Science from Murf .LLC
This unit focuses on the ecology
concept that everything is connected to
each other. Students learn about levels
of biological organization, needs of
living things, habitat, competition, food
webs, predator prey relationships,
camouflage, mimicry, adaptations,
feeding relationships, parasitism,
mutualism, commensalism, exotic
species and much more. Exciting
hands-on activities, visuals, video links,
and much more follow the PowerPoint
Roadmap. Duration 6 weeks.
Download Link Below
Areas of Focus within The Ecology Interactions Unit:
Levels of Biological Organization (Ecology), Parts of the Biosphere, Habitat, Ecological Niche, Types
of Competition, Competitive Exclusion Theory, Limiting Factors, Animal Interactions, Food Webs,
Predator Prey Relationships, Camouflage, Population Sampling, Abundance, Relative Abundance,
Diversity, Mimicry, Batesian Mimicry, Mullerian Mimicry, Symbiosis, Parasitism, Mutualism,
Commensalism, Plant and Animal Interactions, Coevolution, Animal Strategies to Eat Plants, Plant
Defense Mechanisms, Exotic Species, Impacts of Invasive Exotic Species. An entire mini unit of
ecological succession is also included with homework, notes, field study project and PowerPoint
The Ecology Interactions Unit covers ecology topics associated with the topic: Everything Is
Connected to Each Other: Biological Organization, Competition, Food Webs, Predator Prey
Relationships, Camouflage, Mimicry, Adaptations, Feeding Relationships, Exotic Species, and
much more. This unit includes an interactive and engaging four part PowerPoint presentation of
3,000+ slides with built-in class notes (Red Slides), lab activities, project ideas, discussion
questions, assessments, quizzes, challenge questions, answers, videos, and much more. Text is in
large print (32 font) and is placed at the top of each slide so it can be read from all angles of a
classroom. A shade technique, as well as color coding text maintains student focus and allows the
teacher to control the pace of the lesson. Also included is a 11 page bundled homework package /
assessment that chronologically follows the unit PowerPoint, as well as 6 page modified
assessment. 8 pages of class notes (.doc) with images are also included for students who require
modifications, as well as answer keys to both assessments for support professionals, teachers, and
homeschool parents. 12+ video links are provided and a slide within the slideshow cues teacher /
parent when the videos are most relevant to play. Video shorts usually range from 2-7 minutes.
Three PowerPoint review games are included. Answers to the PowerPoint review games are
provided in PowerPoint form so students can self-assess. Lastly, several class games such as
guess the hidden pictures, where's the owl, and answer review questions with your feet are
provided. Difficulty rating of 5 (Ten is most difficult).
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
MS.LS1.4 (Provide evidence / use argument to explain animal behaviors and plants structures
to increase successful reproduction)
• This is covered in plant animal interactions, seed dispersal mechanisms, symbiosis.
MS.LS1.5 (Discuss and explanation for how envs. factors influence the growth of an organism)
• This is covered throughout the unit as the big abiotic factors are described
MS.LS2.1 (Interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on
organisms and populations in an ecosystem).
• Student record notes, see video links, and partake in a really neat simulation that has
them collect seeds. Several reminder slides reviews with the students that as resources
increase populations generally increase. Habitat, predator prey games, and much more cover
this standard well.
MS.LS2.4 (Describe with evidence that changes to the physical or biological components of an
ecosystem can affect populations).
• Students learn about food webs and the interconnectedness of species. Teacher uses
string to connect students representing various organisms in a food web together. The web
collapses as changes in the food web unfold. Discussion follows with a set of slides that
discuss the needs of living things and how changes in these needs can affect the population.
Other limiting factors are addressed and some video links provided. Several data collecting
activities associated with populations of organisms are provided.
MS.LS2.2 (Explain a pattern of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems).
• Types of competition are described as well as competitive exclusion theory. Predator prey relationships provided and some neat hands-on class simulations
provided. Types of symbiosis including mutualisms, plant animal interactions, and much more are described. Niche, needs of living things, and the effects of exotic species
in an ecosystem are also provided. This unit is called the Ecology Interactions unit and addresses this standard throughout.
MS.LS2.5 (Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services).
• The importance of wetlands is addressed for their cleaning and purifying values as well being an important habitat to maintain biodiversity. Biodiversity as well as
the importance of biodiversity is addressed. Ways to maintain biodiversity by decreasing human interference, decreasing habitat destruction, and maintaining keystone
species is described. A series of challenge questions are provided.
5.ESS2.1 (Develop an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere interact).
• Slides provide several examples and also describe what each sphere is. Other units such as the abiotic factors unit and weather unit make deeper connections and
these spheres are addressed again.
3-5.ETS1.1 (Make observation and measurements to identify materials based on their properties).
3-5.ETS1.2 (Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or want that included specified criteria for success with materials, time, or cost)
HS.LS2.5 (Develop a model to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and
• Students learn the process of photosynthesis and respiration in the form of notes, games, video links, activities, and review opportunities. Reference to carbon
being cycled throughout the biosphere is addressed in a series of slides made easy for the student to understand.
HS.LS2.1 (Use mathematical and/or computational representations to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales).
• Human population growth and other animation population graphs (predator / prey) are addressed. Human population growth includes several models, graphs,
historical information, exponential growth activity, and with video and academic links. Carrying capacity, limiting factors (density dependent and density independent), and
R vs. K selected species are addressed in a series of slides with visuals. This is done in a way for younger and older students to understand.
HS.LS2.2 (Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting populations in ecosystems).
• The mathematics is middle school, but student’s collect, average, graph, and explains trends in population changes in several activities.
HS.LS2.8 (Evaluate evidence for the role of group behavior on individual and species change to survive to reproduce).
• Students learn about animal behaviors such as flocking, school, herding and the advantages that they bring. Students record notes, see visuals, video links, and
partake in a resource gathering exercise. Questions follow the activity.
HS.LS2.6 (Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in
stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem).
• Students learn about limiting factors (density dependent and independent), carrying capacity (r and K selection), and predator prey relationships. Several slides
describe disturbances that can change the ecosystem. Students learn that K selected species don’t usually exceed their carrying capacity.
HS.LS2.2 (Use mathematical representations to support and revise explanations based evidence about factors that affect biodiversity and populations).
• Students learn about the factors that affect and the importance of maintaining biodiversity. Students also learn to calculate relative abundance and species
abundance and graph their findings.
HS.LS2.7 (Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity).
• Students learn the importance of maintaining biodiversity and then are provided some ways to reduce the impact on species. A series of slides with visuals
encourage the prevention of habit loss, increasing laws and regulations, conserving land, parks, protecting keystone species, and minimizing human interference. A neat
video link compares plantation forestry to native regeneration forestry in Tasmania.
Traditional standards addressed in the Ecology Interactions Unit
Below are just a few of the typical standards that this unit addresses for those that are interested. This unit does cover many topics/ standards that are not addressed
●Keep a journal record of observations, recognizing patterns, summarizing findings, and reflecting on the observations.
●Identify the resources plants and animals need for growth and energy, and describe how their habitat provides these basic needs.
●Recognize that the transfer of energy through food is necessary for all living organisms and describes the organization of food webs.
●Recognize that plants and animals interact with one another in various ways besides providing food, such as seed dispersal or pollination.
●Recognize and describe the hierarchical organization of living systems, including cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, whole organisms, and ecosystems.
●Explain that most microorganisms do not cause disease and that many are beneficial to the environment.
●Describe ways plants and animals depend on each other.
●Recognize that some living things, which lived on Earth long ago, are now extinct, such as dinosaurs, mammoths, giant tree ferns, and horsetail trees.
●Define a population as all individuals of a species that exist together at a given place and time, and explain that all populations living together in a community, along with
the physical factors with which they interact, compose an ecosystem.
●Identify and describe the ways in which organisms interact and depend on one another in an ecosystem, using food webs.
●Identify the potential impact of converting forested land to uses such as farms, homes, factories, or tourist attractions.
●Define a population as all individuals of a species that exist together at a given place and time; and explain that all populations living together in a community, along with
the physical factors with which they interact, compose an ecosystem.
●Provide examples of how all organisms, including humans, impact their environment; and explain how some changes can be detrimental to other organisms.
●Use a variety of tools and formats (oral presentations, journals, and multimedia presentations) to summarize and communicate the results of observations.
●Organize observations and data into tables, charts and graphs.
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