Environmental Science Unit 1: The Living World

Course Essential Understandings

  1. Science is a process.
    • Science is a method of learning more about the world.
    • Science constantly changes the way we understand the world.
  2. Energy conversions underlie all ecological processes.
    • Energy cannot be created; it must come from somewhere.
    • As energy flows through systems, at each step more of it becomes unusable.
  3. The Earth itself is one interconnected system.
    • Natural systems change over time and space.
    • Biogeochemical systems vary in ability to recover from disturbances.
  4. Humans alter natural systems.
    • Humans have had an impact on the environment for millions of years.
    • Technology and population growth have enabled humans to increase both the rate and scale of their impact on the environment.
  5. Environmental problems have a cultural and social context.
    • Understanding the role of cultural, social, and economic factors is vital to thedevelopment of solutions.
  6. Human survival depends on developing practices that will achieve sustainablesystems.
    • A suitable combination of conservation and development is required.
    • Management of common resources is essential.

Course Goals: to understand and demonstrate that:

  1. Science is a process.
  2. Energy conversions underlie all ecological processes.

And to:

  • develop your understanding of the nature of science as it pertains to the physical world.
  • understand and describe, qualitatively and quantitatively, the nature of matter and energy and apply your understanding to natural phenomena you observe
  • investigate and understand the interactions between humans and the Earth.
  • critically observe environmental systems
  • develop and conduct well-designed experiment


Course Essential Questions

  • How might I use scientific inquiry to investigation the natural world?
  • How can I use my experience in science to learn to think and communicate clearly, logically, and critically in preparation for college and a career?
  • How can I best assess my own learning and progress?
  • How can I use technology in my learning and become a better digital citizen?
  • How can I think more divergently, creatively, and innovatively as a scientist?

Scientific Inquiry and Application Skills

  • Identify questions and concepts that guide scientific investigations
  • Design and conduct scientific investigations
  • Use technology and mathematics to improve investigations and communications
  • Formulate and revise explanations and models using logic and evidence (critical thinking)
  • Recognize and analyze explanations and models
  • Communicate and support a scientific argument

Unit Essential Questions

  1. How do scientists collect data on our Earth's climate?

Understandings

  1. Scientific claims are supported by evidence and explained by scientific reasoning.
Learning Targets:

Students will be able to....

  1. Define weather and climate and tell the differences between them.
  2. Describe the energy entering and leaving the earth as a balance
  3. List greenhouse gases and explain why they are called greenhouse gases
Learning Targets: Essential Question

Students will be able to.....

  1. State the essential question, and
  2. Explain how each topic of study is foundational to or otherwise related to our essential question.
Academic Vocabulary: Bricks Academic Vocabulary: Mortar
  • Climate System
  • Weather
  • Atmosphere
  • temperature
  • variation
  • Sun
  • Earth
  • Energy Budget
  • Albedo Long wave radiation
  • Short wave radiation
  • Greenhouse gases
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Water Vapor
  • Methane
  • Nitrous Oxide
  • Atmosphere
  • Temperature Mitigation
  • Power Plant 
  • Nuclear Power
  • Wind
  • Fossil Fuel
  • Sinks
  • Forests
  • Oceans
  • adaptation
  • land ice
  • consensus
  • evidence
  • strategy
  • carbon emissions
  • transportation
  • electricity
  • Renewable Energy
  • Sea Level Rise
  • Glacial Cover
  • Ice Cores
  • biofuel
  • describe
  • elaborate
  • explain
  • analyze
  • classify
  • compare
  • contrast
  • relate
  • interpret
  • list; state
  • explain
  • define
  • law (in science)
  • claim
  • evidence
  • reason

Handouts

Resources

Links


Daily Learning Activities
Day 17
Sept 11
  • Learning Target/Question
    • Design and conduct a scientific experiment to measure the impact of CO2 on temperature
  • Activities/Strategies
    • Data collection CO2 lab
    • small groups
  • Assessments
    • Lab report
  • Assignment

    • Complete conclusion
Day 18
Sept 12
  • Learning Target/Question
    • Formulate and revise explanations and models using logic and evidence (critical thinking)
  • Activities/Strategies
    • Graphing and analysis of data using Desmos
    • Conclusion: claim, evidence, reason
    • Review models on the Earth's energy balance
    • Bathub source and sink
  • Assessments
    • Lab report
  • Assignment

    • Complete lab report; submit in your folder
Day 19
Sept 13
  • Learning Target/Question
    • Air and pollution: Greenhouse gases
    • Explain the effects of CO2 and other greenhouse gases on the Earth
  • Activities/Strategies
  • Assessments
    • Gas Files Questions
  • Assignment

    • Add terms to concept map; rearrange as needed
Day 20
Sept 14
  • Learning Target/Question
    • Air and pollution: Greenhouse gases
    • Explain the effects of CO2 and other greenhouse gases on the Earth
  • Activities/Strategies
    • Review models on the Earth's energy balance
    • Examine mitigation strategies
  • Assessments
    • class discussion (small group, now)
  • Assignment

    • Add terms to concept map
Day 21
Sept 15
  • Learning Target/Question
    • Air and pollution: Greenhouse gases
    • Explain the effects of CO2 and other greenhouse gases on the Earth
  • Activities/Strategies
    • Summary paragraph
  • Assessments
    • Quiz
  • Assignment
Day 22
Sept 18 Monday
  • Learning Target/Question
    • Explain how solar radiation and Eath's temperature are related.
    • Define mitigation and begin to think about mitigation in terms of climate
  • Activities/Strategies
    • Terms activity
    • Concept map updates
  • Assessments
    • Concept map
  • Assignment
    • Edits to concept map
Day 23
Sept 19 Tuesday
  • Learning Target/Question
    • How do we know about the climate from a very long time ago?
    • Explain the information we get from ice cores and tell what it means.
  • Activities/Strategies
    • Interactive lecture and summarization
  • Assessments
    • Concept map
  • Assignment
    • none
Day 24
Sept 20 Wednesday
  • Learning Target/Question
    • Analyze sources of climate data and discuss possible impact of climate change on physical systems.
    • What are the possible impacts of climate on the physical Earth?
  • Activities/Strategies
    • Station activities
  • Assessments
    • CER writing
  • Assignment
    • edits to concept map
Day 25
Sept 21 Thursday
  • Learning Target/Question
    • Analyze sources of climate data and discuss possible impact of climate change on physical systems.
    • What are the possible impacts of climate on the physical Earth?
  • Activities/Strategies
    • Station activities (continued)
    • Interactive lecture - Mitigation
  • Assessments
    • CER
  • Assignment
    • Review terms for quiz
Day 26
Sept 22 Friday
  • Learning Target/Question
    • analyze data to determine the consequences of climate change on environmental, biological, human, and social systems and identify adaptation strategies for these consequences.
  • Activities/Strategies
  • Assessments
    • Claim-evidence-reason paragraphs due - discuss
    • Quiz
  • Assignment
    • Assignment
Day 27
Sept 25 Monday
  • Learning Target/Question
    • Revisit: Fossil fuels, carbon sinks, the carbon cycle and CO2, and transportation
  • Activities/Strategies
    • Written description of carbon cycle diagram, explain the path of a carbon molecule through the cycle.
  • Assessments
    • Peer review of description
  • Assignment
Day 28
Sept 26 Tuesday
  • Learning Target/Question
    • Students will analyze data to determine the consequences of climate change on environmental, biological, human, and social systems and identify adaptation strategies for these consequences
  • Activities/Strategies
    • Sea Level Activity (outside)
  • Assessments
    • Claim Evidence Reason summary
  • Assignment
Day 29
Sept 27 Wednesday
  • Learning Target/Question
    • Students will analyze data to determine the consequences of climate change on environmental, biological, human, and social systems and identify adaptation strategies for these consequences
  • Activities/Strategies
    • Task cards - biological systems
  • Assessments
    • Individual written response
  • Assignment
    • Concept Maps - add terms
Day 30
Sept 28 Thursday
  • Learning Target/Question
    • Students will analyze data to determine the consequences of climate change on environmental, biological, human, and social systems and identify adaptation strategies for these consequences
  • Activities/Strategies
    • Preparation for wedge mitication activity
  • Assessments
    • Wedge activity strategies and reasons
  • Assignment
Day 31
Sept 29 Friday
  • Learning Target/Question
    • Investigate mitigation of impacts on biological systems
    • Update concept map day
  • Activities/Strategies
    • Wedge activity preparation
  • Assessments
    • Wedge activity strategies and reasons
  • Assignment
    • Prepare for wedge activity; update concept map

Next Generation Science Standards:

 

 

 

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