Focus: Students explore habitats and communities: what they are, how they interrelate, and how humans affect them.

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1 T E A C H E R S N O T E S Focus: Students explore habitats and communities: what they are, how they interrelate, and how humans affect them. Learning Goals: Students will have opportunities to learn how to correctly use the terms biome, habitat, species, community, ecosystem, population, food chain, and food web how to identify and describe different habitats that plants and animals are interdependent that plants and animals adapt to survive in different habitats that changes to habitats can affect plants and animals and the way they interrelate how human activities harm ecosystems in many ways how humans can help protect living organisms and the environment Discussion Prompts: Where do animals live? Where do plants live? What is a habitat? What do plants and animals need to survive? How do plants and animals help each other? How does thick fur help animals in cold climates survive? Do some animals move from one habitat to another? Why? When? How do people depend on plants and animals? Assessment Prompts: Do students demonstrate, in their discussions and answers to questions, understanding of the science vocabulary used in the cards for this unit? Are students able to carry out the skills of scientific inquiry, following activity procedure steps safely and accurately, making observations when appropriate? Assess students responses during discussions. - Do students understand that habitats can be found in many places? Can they point out habitats in different locations? Can they describe different habitats? - Can students give an example of how people depend on plants and animals? - Are students able to describe the special features of some plants and animals that help them survive? Can students create a simple food chain showing the relationship between three or more organisms? Can students suggest ways that humans can help ecosystems thrive? Can they list ways to reduce the negative impact of humans on ecosystems? Links to PCSP Student Book Healthy Habitats: Card 1: see Lessons 2 and 3 Card 2: see Lessons 2, 3, 9, and 10 (and Variety of Life: Lesson 3) Card 3: see Lessons 2, 5 8, and 10 Card 4: see Lessons 4 and 8 Card 5: see Lessons 2, 3, 7, 9, 11, and 12

2 Focus: Students explore biomes and habitats. Introduce students to the topic with the video of a tree frog climbing up a leafy bush. Discuss the video and any comments or questions students may have. Students watch a simple animation of Earth revolving, which demonstrates clearly how much of Earth is covered in water. Text describes the aquatic biome, providing the answer to the Think question. enhance their understanding of biomes large areas sharing characteristics, such as climate. Ask Students: What are the characteristics of one or more biomes? (Deserts are often hot and dry. Forests are usually fairly wet and have many trees.) Assessment: Can students list three or more biomes? (deserts, forests, grasslands, tundra, aquatic) Did students describe the characteristics of one or more biomes? PCSP Interactive Science Teacher s Notes When students click on the orange icon, a new screen, entitled Biomes of Africa, appears. Text explains how major biomes can be divided into smaller biomes. An interactive map shows the different biomes of Africa. When students click on a coloured region on the map, a pop-up photograph reveals an animal that is typical of that region, along with the type of biome (e.g., grassland). Learning Goals: Students extend their understanding of biomes and understand how different biomes attract different animals. Ask Students: Can you make a chart showing the animals that come from each area? Why do you think fennec foxes and zebras live in different regions? (prefer different habitats) Assessment: Do students charts show one species from each area on the map of Africa? Students see an animated illustration of a coral reef with fish swimming. The text under the main heading provides the answer to the Think question. Students can then click on yellow boxes and drag them to the correct position in the coral reef scene. This is a timed activity. extend their learning about a specific habitat the coral reef. Ask Students: What is the same about these organisms found in the coral reef habitat? What is different? Assessment: Can students identify the main characteristics of a coral reef habitat? (warm shallow water, huge number of organisms) 2

3 Corresponding to page 4 of the card, this screen includes the illustration of a prairie dog habitat (with a simple animation) and a blank writing tablet on which students may type. Students click on Write text to activate this feature. Alternatively, students may write out their responses in their Science Journals. identify key characteristics of a specific habitat. Ask Students: What is the prairie dog habitat like? (lots of grass, few trees, fairly dry soil, sometimes desert conditions) Where do most prairie dogs live in Canada? Assessment: Are students able to describe the prairie dog habitat accurately? Corresponding to page 4 of the card, this screen extends to reveal an illustration of a burrow. The new screen is titled Dirt Diggers. Students discover the answer to the Think question by playing the drag-and-drop activity with a wide variety of animals from around the world. This is a timed activity. identify burrowing and nonburrowing animals. Ask Students: What burrowing animals live in your community? What features enable them to burrow? Assessment: Do students understand why some animals burrow underground? Have students describe the main features of this underground habitat. (dry, not too cold, grassland biome) PCSP Interactive Science Teacher s Notes 3

4 Focus: Students explore ecosystems and how plants and animals interact within an ecosystem. Students see an illustration of a rainforest and listen to a sound recording of rainforest animals. Text describes the rainforest ecosystem, providing the answer to the first question (of two) posed in the Think question. By clicking an orange icon near the Think question, students click to another page, which provides the answer to the continued next page Introduce students to the topic with the video that shows zebras joining wildebeests at a watering hole. Discuss the video and any comments or questions students may have. Video: A hungry lioness chases a herd of zebras. Students see an illustration of a desert ecosystem with many desert animals. Students play a drag-and-drop activity to label correctly the animals pictured. This is a timed activity. Students are then asked to write how these animals might interact, which pertains to the second part of the Think question. explore how organisms interact within a specific ecosystem the desert. Ask Students: Which animals eat which other animals? How else might these animals interact? (Larger animals eat smaller animals. Some animals eat plants and seeds. Small mammals may eat leftovers from a larger animals kill.) How does the thick stem of the cactus help this plant survive in the desert? (Note: This is an optional question relating to other learning goals.) Assessment: Have students re-write their written responses in their Science Journals after, or instead of, the typing activity. Check students written responses. Do students understand which animals eat which other animals? PCSP Interactive Science Teacher s Notes 4 Students see a photograph of a lion killing a zebra. The text under the main heading ( How Animals Interact ) provides the answer to the Think question. Students can then click on another Think box: What could cause a population to change? This takes them to a drag-anddrop activity where they must place the photos and labels in the correct column. Three of the photos show factors that increase populations, while three other photos show factors that decrease populations. This is a timed activity. explore how organisms interact within ecosystems. Ask Students: How could bad weather decrease the number continued next page

5 Corresponding to page 4 of the card, this screen presents an interactive way of completing the puzzle from scratch. The puzzle illustrates the levels of life, from individual to biosphere. This is a timed activity. Learning Goals: Students learn to use science and technology terms accurately, including ecosystem, community, population, and individual. Students extend and enrich their learning about the organizational levels of the environment and learn to use new science terms (biosphere, biome). Ask Students: What does this diagram show? Why is this diagram a good way to present this information? How else could you present this information? Assessment: Do students fully grasp the concept that each level of life is increasingly more complex and contains more species? continued from page 4 continued from page 4 of animals in an ecosystem? How does more competition for food and water affect the number of animals in an ecosystem? Assessment: Do students understand that a number of factors can affect the population of organisms within an ecosystem? PCSP Interactive Science Teacher s Notes 5 second Think question. Students can play a matching game by dragging green boxes to the correct position, labelling five animals. This is a timed activity. By clicking an icon near the Think question ( How are living things linked in a rainforest ecosystem? ), students can learn about the flow of energy in a rainforest ecosystem by playing another drag-and-drop activity. enhance their understanding of ecosystems by learning about rainforests. Ask Students: Can you describe the characteristics of a rainforest? (Rainforests are very wet, dark, have many trees, plants, and animals, including tapirs, toucans, snails, termites, and tree frogs.) Assessment: Are students able to describe a rainforest ecosystem accurately?

6 Focus: Students explore a variety of food chains and food webs. The text next to the Think box provides its answer. Students play a drag-and-drop activity to place a series of different organisms into the illustrated table. After clicking on another Think question ( Which living things in a food chain or food web would have the largest population? ), students view a screen that includes an energy pyramid. There is a wide base containing the producers and a pointed apex containing the secondary consumers. Students drop the labels into the correct position on the energy pyramid. Learning Goals: Students classify and identify organisms according to their role in a food chain and learn how energy is transferred from producers to consumers. Ask Students: Which way should the arrow point in a food chain showing a fox and a rabbit? (towards the fox) Assessment: Do students understand Video: A brown bear the role of producers in food catches a salmon. webs? Give students the names of ten organisms and ask them to classify them. (producers: milkweed, grass, maple tree; primary consumers: deer, moose, rabbits, mice; secondary producers: minke whale, grizzly bear, eagle, lynx, cougar) Introduce students to the topic with the video of a woodchuck eating grass. Discuss the video and any comments or questions students may have. Students see an illustration of a sunflower and read text that provides the answer to the Think question. A drag-and-drop activity allows students to label the illustration demonstrating photosynthesis. By clicking an icon near the Think question ( How do underwater plants make their food? ), students click to another page with a photograph of a kelp forest. The text under the Think question provides its answer. Students can play a matching game by dragging green boxes to the correct position and labelling an illustration of a kelp forest food chain. Learning Goals: Students review photosynthesis and explore a food chain in a kelp forest ecosystem. Ask Students: Can you describe photosynthesis? Can you draw a food chain in a kelp forest ecosystem? Assessment: Do students understand the importance of sunlight to ecosystems? Do students grasp that organisms depend on one another within specific communities and habitats? Can they express this concept with examples? PCSP Interactive Science Teacher s Notes 6

7 Corresponding to page 4 of the card, this screen presents an interactive, drag-and-drop activity to identify the animals in the city scene (rather than making a list as suggested on the card). This is a timed activity. (Note: Students must drop the labels on top of the orange dots.) learn that ecosystems, and different kinds of animals, are found everywhere. Ask Students: Can you identify some different plants that appear in this illustration? Do you have an ecosystem like this in your area? If so, describe it. If not, describe a different ecosystem in your area. Assessment: Do students understand that many different types of ecosystems exist in the world? Can they list some of the organisms in one ecosystem? PCSP Interactive Science Teacher s Notes 7

8 Focus: Students explore how some animals adapt to survive in their environment. Students explore a screen with an illustration of a camel walking in the desert and an inset illustration showing a labelled, close-up drawing of a camel hump. Text provides the answer to the Think question. enhance their understanding of structural adaptations that allow animals to survive in desert habitats. Ask Students: Can you review the characteristics of a desert? Write a brief paragraph continued next page Students see a screen with various photographs of animals from the Arctic and Antarctic. Students play a drag-and-drop activity where they must place the correct symbol on each animal to designate where they are from (Arctic, Antarctic, both). This is a timed activity. explore the variety of continued next page Introduce students to the topic with the video of penguins walking in the Antarctic. Discuss the video and any comments or questions students may have. Students see an illustration of an ocean floor filled with deepsea organisms. They hear a recording of bubbles and deepsea sounds. Text answers the Think question. In a moment, labels appear describing the various organisms pictured. explore how deep-sea organisms have special adaptations that allow them to survive in an extreme environment. Video: A polar bear walks along Ask Students: Why aren t in along its Arctic in its environment. Arctic environment. there any plants on the ocean floor? (no sunlight ) What is so special about hydrothermal vents? (create a warmer environment where some organisms can live) Assessment: Ask students to present orally one deep-sea organism of their choice. Check to see if students have described the adaptations and characteristics that allow this organism to survive at the bottom of the sea. PCSP Interactive Science Teacher s Notes 8

9 Corresponding to page 4 of the card, this screen presents a bar graph activity. Students click and drag the bars up and down to show the high and low temperatures in each region. learn that different regions have very different ranges in temperature. Ask Students: How do the different ranges in temperature affect the living things in each region? Assessment: Do students understand that temperature can vary widely from one region (or biome) to another? continued from page 8 explaining how camels have adapted to survive in the desert. Assessment: Check students understanding of animal adaptations by reading their paragraphs about camels. Have students provided examples or evidence to support their responses? continued from page 8 organisms that are able to survive in the extremely cold climates of the Arctic and Antarctic. Ask Students: What is migration? Explain the term hibernation? What does camouflage mean? How do migration, hibernation, and camouflage all help organisms survive in cold climates? Assessment: Can students define migration, hibernation, and camouflage correctly? Can they provide an example of an animal that uses one or more of these ways to survive in extreme cold? PCSP Interactive Science Teacher s Notes 9

10 Focus: Students explore how people affect ecosystems and habitats. Introduce students to the topic with the video of young people picking up garbage on a beach. Discuss the video and any comments or questions students may have. This screen extends to reveal a larger, close-up view of the panoramic illustration on the bottom left of the card. The new screen is titled Human Impact on Ecosystems. Clicking on the red buttons makes sound effects play, labels appear, and animations, such as smoke, appear. By clicking the orange boxes with arrows, students can scroll back and forth across the panoramic illustration. analyze some of the negative impacts of human activities on the environment. Ask Students: How does a shrinking forest impact the animals that live there? Why do we cut down forests? How does polluted water and acid rain affect fish? How do we cause pollution in waterways and in the air? Assessment: Have students draw their own panoramic illustration. Ask them to draw and label things that protect the environment, such as conservation areas, recycling plants, and windmills. The screen reveals a map of Australia and a photograph of a cane toad. Text describes the history of cane toads in Australia, providing the answer to the Think question. By clicking the orange box with the arrow, students hear frog sounds and see how the number of cane toads has spread quickly along the coast and across the land. Students see a photograph of a fishing boat and a large catch of fish. The text under the main heading continued next page This screen reveals a photograph of a polluted waterway with a revolving Earth in the central foreground. Many different ways to save our planet appear in coloured boxes around Earth. By pressing Clear text, students see the prompt, What else can you do? continued next page Learning Goals: Students learn how changes to species, brought about by humans, can have a negative impact on the way organisms interrelate. Students extend and enrich their learning by investigating an example of an invasive species (the cane toad in Australia) and its impact on the environment. Ask Students: How do humans change the environment? How do changes upset the balance? What effects can these changes have upon species? Assessment: Ask students to list some ways in which humans have harmed the environment. Have students focus their responses on living organisms. PCSP Interactive Science Teacher s Notes 10

11 Corresponding to page 4 of the card, this screen presents a map of the world showing endangered species. The text focuses on loss of habitat as a result of human activities, leading to endangered animals. learn about eight different endangered species from around the world. Ask Students: Research to find one more species to add to this map. Why is this species endangered? Assessment: Did students find an example of another endangered species? Did they plot it correctly on a map of the world? Can students explain why their species is endangered? continued from page 10 This gives students the opportunity to list other ways to help the environment. propose ways to prevent or reduce harm to the environment. Ask Students: What aspects of the environment are most important to you? Why? What could you do to protect them? Assessment: Have students create a plan for interacting with nature in positive ways. Students responses should consider ways to minimize any negative impacts brought about by human activities. After clicking on the icon next to the Think box, a screen entitled Conservationists at Work appears. Text answers the Think question. An illustration of pages torn from a diary contains four different photographs of a tiger and her cubs, which students can drag and drop into the correct position. explore the role of conservationists who work to help animals and to minimize the negative impacts of human activities on habitats and species. Ask Students: How do you think conservationists and biologists might work together to help species survive? What other jobs do people have that protect the environment and organisms? Why is it good to promote green spaces? Assessment: Can students identify ways to protect species from harm? Do students understand how conservationists help to preserve habitats for species? continued from page 10 ( All Caught Out ) provides the answer to the Think question. explore how humans depend on animals (fish) for nutrition, jobs, and a way of life. Ask Students: Do you like to eat fish? Have you ever gone fishing? What can we do to make sure there are fish to eat for future generations? Assessment: Have students write a paragraph about this statement: Human activities impact species and the environment. Check that students have included more than one perspective in their responses (e.g., people who make a living by fishing, people who eat fish, conservationists). PCSP Interactive Science Teacher s Notes 11

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