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Changing Ecosystems

$9.95 - $73.50

Product Highlights

  • Students model population changes in a community through a card game, explore how changes in ecosystems can lead to a loss of biodiversity, and develop their own card games to simulate population changes in a different community.
  • High school laboratory investigation with enough materials for 8 lab groups.
  • Carolina Kits 3D® —Labs that use phenomena to support NGSS and 3-dimensional instruction.

3 Product Options


Through a card game, students model the population changes of 9 species in a temperate forest community. They explore how changes in ecosystems due to factors such as habitat loss, pollution, overharvesting, climate change, and the establishment of an invasive species can lead to a loss of biodiversity. Next, with the freedom to change any aspect of the previous model, students design a new version of the card game using a different community. Then they exchange, play, and critique each other's games. Over the course of this lab students collect evidence on their way to finding answers to the driving question, “What factors result in ecosystem change?”

Time Requirement
Teacher prep, approximately 1 class period. Pre-lab, investigation, and assessment, approximately 6 class periods.

Digital Resources
Includes 1-year access to digital resources that support 3-dimensional instruction for NGSS. Digital resources may include a teacher manual and student guide, pre-lab activities and setup videos, phenomenon videos, simulations, and post-lab analysis and assessments.

Performance Expectation(s)

Crosscutting Concepts
Stability and Change

Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience

Science and Engineering Practices
Developing and Using Models

Learning Objectives

  • Model biodiversity loss in a temperate forest community to evaluate the relationship between the degree of change and stability in ecosystems.
  • Use evidence to identify and describe factors that affect biodiversity.
  • Create a model for potential causes of biodiversity loss in a community.
  • Evaluate the evidence needed to explain the idea that complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively constant numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills
Students should be familiar with the following terms: species, population, community, habitat, niche, trophic level, symbiosis, and ecosystem. They should also know about food webs and climate change.




Questions & Answers