Learning Goals and Standards

Part of the Ecology Disrupted Curriculum Collection.


Working through the "Winter Roads" unit, students will develop a deeper understanding of the following big ideas:

1. Ecological and Biological Concepts in the Context of Human Impact

  • Abiotic and Biotic Factors
    • An ecosystem is comprised of non-living (abiotic) and living (biotic) components.
    • Changing abiotic factors of an ecosystem affects the living organisms (biotic factors) in the ecosystem.
  • Water is essential to life
    • Organisms need a clean water supply.
    • Changing abiotic characteristics can make water inhospitable to life.
    • Drinking water supplies are often located far from the cities that use them.
  • Runoff
    • Water circulates through natural and human-made environments.
    • Water picks up man-made and natural materials as it moves across surfaces.

2. Human Impact in the Context of Daily Life

  • The daily lives of people impact their surrounding environment.
  • Daily activities can change abiotic factors of water, which can threaten water supplies.
  • Human activity far away from a city can affect a city’s water supply.

3. Nature of Science

  • Science is based on evidence, which take many forms and is referred to as data. Inference and conclusions are based upon data.
  • Scientists are people who ask questions about the natural world and gather and interpret data to address those questions.
  • Communication is central to science so that others can verify data and build upon research.
  • Scientific research can help people learn about how daily life affects  the natural world.
  • Science is a human endeavor.

4. Data Representation

  • Scientists use different tools to represent data.
  • Scientific tools like graphs help scientists compare and interpret data.
  • Some data representations are better than others based upon the needs of analysis and the type of data collected.

Next Generation Science Standards

Common Core Standards

National Standards

Science as Inquiry, Content Standard A

  1. Abilities necessary to do inquiry
  2. Understandings about scientific inquiry.

Life Science, Content Standard C

  1. Populations and Ecosystems
  2. The Interdependence of Organisms

Science in Personal and Social Perspectives, Content Standard F

  1. Populations, Resources and Environments
  2. Environmental Quality
  3. Natural Hazards and Human Induced Hazards