The goal of this unit is to equip students to explore how environmental changes affect organisms in an ecosystem and use that skill to defend an argument for or against the crisis in the ocean ecosystems. Additionally, students will determine the consequences of the role they play in global ecosystems and ways they could modify their behavior for more favorable global conditions.
Students begin their exploration by manipulating kelp forest ecosystem food webs and creating stable ecosystems that can best withstand crisis. From there students explore how changes in single organisms (specifically ecosystem engineers) affect the entire system, as well as how changes in the environment affect an ocean’s ecosystems. The final project focuses on how human activities specifically affect the ocean. Students must answer the question “Are the oceans in trouble?” and defend their conclusion in a class presentation. After the defense, students must reveal an ad campaign that advocates ways the average student could respond to their conclusions.
Hernandez, Elizabeth, "Are the Oceans in Trouble? (8th Grade)" (2017). Understanding by Design: Complete Collection. 386.