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Science and Technology/Engineering
Curriculum Framework - Spring 2001

Appendix III

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Additional Activities to Enhance the Learning Standards

Life Science (Biology)

In this Appendix are additional activities to enhance the learning standards. Activities in regular type are Ideas for Developing Investigations and Learning Experiences, those in italics are Suggested Extensions to Learning in Technology/Engineering.

Grades 6-8

Standard #12

  • Discuss reasons for the extinction of dinosaurs. Sudden change in climate? Drought? Catastrophic geological events?

Standard #13

  • Look at the dispersal of pollen by bees and other insects to enable the reproduction andpropagation of plants.
  • Investigate the interactions of organisms in a local environment.
  • In a wooded area, observe the ecosystem contained in the leaf litter and discuss how it sustains the larger ecosystem of the forest.

Standard #15

  • Observe and document the effects of decay on materials (e.g., fruits) left to rot.
  • Establish a compost bin. Analyze the decay of the contents and the gradual appearance of various organisms over time.
  • Investigate wetland soil. Discuss how organic material is broken down more slowly in anaerobic conditions.

Standard #17

  • Research natural and human-caused changes in some of the large-scale ecosystems(biomes) on earth.
  • Use computer simulations to model the growth of plants on a plot of land or a sanddune or after a volcanic eruption.
  • Review the data (on websites) gathered by scientists who are conducting long-term ecologicalresearch. How are they monitoring sea level rises?
  • Observe movement of barrier beaches seasonally. Compare jettied and non-jettiedbeaches.
  • Investigate the effects of a tidal restriction on a salt marsh.
  • Compare ecosystems with low and high biodiversity, e.g., salt marsh has low biodiversity, rainforest has high biodiversity. Discuss the timeframe that species have had to adapt, noting the impact of glaciation on ecosystems close to the poles.

Last Updated: May 1, 2001
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