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Interactive Ecosystems

Basics

  • Project TitleInteractive Ecosystems
  • Submitted ByIngrid Gustafson
  • OrganizationCambridge Public Schools
  • Brief DescriptionThrough observational drawing, painting, designing, computer coding, and basic circuitry, students will describe relationships among and between organisms in ecosystems.
  • Materials / ResourcesComputers for Students, EcoMUVE Forest Module from Harvard University, MakeyMakey Kits, Watercolor Paints and Brushes, Watercolor Paper 11x14 and 8x10, Scratch 2.0
  • Team membersKyle Browne, Artist from Cambridge Creativity Commons
    Candyce Dostert, Program Development & Grant Specialist, Cambridge Public Schools
    Ingrid Gustafson, 6-12 Instructional Technology Specialist, Cambridge Public Schools
    Dan Monahan, JK-8 Science Coach, Cambridge Public Schools
  • Pre-requisite knowledgeIt is helpful for students to have prior experience using Scratch, but it is not required for this project.
  • Technical support neededEcoMUVE is a free 3-D Ecosystems simulator that needs to be installed on computers for student use. It is not web-based. Scratch 2.0 is web-based, but if you are not able to use the web-based version, the offline editor needs to be installed on the student computers.

Key Questions

  • Key QuestionsHow do parts of an ecosystem interact with one another?
    How do scientists use evidence to support claims?
    How do computer scientists/computer engineers collaborate to complete a project?

  • Connections: How or why was this topic identified? Why is it meaningful?The Ecosystems unit is towards the end of the Biology unit for sixth grade science. After seeing the food webs created for the ecosystems unit, artist Kyle Browne suggested using scientific illustrations and watercolors as a way to both add color, detail, and creativity into the food web design. By having students work in their already selected groups of four to build a Scratch project, students also get exposure to computational thinking concepts related to computer science within the context of their science curriculum.
  • Background Research: What resources were used to find background information for this project?Existing District Science Curriculum Resources
    Materials from the EcoMUVE website: http://ecolearn.gse.harvard.edu/ecoMUVE/resources.php
    MakeyMakey website: http://makeymakey.com/
    Scratch Creative Computing Curriculum Guide: scratched.gse.harvard.edu/guide/
  • Outcomes: What was the outcome? How was it shared or applied in the community?Working in groups of four, students complete a labeled ecosystems web showing relationships between organisms in a forest ecosystem.
  • Family: Any opportunities to involve parent/guardians and other family members in this project?While the project is completed during the school day, families are welcome to attend a project showcase where students give families and community members opportunities to interact with their finished ecosystems web and Scratch project.

Units / Activities

  • 1. Making Discoveries in the Ecosystem 1 period (55 minutes)Introduce a forest ecosystem and familiarize students with the EcoMUVE program. Students will explore the virtual world and look for organisms in the forest ecosystem.Student Pre-Survey Laptop cart/computers EcoMUVE Experience 1 Presentation & Do Now Experience 1 Pre-Survey How Wolves Change Rivers Video www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa5OBhXz-Q --- Reading: Procedures/directions as progressing through the virtual ecosystem
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    View/Download File: Learning Experience 1

    View/Download File: Experience 1 - Presentation

    View/Download File: Experience 1 - Do Now

    View/Download File: Experience 1 - Pre-Survey

  • 2. Ecosystem Webs 1 periodStudents will learn about the role of producers and consumers within an ecosystem. Students will be able to categorize organisms accordingly. Additionally, students will be able to arrange organisms in an ecosystem web that represents relationships between biotic and abiotic factors within the ecosystem.Laptop cart/computers EcoMUVE Experience 2 Presentation & Do Now Experience 2 Ecosystem Web Template Web Tool Link: http://goo.gl/y94Tbp
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    View/Download File: Learning Experience 2

    View/Download File: Experience 2 - Presentation

    View/Download File: Experience 2 - Do Now

  • 3. Introducing the Problem: The Stakeholders 1 period Students will learn about stakeholders and their different perspectives pertaining to the Islands. Students will brainstorm ideas about why fewer people are visiting the park. Students will be divided into teams of four and assigned to a specialist role: public health intern, population specialist, bird watcher and botanist. Each specialist will take on a unique scientific role to help determine what may have caused the visitation to go down. Laptop cart/computers EcoMUVE Experience 3 Presentation (Includes Stakeholder Presentation) & Do Now Experience 3 - Zero Data Points Experience 3 - Team Brainstorming Guide Sheet --- Talk: Discuss with team members sharing information, evidence, and observations and to divide responsibilities among team members.
  •  /project501_7819/Experience 3 - Zero Data Points.png

    View/Download File: Learning Experience 3

    View/Download File: Experience 3 - Presentation

    View/Download File: Experience 3 - Do Now

    View/Download File: Experience 3 - Team Brainstorming Guide Sheet

  • 4. Investigating the Problem 2 periodsStudents will be grouped into teams of four. Each member will take on a unique scientific role to help their team determine what may have caused the reduction in visitation on Dover Island. The four scientist roles include bird watcher, public health worker, population specialist, and botanist. They will explore the forest ecosystem through the eyes of their scientist role. Students will use their Guide Sheets and Learning Quests to discover important information, creating their own version of a food web explaining what is happening on Dover Island. So students do not have to collect every piece of data, direct them to the EcoMUVE Master Data File.Laptop cart/computers EcoMUVE Experience 4 Presentation & Do Now Experience 4 - Differentiating Scientist Roles Scientist Role Guide Sheets (x4) Scientist Role Learning Quests Website: https://goo.gl/NvEHZh EcoMUVE Pond-Forest Master Data File --- Writing: Answering questions based on specialist’s role in the forest ecosystem
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    View/Download File: Learning Experience 4

    View/Download File: Experience 4 - Presentation

    View/Download File: Experience 4 - Do Now

    View/Download File: Experience 4 - Differentiating Scientist Roles

    View/Download File: Experience 4 - Guide Sheet Bird Watcher

    View/Download File: Experience 4 - Guide Sheet Botanist

    View/Download File: Experience 4 - Guide Sheet Population Specialist

    View/Download File: Experience 4 - Guide Sheet Public Health Intern

  • 5. Making Connections 1 period Students will discuss concepts of scale and complete various activities, such as the Tree Ring Tool (optional) and the Experience 5 - Scientist Roles Perspectives Sheet to help connect biotic and abiotic factors with the concept of scale.Laptop cart/computers EcoMUVE Experience 5 Presentation & Do Now Tree Ring Tool: http://goo.gl/kRXje3 Tree Ring Worksheet Scale of the Universe Website http://htwins.net/scale2/ Experience 5 - Scientist Roles Perspectives Sheet --- Reading: Learning Quests information and questions
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    View/Download File: Learning Experience 5

    View/Download File: Experience 5 - Presentation

    View/Download File: Experience 5 - Do Now

    View/Download File: Experience 5 - Scientist Roles Perspectives

    View/Download File: Experience 5 - Tree Ring Worksheet

  • 6. Population Dynamics 1 periodStudents will be able to interpret and represent data in multiple formats. Students will be able to share their findings and connect what they’ve learned about the differences between the two islands among species and scale to interpreting the changes observed in their graphs over time. Revisit the Guide Sheets including Team Brainstorming and Scientist Roles.
    Laptop cart/computers EcoMUVE Experience 6 Presentation & Do Now Experience 6 Team Evidence Worksheet Team Brainstorming Guide Sheet Scientist Role Guide Sheets & Learning Quests Scientist Roles Perspectives Sheet
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    View/Download File: Learning Experience 6

    View/Download File: Experience 6 - Presentation

    View/Download File: Experience 6 - Do Now

    View/Download File: Experience 6 - Team Evidence Worksheet

  • 7. Exploring Connections 1 periodStudents will learn how to represent complex relationships using a concept map with a real life example. Students will construct a team concept map of why fewer visitors are coming to Dover Island. Laptop cart/computers Experience 7 Presentation & Do Now Reading: Parachuting Cats Into Borneo --- Writing: Demonstrate understanding by creating a team concept map. Talk: Discuss with other specialists to share information
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    View/Download File: Learning Experience 7

    View/Download File: Experience 7 - Presentation

    View/Download File: Experience 7 - Do Now

    View/Download File: Experience 7 - Parachuting Cats into Borneo

  • 8. Presenting Findings using Scientific Illustration, Scratch & MakeyMakey 1 periodStudents begin preparing for presenting their findings through an interactive ecosystems project using the tools of watercolor, Scratch, and MakeyMakey as presentation tools. Present a sample finished product for each of the tools, the project rubric, and a Scratch project pulling it all together.

    In their teams, students will discuss and agree upon a final hypothesis/claim. Teams will compile evidence to support their hypothesis using data graphs from EcoMUVE and revise draft concept maps accordingly.
    Laptop cart/computers EcoMUVE Experience 8 Presentation & Do Now Final Rubric Final Watercolor Web Requirements Final Presentation Requirements Final Presentation Template Final Claim & Evidence Planning Sheet Sample Scratch Project & Watercolor Food Web MakeyMakey Scratch Permission Slip (if needed) --- Talk: Discuss with team members to share information, evidence and observations and to form conclusions Talk: Voice recording of evidence and reasoning Talk: Defend a claim based on evidence Writing: Demonstrate understanding by writing in the team presentation Writing: Demonstrate understanding by creating a concept map
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    View/Download File: Learning Experience 8

    View/Download File: Experience 8 - Presentation

    View/Download File: Experience 8 - Do Now

    View/Download File: Experience 8 - Final Rubric & Project Requirements

    View/Download File: Experience 8 - Final Presentation Template

    View/Download File: Experience 8 - Final Claim & Evidence Planning Sheet

    View/Download File: Experience 8 - Sample Scratch Project

    View/Download File: Experience 8 - Scratch Permission Slip

    View/Download File: Experience 8 - Teacher Guide Scratch & MakeyMakey

  • 9. Scientific Illustrations 3 periods With Visiting ArtistVisiting artist Kyle Browne will introduce students to drawing and watercolor techniques used for scientific illustrations to create their final food webs, including a forest background and organisms that support their solution to the Dover Island problem.
    Laptop cart/computers EcoMUVE Document Camera & Projector (if available) Experience 9 Presentation & Do Now Experience 9 - Sketch with Kyle Watercolors & Brushes Watercolor Paper Graphite pencils SchoolCam App or Digital Camera & Tripod or Document Camera to digitize artwork --- Talk: Discuss in a team each role and what flora or fauna each student will represent Talk: Share final watercolor with class Writing: Create key based on organism relationships
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    View/Download File: Learning Experience 9

    View/Download File: Experience 9 - Presentation

    View/Download File: Experience 9 - Do Now

    View/Download File: Experience 9 - Sketch with Kyle

  • 10. Introduction to Scratch & Computer Science Team Roles 2 periods With Library Technology Specialist/Instructional Technology Specialist SupportSimilar to the scientist roles, each student will take on a second role as a computer scientist for work on their final project: Broadcast Specialist, Cloning Specialist, Image Specialist or MakeyMakey Specialist. Once students have taken on their computer science role, the Library Technology Specialist/Instructional Technology Specialist will work with the classroom teacher to introduce the Scratch programming application (either online or offline editor) to students through a guided free-play period using the 10 Blocks Challenges.

    In the second class period, students will learn more about how their individual roles can contribute to the success of their team project through a jigsaw activity. The LTS/ITS leads these short activities with each of the four computer scientist roles.
    Laptop cart/computers Experience 10 Presentation & Do Now Watercolor Food Webs Watercolor Organisms Signed Scratch Permissions Slips (for online) Scratch Online/Scratch Offline Editor MakeyMakey Kits Circuit Scribe Pens Copper Tape Experience 10 - Broadcast Specialist Sample Code Experience 10 - Cloning Specialist Sample Code Experience 10 - Cloning Specialist Scratch Card Experience 10 - Image Import Specialist Directions Experience 10 - MakeyMakey Planning Sheet Experience 10 - MakeyMakey Setup Directions Scratch Interactive Ecosystems 10 Block Challenge Studio - https://goo.gl/fCDa9T Experience 10 - 10 Block Challenges --- Reading: Follow instructions by reading procedures
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    View/Download File: Learning Experience 10

    View/Download File: Experience 10 - Presentation

    View/Download File: Experience 10 - Do Now

    View/Download File: Experience 10 - Broadcast Specialist Sample Code

    View/Download File: Experience 10 - Cloning Specialist Sample Code

    View/Download File: Experience 10 - Cloning Specialist Scratch Card

    View/Download File: Experience 10 - Image Import Specialist Directions

    View/Download File: Experience 10 - MakeyMakey Planning Sheet

    View/Download File: Experience 10 - MakeyMakey Setup Directions

    View/Download File: Experience 10 - 10 Block Challenges

  • 11. Evidence to Support Causal Relationships & Building a Case 3 periods With Library Technology Specialist/Instructional Technology Specialist SupportStudents will use the sources of their evidence to support their claims and record their thinking Google Slides. Individual students will write support for their claim based off their research in their roles. Using Scratch, MakeyMakey and their final watercolor food webs, students will model their claim and solution through developing an interactive ecosystem. Laptop cart/computers EcoMUVE Experience 11 Presentation & Do Now Experience 11 - Oral Presentation Rubric Scratch MakeyMakey Kits Circuit Scribe Pens Copper Tape Snipping Tool (Windows) or Screenshots (Mac) Watercolor Food Webs Watercolor Organisms Any materials from previous classes to help contribute to the success of the final project. --- Talk: To defend a claim based on evidence Reading: Procedures/directions – following directions skills Writing: Explanation to demonstrate understanding
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    View/Download File: Learning Experience 11

    View/Download File: Experience 11 - Presentation

    View/Download File: Experience 11 - Do Now Team Daily Goal Sheet

    View/Download File: Experience 11 - Oral Presentation Rubric

  • 12. Interactive Ecosystem Presentations 1-2 periodsTeams of students will present their final interactive ecosystems either through a gallery walk or individual presentations to the class. Invite community members, family, etc. to the presentations. Laptop cart/computers EcoMUVE Experience 12 Presentation Scratch MakeyMakey Kits Any materials from previous classes to help contribute to the success of the final project. --- Talk: Explain and share final project with peers, school and community
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    View/Download File: Learning Experience 12

    View/Download File: Experience 12 - Presentation

  • 13. Final Assessment and Reflection 1 periodStudents will be asked to take a final assessment to help teachers gain a better understanding of their individual learning during this team project. Students will also be asked to report back on their use of creativity, as well as suggestions for future iterations of the project. Laptop cart/computers Experience 13 Presentation Final Assessment Student Post-Survey/Reflection
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    View/Download File: Learning Experience 13

    View/Download File: Experience 13 - Presentation

    View/Download File: Experience 13 - Final Exam

    View/Download File: Experience 13 - Post Survey _ Reflections

    View/Download File: Experience 13 - Teacher Post-Survey

Instructional Techniques

  • Group collaborationTo be successful, students will need to collaborate with group members on both science and computer science/technology content.
  • ArtStudents will examine the different organisms in the forest ecosystem by creating their own watercolor scientific illustrations.
  • Teacher directedThe teacher will guide students through the project to have a better understanding of relationships in a forest ecosystem.
  • Hands-onStudent will experience a virtual environment, collect their own data, create their own artwork, and develop a group project using circuitry and programming to demonstrate understanding.

Assessment Techniques

  • Formative AssessmentThrough do-now activities, check-ins, and looking at guide sheets, rough draft webs, etc. teachers will be able to determine student understanding throughout the course of the project and adjust as needed.
  • Summative AssessmentStudents will not only complete their group project, but also complete a final examination after the presentations of the group work.
  • ReflectionStudents will reflect on the project through an online reflection.
  • ObservationsObserve students as they work in their groups and independently.

Frameworks / Skills

  • Science Framework (K-8)
    13 Life
    Give examples of ways in which organisms interact and have different functions within an ecosystem that enable the ecosystem to survive#
    (Science Framework (K-8))
  • Science Framework (K-8)
    14 Life
    Explain the roles and relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers in the process of energy transfer in a food web#
    (Science Framework (K-8))
  • Science Framework (K-8)
    15 Life
    Explain how dead plants and animals are broken down by other living organisms and how this process contributes to the system as a whole#
    (Science Framework (K-8))
  • Arts Frameworks (5-8)
    1.6
    Create artwork that demonstrates an awareness of the range and purpose of tools such as pens, brushes, markers, cameras, tools and equipment for printmaking and sculpture, and computers
    (Arts Frameworks (5-8))
  • Arts Frameworks (5-8)
    2.11
    For space and composition, create unified 2D and 3D compositions that demonstrate an understanding of balance, repetition, rhythm, scale, proportion, unity, harmony, and emphasis. Create 2D compositions that give the illusion of 3D space and volume
    (Arts Frameworks (5-8))
  • Arts Frameworks (5-8)
    7.3
    Identify and describe careers in at least one art form
    (Arts Frameworks (5-8))
  • English Language Arts
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.1
    Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
    (English Language Arts)
  • English Language Arts
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.4
    Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
    (English Language Arts)
  • English Language Arts
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.5
    Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.
    (English Language Arts)
  • English Language Arts
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.1
    Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
    (English Language Arts)
  • English Language Arts
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.6-8.1a
    Introduce claim(s) about a topic or issue, acknowledge and distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and organize the reasons and evidence logically.
    (English Language Arts)
  • English Language Arts
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.6-8.1b
    Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, using credible sources.
    (English Language Arts)
  • English Language Arts
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.6-8.1c
    Use words, phrases, and clauses to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
    (English Language Arts)
  • English Language Arts
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.6-8.2e
    Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone.
    (English Language Arts)
  • English Language Arts
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.6-8.2f
    Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented.
    (English Language Arts)

Tags = science | art | interdiciplinary | ecosystems | technology | Subject = Science, Arts, Technology | Grade Level = MS | Time Period = School Year | Program/Funding = | 189 |
Direct website link to this project: http://resources21.org/cl/contextual.asp?projectnumber=501.7819