Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Explain what invasive species are and how they threaten ecosystems.
- Identify the environmental consequences to Atlantic ecosystems of the release of the invasive lionfish.
- Identify the economic consequences to Atlantic ecosystems of the release of the invasive lionfish.
- Cite specific and relevant text evidence to support analysis of the text.
- Use various vocabulary strategies to define academic and domain-specific words in the text.
- Construct a written argument that clearly establishes a main point, contains relevant textual evidence to support the main point, utilizes transitions to maintain flow, effectively uses domain-specific vocabulary, and provides an appropriate conclusion.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
In regards to science:
- General knowledge of what an invasive species is and how it is different from a non-native species.
- This 8-minute video explains the difference and gives multiple examples, including several from Florida.
- Familiarity with lionfish. This fact sheet from NOAA titled "What is a lionfish?" provides general information on lionfish.
- Basic knowledge of species interactions and predatory-prey dynamics, as well as how these interactions can be shaped by human activity.
- For students that need a basic review of ecosystems and how they interact, this 10-minute video titled "Ecosystem Ecology" (uploaded by YouTube user CrashCourse) gives an excellent review.
- This video/presentation titled "Factors that Affect Our Ecosystem" (3:56, uploaded by YouTube user chaundrayabrough) provides clear examples of how natural and man-made interactions can effect an ecosystem.
- General familiarity with carrying capacities and limiting factors.
- Carrying capacities and limiting factors are directly linked. This 5-minute video titled "Serious Science: Biological Carrying Capacity" (uploaded by YouTube user IntoTheOutdoorsTV) discusses how changes in prey or predators can affect the carrying capacity of an ecosystem.
- Limiting factors would include anything that controls the growth of a population either negatively or positively. For example, if there is not enough food for a specific type of insect, then its population size will be limited due to lack of food.
In regards to literacy skills:
- Students should have prior experience utilizing various vocabulary strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words in a text. For this lesson, prior experience in context clues to determine the meaning of words in a text would be beneficial. In addition, students should have some dictionary skills that will enable them to look up words with multiple meanings and determine the most appropriate meaning based on how a word is used in a text.
- Students should be aware of text features that can help them locate and learn information when reading a text. The text features in Invasive Lionfish Diet Could Impact Native Coral Reef Fishes
include title, photographs, and captions.
- Students should be able to respond to a writing prompt in a clear, organized manner that includes use of an introduction to establish the main point(s), a body paragraph(s) that support the main point(s) and includes relevant and specific textual evidence, and a conclusion that supports the main point(s).
- Students should have some awareness that use of transition words or phrases can help a piece of writing flow smoothly from one point or idea to the next.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
1. Why are invasive species considered damaging to ecosystems?
Invasive species are organisms, fauna or flora, that are non-native to an ecosystem and cause harm to those ecosystems.
2. How are lionfish economically and ecologically harmful to the Atlantic Ocean?
Economically, they impact the population of fish that humans also consume. This may hurt fishermen and/or consumers. Also, lionfish upset the reef ecosystems, which are already in jeopardy due to acidification. Dead reefs don't attract snorkelers, potentially hurting tourism.
Ecologically, they impact the natural food web in the ocean. They are either competing with native species for food and resources, or they are eating the native species, which causes populations to decline.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
1. Begin the lesson by showing the class this 2-minute video of lionfish in their natural habitat from National Geographic.
- While watching the video, have the students record some adaptations that they can identify on the lionfish. Remind students that an adaptation must be heritable.
- Students will most likely mention its poisonous spines or the ability to corner or corral its prey. Also, the lionfish is a gentle swimmer most of the time, so it seems friendly at first.
- After the video, have the students share the adaptations that they identified. Discuss all answers.
2. Then show the students a picture of, or point out on the globe, where these fish are normally found: the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
3. Tell students that lionfish have now begun showing up in the Atlantic Ocean. Ask why they think they might have occurred. Discuss all answers.
4. Finish by telling students that they will be reading an article that discusses the impact of lionfish on the other organisms in Atlantic ecosystems.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
1. Provide each student with a copy of the article "Invasive Lionfish Diet Could Impact Native Coral Reef Fishes." For class discussions that will follow, it might be helpful to have students number each paragraph.
2. Have the students do an initial read-through of the article, either individually or in groups.
3. Then, provide each student with the note-taking guide instructing them how to mark the text. Before students begin a second reading, direct them to pay attention to the vocabulary of the article to help them learn and locate information. As students reread the text, they are to mark directly on their copy things that either confirm what they thought, contradict what they thought, confuse them, seem important, or represent new/interesting information to them. Student answers will naturally vary. The teacher should monitor students as they work and provide support and guidance as needed.
4. Some vocabulary that students may struggle with:
- Aquaria: plural of aquarium, a glass-sided tank in which fish are kept
- Bahamian: or or relating to the Bahamas
- Comprehensive: covering something completely or extensively
- Crustacean: a type of arthropod whose body is covered with a hard shell, including crabs, shrimp, lobsters, and barnacles
- Native: of the environment in which a living organism came into being
- Frequency: rate of occurrence
- Non-economically: not important to humans as a source of income
- Indo-Pacific: also known as the "Indo-West" Pacific; a region of the Earth's seas that includes the Indian Ocean, western and central Pacific Ocean, and the seas connecting the two areas
- Red Sea: a saltwater inlet of the Indian Ocean
- Voracious: wanting or devouring large quantities of food
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for student understanding?):
1. Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting students' marked texts, checking their work, providing written feedback, or grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share out their responses in a group setting and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make modifications to their work during the discussion.
2. Teachers can use the sample marked text to help them assess students' answers.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond:
1. Non-native species aren't always invasive, although some students may confuse the 2 labels. Just because a new species has been introduced to a different environment doesn't mean it will become invasive. Some species may just die out; some may barely survive. The dynamics of the whole ecosystem, as well as the fitness of the non-native species, will determine if it becomes invasive.
2. Students may not understand how one species of invasive fish can cause the collapse of an ecosystem. It may be helpful to show students a food web, like this image. Ask them what organisms would be affected if all the crabs died out. They should notice that some organisms may become overpopulated, like the seaweed, and some would likely become extinct, like squid.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
1. Provide each student with a copy of text-dependent questions to complete. Students should be reminded to continually refer back to the text and to use relevant and specific evidence from the text to support their answers.
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for understanding?)
1. Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting students' answers to the text-dependent questions, checking their work, providing written feedback, and maybe grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share out their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
2. Teachers can use this sample answer key to help them assess students' answers.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond: please see the text-dependent questions sample answer key.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
1. Before students complete the writing prompt, be sure to review responses to the text-dependent questions as a class, including covering the misconceptions and key points described in the sample answer key.
2. After students' written responses have been graded and returned with feedback, teachers might wish to use the provided sample response with the class. Students who are struggling writers can benefit greatly from seeing a well-organized, detailed written response. The teacher could show the sample response on an overhead or with the LCD projector and discuss the following:
- How the author creatively responded to the prompt by writing in the form of a "letter"
- The use of textual specifics that illustrate the importance of coastal ecosystems
- Use of transition words and phrases throughout
- How the author uses different paragraphs to respond to different aspects of the prompt
- The helpful suggestion to a "friend" provided at the end
3. As a final science closure activity, have the students watch this video titled "How Wolves Change Rivers" (4:33, uploaded by YouTube user Sustainable Human). After the video, students should complete an "exit ticket" that requires them to explain how the video relates to the article they just read.
1. Students will individually respond to the writing prompt. They should be directed to respond with a multi-paragraph response, with a clear introduction, one or more body paragraphs, and a conclusion. They can refer back to the text as they construct their response.
2. Provide students with a copy of the rubric and go over it with them so they will know how their written response will be assessed.
3. Go over the writing prompt with students and make sure students understand what the prompt is asking them to address. Encourage students to underline key parts of the prompt as the teacher goes over it so they will remember to answer all the required parts.
Imagine that your friend has a pet lionfish that has become too big for its aquarium. Your friend tells you that she is thinking of letting the fish go into the ocean to be free. Write to convince your friend that this idea is not a good one. Explain the environmental and economic consequences of releasing the lionfish using evidence from the text, and then suggest one or more alternative solutions.
4. Teachers will use the rubric to assess students' written responses.
Specific suggestions for conducting Formative Assessment can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"
Feedback to Students
Specific suggestions for conducting Feedback to Students can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"