ALEX Lesson Plan

     

Coral Reef Nursery Evaluation Presentation

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Megan Nichols
System: Chickasaw City
School: Chickasaw City Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 35625

Title:

Coral Reef Nursery Evaluation Presentation

Overview/Annotation:

Students will be exposed to an engineered solution to the current issue of excessive algae growth that is inhibiting the health of Staghorn and Elkhorn coral populations. Students will then use their knowledge, as well as conduct research, that would allow them to aid in the effort to protect this crucial living element to the oceanic environment. Students will collaborate with their group to apply their knowledge and create an Animoto presentation that consists of at least five slides.

This lesson results from the ALEX Resource Gap Project.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 3
12 ) Evaluate engineered solutions to a problem created by environmental changes and any resulting impacts on the types and density of plant and animal populations living in the environment (e.g., replanting of sea oats in coastal areas due to destruction by hurricanes, creating property development restrictions in vacation areas to reduce displacement and loss of native animal populations).*

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect; Systems and System Models
Disciplinary Core Idea: Unity and Diversity
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Make a claim about the merit of an engineered solution to a problem caused when the environment changes, which results in changes in the types of plants and animals that live there.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Problems/solutions
  • Effects
  • Claim
  • Merit
  • Engineered solutions
  • Environmental changes
  • Density of plant and animal populations
  • Environmental impacts
  • Habitats
  • Organisms
  • Transform
  • Create
  • Ask
  • Imagine
  • Improve
  • Plan
  • Engineering design process
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Engineers design solutions to solve problems created by environmental changes.
  • Changes in the environment may affect the physical characteristic, temperature, or availability of resources in a place.
  • Changes in the environment affect some organisms' ability to survive and reproduce, cause others to move to new locations, yet others to move into the transformed environment, and cause some to die.
  • Populations live in a variety of habitats, and change in those habitats affect the plants and animals living there.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Identify problem created by environmental changes.
  • Make a claim about an engineered solution to a problem created by environmental changes.
  • Identify the effects of solutions to a problem created by environmental changes that impact the plants and animals living in the environment.
  • Communicate evidence to support the claim about an engineered solution to a problem created by environmental changes.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • That plants and animals within an environment make up a system, and changes to one part of the system impacts other parts.
  • Engineers design solutions to problems created by environmental changes that sometimes impact the plant and animal populations found there.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Heredity and Diversity

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
E4.11: Humans depend on their natural and constructed environment. Humans change environments in ways that can either be beneficial or detrimental for themselves and other organisms.

NAEP Statement::
L4.4: When the environment changes, some plants and animals survive and reproduce; others die or move to new locations.

NAEP Statement::
L8.7: The number of organisms and populations an ecosystem can support depends on the biotic resources available and abiotic factors, such as quantity of light and water, range of temperatures, and soil composition.



Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.3.12- Predict the effect of a simple change in habitat on a plant or animal (e.g., lack of water, lack of plants).


Local/National Standards:

 

Primary Learning Objective(s):

  • Students will engage in conversations that evaluate an engineered solution that addresses the crisis on Staghorn and Elkhorn coral populations.
  • Students will hypothesize and design a plan to enhance the effectiveness of the coral reef nursery.
  • Students will draw a design of an additional solution that adds to the currently effective coral reef nursery project.
  • Students will use their knowledge and research to display, on a map, an additional location conducive to a coral reef nursery.
  • Students will create an Animoto presentation to display their design of a better solution to increase the effectiveness of the coral reef nursery.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Greater than 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

The teacher will need to provide access to the following materials to students:

  • Sticky notes (enough for each student to have at least five)
  • Chart Paper
  • Student Science Journals
  • Index cards for vocabulary flashcards (at least nine per student)
  • Nursery Drawing will require crayons, colored pencils, markers, and cardstock (or other durable paper). If the teacher chooses to use another art medium, such watercolor, then the teacher will need to supply watercolor paints, and watercolor paper as well. 

Websites:

The teacher will need to provide access to the following materials for each teacher-created group of 2-3 strategically placed students (for example: place high, average, and low ability students in a group together):

  • Chromebooks or portable devices to research ideas such as iPad, tablet, etc. (one for each group)

  • Internet access

Animoto (https://animoto.com) will require prior access and sign up. Subscription is free, but additional options may be purchased. Animoto is an online multimedia tool where songs can be added to enhance the presentation of visual images. The website offers a beginner's guide that will facilitate an introduction to the website. The app can be accessed with a laptop, iPad, iPhone, or Android device.

Technology Resources Needed:

  • Chromebooks or portable device to research ideas such as iPad, tablet, etc. (one for each group)
  • Internet access
  • Animoto (https://animoto.com) which will require prior access and sign up. Subscription is free, but additional options may be purchased.

Background/Preparation:

The teacher should gain access to any electronic devices or programs to be used in the lesson prior to student introduction.

Prior to the lesson, the teacher will ensure students are proficient in the following skills:

  • Students will have a working knowledge of the terms habitat and environment. 

  • Students should have a working knowledge of keyboarding skills.

  • Students should be aware of internet safety.

  • Students should be aware of the protocol for constructive criticism and positive feedback.

  • Students will know that their elbow partner is a student that sits next to them.

Prior to the lesson, the teacher will ensure students are emergent in the following skills:

  • Student will have beginner skills to navigate multimedia tool such as https://animoto.com. Teacher will use the website’s beginner's guide that will facilitate an introduction to the website.

  • Teacher will show an Animoto video example that they created, or they may use the one provided Real Life Equivalent Fractions Animoto Sample Presentation that was created as a model for a math lesson in order to provide a visual of the end result of their groups presentation.

  Procedures/Activities: 

Before: (Days 1-3)

The teacher will guide a class discussion regarding the students' experience with the environmental elements at the beach such as seaweed, sea shells, and coral. The teacher can also ask probing questions, such as "Have you ever snorkeled and viewed a fish swimming in the ocean?"

The teacher will introduce the lesson by playing the video from The Nature Conservancy:

The Nature Conservancy's underwater coral nursery project

The teacher will define the vocabulary words for students to copy onto flash cards (index cards). The teacher will create an anchor chart of the terms and definitions for students:

  1. nursery-any place in which something is bred, nourished, or fostered

  2. coral reef-reef composed mainly of coral

  3. reef-ridge of rocks or sand, often of coral debris, at or near the surface of the water

  4. habitat-the natural environment of an organism; place that is natural for the life and growth of an organism

  5. environment-the air, water, minerals, organisms, and all other external factors surrounding and affecting a given organism at any time

  6. resources-source of supply, support, or aid, especially one that can be readily drawn upon when needed

  7. propagation-multiplication by natural reproduction

  8. restoration-the act of restoring; renewal, revival, or reestablishment

  9. climate change-a long-term change in the earth's climate

The students will make flashcards to study the nine terms listed above to be incorporated into their discussions and reflections as it applies to the evaluation of the Coral Reef Nursery.

  • The teacher will explain to the students that many variables influence the underwater environment.

  • The teacher will explain to the students that they will soon begin to evaluate a solution to a problem that has occurred recently with something under the ocean that is responsible for the health of the entire ocean.

  • The teacher will introduce the lesson by displaying the article from the Nature Conservancy: Restoration Works Coral Reef Restoration.

  • The teacher will distribute three sticky notes to each student.

  • The students will listen as the teacher reads the article out loud (the text could be a challenging read for most third graders).

  • The teacher will stop at the end of each paragraph and allow students to write their thinking down on sticky notes.  At the end of each of the three sections, students will write a question or an important detail that they took away from the article.

  • The teacher will allow students to keep their sticky notes for discussion in their assigned groups.

  • The teacher will underline the quote from the article stating the environmental problem is: “Staghorn and Elkhorn coral populations in the Florida Keys, the Dry Tortugas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have declined by more than 97  percent.” The teacher will document this problem on an anchor chart.

  • The teacher will use The Continents and Oceans Map to locate and mark the area where the coral reef nursery is currently located.

  • The teacher will underline the quote from the article stating the engineered solution to the problem, “The Nature Conservancy and its partners are cultivating underwater nurseries to revive degraded coral reefs.” The teacher will document this engineered solution on the same anchor chart.

  • The teacher will ask the probing question, “Can reseeding reefs and building new nurseries help corals face new threats like the Gulf oil spill and climate change?” The teacher will document this question on the same anchor chart and document student responses to the question.

  • The teacher will ask students, “If the coral nursery fields are thriving at a given rate, how effective or ineffective is the engineered solution?” The teacher will document this question on the same anchor chart and document student responses to the question.

  • The teacher will ask students, ”Because these fields are thriving from Miami, Florida to the Virgin Islands, what do we know about other climates, habitats, or environments that could possibly increase the effectiveness of this solution?" The teacher will document this question on the same anchor chart and document student responses to the question.

  • The teacher will play the video interviewing those on the coral reef nursery process, Florida The Coral Nursery (after going to the website click the tab labeled “video” under the title).

  • The teacher will then have students refer to their sticky notes from the first passage.

  • The students will turn and talk to their elbow partner (students sitting immediately to their left or right) and attempt to answer the questions they had with their peer or share the facts they found important from the article.  

  • The teacher will listen in on student elbow partner (student to the left or right of the student) conversations and will be sure to acknowledge on task thinking, unique ideas, and incorporation of vocabulary taught.

The teacher will write the three essential questions to the evaluation of the engineered solution on chart paper for students to refer to throughout the process:

  1. How would you aid in the cause?

  2. Could manipulating the location of the fields help increase the effectiveness of this solution?

  3. How could you design a better solution to increase effectiveness?

  • The teacher will tell the students that they will now use their knowledge gained from the reading and videos to discuss ways to expand the size of coral reef nursery, which is already in place.
  • The students will also use their knowledge gained from the reading and videos to discuss ways to increase the effectiveness of coral reef nursery, which is already in place.

  • The students will take “silent wait time” (10-30 seconds) to think about what may be a better approach to the coral reef nursery.

  • Next, the students will write their idea on a sticky note.

  • The students will then turn and talk to their elbow partners about what they wrote on their sticky note.

  • The teacher will listen in on student elbow partner (student to the left or right of the student) conversations and will be sure to acknowledge on task thinking, unique ideas, and incorporation of vocabulary taught.

  • The teacher will prompt students in peer discussions if any student appears to be off task or has trouble conveying ideas.

  • Finally, the teacher will choose a couple of sticky notes per table and write the students' ideas on chart paper.

During: (Days 4-7)

  • The teacher will introduce the link Reef Resilience Toolkit for students to evaluate the tools that can be used to help answer the essential questions.

  • Students will use internet access with Chromebooks or portable devices (such as tablets) to begin researching their ideas on how they will make a better attempt at the currently effective and utilized coral reef nursery.

  • The teacher will provide links to each student group. Students will use the following links to gain knowledge on the best ways to help coral grow Reef Resilience Toolkit, How To Grow Coral 101: The Basics, CORAL keeping How to make them thrive, Coral Food: Make Your Corals Fat and Healthy, A Breakthrough for Coral Reef Restoration

  • The teacher will facilitate the research process as needed and ensure all students are on task while using internet access appropriately.

  • Students will collaborate with their groups to draw a design of a better attempt at the currently effective and utilized coral reef nursery.

  • The students will use the group design (drawing) to guide the hypothetical construction process.

  • The students will use The Continents and Oceans Map (one printed out for each group) to locate and mark the area that their group would plant the new coral nursery.

  • The students will document in their journals the elements that influenced them in placing the new coral reef nursery in the chosen location.

The teacher will ensure each group is answering the essential questions:

  1. How would you aid in the cause?

  2. Could manipulating the location of the fields help increase the effectiveness of this solution?

  3. How could you design a better solution to increase effectiveness?

After: (Days 8-10)

The teacher will display, review, and provide each group a copy of the rubric(Coral Reef Nursery Evaluation Presentation) before students begin to create their presentation.

Each group will create and present an Animoto presentation consisting of at least 5 slides:

  • Three slides will be used to address each of the three essential questions.
  • One slide will have a map image for where the group would locate a new coral reef nursery. The map image will be captured by taking a picture of the map with the tablet or portable device.
  • One slide will have the drawing of the design of a better attempt at the currently effective and utilized coral reef nursery. The drawing of the design will be captured by taking a picture of the drawing with the tablet or portable device. 

  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

  • The teacher will informally assess students’ claim and plan by observing student conversations during group work while ensuring students document their theories and plan of action they discuss in their journals.

  • The teacher will informally assess students’ ability to transfer knowledge of habitat, environment, and climate properly to where the new coral reef will be located by asking probing questions such as:

    “What about the climate is aiding in the effectiveness of the coral reef nursery?”

    “What other environments will be as effective?”

  • The teacher will informally assess the students’ evidence that does or does not support their claim by listening for vocabulary words taught explicitly (nursery, coral reef, habitat, environment, resources, propagation, restoration, climate change). Students should accurately communicate the connection to the content, while the teacher ensures students document the theories they discuss in their journals.

  • The teacher will informally assess students as the groups use the three essential questions to guide their research while ensuring students document the theories they discuss in their journals.

  • The teacher will formally assess the students’ learning objectives by using a rubric to guide and score the group’s Animoto presentation (Coral Reef Nursery Evaluation Presentation).

Acceleration:

Students working at an accelerated level who have completed the essential questions may choose to use The Nature Conservancy Website link (Oceans and Coasts Restoration Works) to choose another engineered solution and complete the same essential questions.

  • Students will be responsible for maintaining a journal that documents the completion of the essential questions.

Intervention:

  • The teacher will allow peer tutors for completion of vocabulary index cards as they will pertain to discussion and reflection of extending and enhancing the engineered solution.
  • The teacher will prompt students in peer discussions if any students appear to be off task or are having trouble conveying ideas.
  • The teacher may need to facilitate certain groups if there appears to be a lack of cohesiveness to the task in order to facilitate productive collaboration.

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.