By Grade 7, students are beginning to realize that humans have significant impacts on the environment. In science class, the students analysed some of these impacts and their consequences, while reflecting upon their personal responsibility to protect the environment. During investigations, the students will observe existing ecosystems and investigate factors that may affect balances within the system. Students will learn that ecosystems consist of communities of plants and animals that are dependent upon each other as well as on the non-living parts of the environment.
As a culmination exercise at the end of the unit of work, the students are given an inquiry based research project question to do with the ecosystem. The students choose an ecosystem and designed a food web using technology to show how organisms feed at different levels. They then take the design a step further by creating a model of the ecosystem with discarded materials; they had to use not only their hands-on abilities, but stretch their thinking to recycle already used materials to fashion new items. This year, the students digitally created their ecosystems using the Chromebooks.
Please enjoy one of our students talking about his digital representation of his chosen ecosystem and food web!
Below is an example of how one student expressed their knowledge of ecosystems and how they need to be cared for, before creating their recycled model.
As the plants grow,
as the animals eat, the beautiful sun glows.
The beauty of the forest relaxes the wild ,
they’re calm and go with the flow.
Not far away in a quaint little house,
a match was struck and the flame was spread afar.
Spread through the forest, killed plants and all the speed of a racing car.
It was sad, I felt so bad, for all natures beauty destroyed.
And that is the story of old natures glory being destroyed.
As these abilities become obtained and refined at such a young age, it is definitely something that can be considered incredibly marketable in their futures. An ultimate goal of any teacher is to ensure students leave the class with the tools to become whomever they desire, and to succeed in their chosen field.