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Building Blocks of Science® 3D: Ecosystem Diversity (©2019) 1-Use Unit Kit



Grade 2. In 5 lessons spanning 15 class sessions, the Building Blocks of Science® 3D unit Ecosystem Diversity takes students on an exploration of what living things need to survive in their particular environments. Building Blocks of Science® 3D lessons are structured in 30-minute class sessions, making it easy to fit science into your day. The Ecosystem Diversity 1-Use Unit Kit includes a teacher's guide (item #514442), a 60-month license for the teacher and students to access online digital resources, and enough supplies and apparatus to teach the unit once to a class of up to 24 students. Kit also includes a voucher for prepaid delivery of the living organisms later at your convenience.

Along with hands-on learning, this Building Blocks of Science® 3D unit also provides digital resources to enhance the classroom experience. These components offer an additional method of delivering content, particularly for classrooms with consistent access to computers or tablets. Digital components include digital teacher's guide, simulations, digital literacy reader, interactive whiteboard activities, interactive student investigation sheets, and assessment. All digital resources for Building Blocks of Science® 3D are accessible at CarolinaScienceOnline.com.

Unit Summary
In this unit students consider the living and nonliving things found in their local area and the interactions between them. Students are introduced to different types of habitats, and they compare the resources available in each. Plants become the focus as students investigate what resources a seed requires in order to grow. Students further investigate the life cycle of a plant as they learn about the processes of germination and pollination. These topics touch upon the interdependence of plants and animals. Students design a model to demonstrate how animals play a role in the processes of pollination and seed dispersion, thus leading to germination of new plants. As an introduction to the term "diversity," students examine plants from different habitats. They experiment with pill bugs to draw conclusions about the animals' preferences within a habitat. Students design two different habitats within a choice chamber and observe the behavior of a live pill bug to gather evidence about the type of habitat pill bugs are naturally found in. In the final lesson, students consider human impacts on their habitat. They consider how they might influence the living and nonliving things in a different habitat and look at cause-and-effect relationships.

Next Generation Science Standards*
The Building Blocks of Science® 3D unit Ecosystem Diversity (©2019) integrates process skills as defined by the Next Generation Science Standards.

Performance Expectations

  • 2-LS2-1: Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow.
  • 2-LS2-2: Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.
  • 2-LS4-1: Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
  • K-2-ETS1-2: Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
  • K-2-ETS1-3: Analyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans
  • ETS1.B: Developing Possible Solutions
  • ETS1.C: Optimizing the Design Solution

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Cause and Effect
  • Structure and Function

Common Core State Standards
Language Arts

  • L.2.4: Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
  • RF.2.3: Phonics and Word Recognition
  • RI.2.1: Key Ideas and Details
  • RI.2.2: Key Ideas and Details
  • RI.2.3: Key Ideas and Details
  • RI.2.4: Craft and Structure
  • RI.2.5: Craft and Structure
  • RI.2.6: Craft and Structure
  • RI.2.7: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
  • RI.2.8: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
  • SL.2.2: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • SL.2.3: Comprehension and Collaboration
  • W.2.8: Research to Build and Present Knowledge


  • 2.G.A.1: Reason with shapes and their attributes.
  • 2.G.A.2: Reason with shapes and their attributes.

Lesson Summaries
Lesson 1

This unit introduces students to a variety of ecosystems and the diverse life within them. Lesson 1 begins with a pre-unit assessment in which students consider the living and nonliving things in their local area. They draw connections between nonliving things and the needs of living things for growth and survival. Students further examine this relationship as they learn about different types of habitats. Students observe images of different habitats and describe characteristics of each. Students will have the opportunity to read about specific climates and make connections between habitats and climates. In preparation for Lesson 2, students design an experiment to determine the needs of plants. Students plant radish seeds in various conditions and make observations over several days to make conclusions about what plants need to grow. The next lesson will focus on plants and their habitats.
Lesson 2
In Lesson 1, students examined the living and nonliving things within different types of habitats. They planted radish seeds and observed their growth to recognize that plants require sunlight and water to grow well. In this lesson, students focus primarily on plants. They begin by examining the plant life cycle. The terms "pollination" and "germination" are defined, and students begin to consider the relationship between animals and plants. Next, students make observations about different plants and predict what habitat they are found in. Students conclude that some types of plants can be found in many different habitats. In the next lesson, students will design a model to demonstrate how animals assist with seed dispersal.
Lesson 3
In the previous lesson, students examined plants and their life cycle. They also compared plants in different habitats and identified plants' unique characteristics. In this lesson, students examine the relationship between plants and animals by focusing on seed dispersal. Students read a brochure about pollination and seed dispersal, and they use the information to design a model. Students demonstrate how an animal would pollinate or disperse seeds using cut flowers. In the next lesson, students will build models to make comparisons between terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Students will examine the idea that some organisms modify their habitats to better suit their needs.
Lesson 4
In the previous lessons, students examined the living and nonliving things that are found in different habitats. Students considered the characteristics of habitats and made connections between those characteristics and the resources each habitat provides. By observing different plants, students considered how the characteristics of living things vary based on their natural habitats. In this lesson, students focus on animals, specifically pill bugs, and their preferred habitat. In small groups, students design two habitats using a choice chamber. Groups construct their habitats and place pill bugs in the chamber. Groups observe their pill bugs and draw conclusions about the habitat that pill bugs are naturally found in. This leads students to draw conclusions about the diversity of life in different habitats. In the next lesson, students will consider their own interactions with their habitat. They will summarize what they have learned by revisiting the Living Things Matrix from Lesson 1.
Lesson 5
In the previous lessons, students have examined ecosystems and the diverse life within them. By modeling pollination, comparing plant characteristics, and designing habitats for pill bugs, students have developed knowledge of the needs of living things and their interdependence in an ecosystem. In this final lesson, students evaluate human impact on the ecosystem. Students consider how they would survive in different habitats and the resulting effect on other living things. As an evaluation opportunity, students revisit the Living Things Matrix from Lesson 1 and then develop an updated version.

*Next Generation Science Standards® is a registered trademark of WestEd. Neither WestEd nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.


Shipping Information or Purchase Restrictions
  • USDA or USDOT regulations restrict this item from shipping to these locations: Alaska, Louisiana. Elodea canadensis dies off in winter months; substitute plants will be shipped. Residents in restricted states will receive compatible plants. Residents of HI must contact the HI Department of Agriculture before ordering. Canadian customers must apply for a Canada Department of Agriculture permit to receive Elodea canadensis.
What’s Included:
  • Ecosystem Diversity Live Coupon (pill bugs, tropical plant, succulent plant, Ceratophyllum, Elodea canadensis, and Zebrina) (voucher item)
  • 1 Teacher's Guide
  • 1 Unit Technology Pack (60-month subscription to CarolinaScienceOnline.com to access digital teacher's guide, digital instructional resources, and digital literacy reader)
  • Ecosystem Diversity On-Grade Student Reader
  • Ecosystem Diversity Below-Grade Student Reader
  • 2 Bottle, Plant Mister
  • 16 Brush, Paint, #2
  • 6 Choice Chamber with Lid
  • 6 Cup, Paper, 6 oz
  • 18 Cup, Plastic, Squat, 9 oz
  • 1 Gravel, Aquarium, 5 lb
  • 1 Honeybee, Dried, Pack
  • 1 Mix, Potting, 2 L
  • 1 Photo Cards, Ecosystem Diversity, Set of 7
  • 1 Sand, Marine, 1 lb
  • 2 Seed, Radish, Scarlet Globe, 1 oz
  • 1 Seed, Rye Grass, Pack
  • 1 Soil, Woodland Terrarium, 12 L
  • 2 Sprayer, Plant Mister
Return Policy:

If for any reason you are not satisfied with this item, it is eligible for a return, exchange, refund, or credit up to 180 days from date of purchase. Restrictions may apply. Returns & Exchanges Policy.