” from Arizona State University.

  Procedures/Activities: 

Before Strategy/Engage: 30 minutes

1. The teacher should ask students to number their notebook paper from one to seven. Then, the teacher should ask students to brainstorm a list of the steps in the scientific method. Give the students approximately three minutes to complete their brainstorm.

2. After allowing students three minutes to complete their brainstorm, the teacher should allow students to discuss their list with a classmate for about two minutes. The teacher should encourage students to check their list, and add to it or make any necessary changes.

3. Next, the teacher should ask for student volunteers to share their list and use the students’ responses to create a class list of the steps in the scientific method using chart paper or the interactive whiteboard.

4. For the next portion of the lesson, students will need access to an internet capable device. Depending on availability, students can partner to share a device or each student can complete the activity independently.

5. Students should read the article “Using the Scientific Method to Solve Mysteries” from Arizona State University. After students read the article, they should revisit their brainstorm from the beginning of class and be sure that they have listed all of the steps of the scientific method in the correct order.

6. Next, students should navigate to the online interactive activity “Science Detectives Training Room Escape” from Arizona State University. This activity will follow the “escape room” game format while demonstrating the steps of the scientific method. The game has multiple options that are randomly selected, so each student is unlikely to have the same experience and the game can be played multiple times.

Note: The game provides an option to print or save a score report after the game is completed. The teacher can also view the report on the students’ screens. This can be used as a formative assessment.

During Strategy/Explore & Explain: 60 minutes

1. The teacher should look up pictures of the peppered moth that show the different color variations of the species (such as the pictures on this article: “Peppered Moth Evolution”). After students view the pictures, they should complete the Observation and Hypothesis rows on the Scientific Method Graphic Organizer: The Peppered Moth.

2. Next, the teacher should divide students into groups of approximately four students each to complete the experiment. The teacher should give each group the materials needed to perform the experiment: one dark-colored piece of construction paper, one light-colored piece of construction paper, forceps, and the wild rice blend. The teacher should assign each student a role within the group: set up commander, timer, rice collector, and recorder.

3. The student assigned to be the setup commander should crumple and re-flatten the light-colored construction paper, then spread out the 15 dark-colored rice grains and the 15 light-colored rice grains on the construction paper.

4. The students assigned to be the timer should set the stopwatch or timer for ten seconds. After the timer has begun, the student assigned to be the rice collector should attempt to collect as many rice grains as possible during the ten seconds. The student can create a pile of collected rice grains to the side of the paper.

5. The student assigned to be the recorder should record the number of each color rice grains that are remaining on the sheet of paper on the Rice Experiment Data Record for Generation 1.

6. The setup commander should clear the rice off the paper and set up the experiment again as described in step 3. The students should repeat steps 4 and 5 for Generations 2 and 3.

7. The students should repeat steps 3-5 using the dark-colored piece of construction paper.

8. Lastly, the students should work together to calculate the percentage of each rice color in the entire “population” using the data collected during the experiment.

9. The students should work with their group members to identify the control variable(s), as well as the independent and dependent variables from the experiment on the Scientific Method Graphic Organizer: The Peppered Moth.

After Strategy/Explain & Elaborate: 60 minutes

1. For the next portion of the lesson, the students will need access to an internet capable device or the teacher can make copies of the article for each student (“The Peppered Moth: A Seasoned Survivor” from Arizona State University). The students should navigate to the website and read the article about the peppered moth. As the students read, they should complete the “Conclusion” row of the Scientific Method Graphic Organizer: The Peppered Moth.

2. Next, the students should navigate to the “Picking Off the Peppered Moth” online interactive game. The students should read the information, then play the game. The students should record the results of the game on the Picking Off the Peppered Moth Data Record handout. Students will play in the light-colored forest twice, record their results for each game, then average the results. Then, students will play in the dark-colored forest twice, record their results for each game, then average the results.

3. After the students play the game, they should add to the “Conclusion” row of the Scientific Method Graphic Organizer: The Peppered Moth.

4. The teacher should introduce the Scientific Communication Checklist to students to explain how their final writing piece will be assessed.

5. Students will write a response to the prompt on the second page of the Scientific Method Graphic Organizer: The Peppered Moth.


  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

Formative Assessment

The teacher will informally assess students’ understanding of the scientific method in the before activity by reviewing each student’s brainstorm and score report of the online interactive game. The teacher should review each group’s Rice Experiment Data Record and each student’s Picking Off the Peppered Moth Data Record to be sure students are collecting accurate data. The teacher will informally assess students by reviewing the first page of each student’s Scientific Method Graphic Organizer: The Peppered Moth. This will allow the teacher to determine if students are grasping the scientific concepts of the lesson and provide any clarification, if needed, prior to the summative assessment.

Summative Assessment

The teacher will formally assess students at the conclusion of the lesson by reviewing the written response on the second page of each student’s Scientific Method Graphic Organizer: The Peppered Moth. The teacher can use the Scientific Communication Checklist to assess each student’s achievement of the objectives of the lesson. The teacher may assign point values to each criterion on the checklist, if desired.

Acceleration:

Students can further explore shifts in populations within ecosystems by playing the online interactive game “Preparing for Lizard Island: Population” from Arizona State University. Students will calculate the growth rate of different populations and examine factors that can affect population size. Students will need a calculator for this activity.

Intervention:

The teacher may provide additional scaffolding to students requiring intervention. The teacher may also provide additional time for students to complete the lesson’s activities. When grouping students for the experiment, the teacher should be sure to group struggling students with a helpful peer.


View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.