Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Identify the environmental impacts on reef systems due to overfishing
- Cite specific and relevant textual evidence to support analysis of a text
- Determine the meaning of selected academic and domain-specific words in a text
- Determine the central ideas of a text
- Construct a written response that clearly establishes the main point(s), 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:
1. Students will need basic knowledge of ecosystems, as well as species interactions and how these interactions can be shaped by human activity. Students should understand how one species can be affected by the increase or decrease of a predator.
- If students need a general review in reference to ecosystems and predator-prey interactions, this video (10 minutes in length) provides a good review.
• "How Wolves Change Rivers" is a moving 5-minute video that illustrates and explains trophic cascades. This would be a great way to get students to think about how one change in an ecosystem can affect everything, both biotic and abiotic.
• Click here for a great virtual lab on population dynamics. This would be a good virtual lab to complete as part of a unit of instruction on ecology. This lab focuses on Population Ecology – Students will conduct a virtual experiment in which they grow two different species of Paramecium, alone and together. Students will set up their experiment, make observations, collect data and answer questions in the online journal.
2. Fleshy algae is also known as seaweed. There are many different species, and they can be used to indicate the health of a reef ecosystem. This link will give the teacher or students basic information on fleshy algae.
3. General knowledge of biogeochemical cycles will help students link the impact of abiotic factors with biotic factors.
• Dissolved oxygen is an abiotic factor that is essential to all aquatic ecosystems. In the article students will analyze in this lesson, oxygen depletion is discussed as one of the reasons for reef destruction. In this 5-minute video, (a CPALMS Perspectives video) Lawrence Glenn discusses how the Kissimmee River Restoration Project is causing an increase in dissolved oxygen, and as a result, it is bringing all types of life back to that ecosystem.
In regards to literacy skills:
1. Students should have prior experience utilizing various vocabulary strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words in a text, including use of context clues and dictionary skills.
2. Students should understand the term "central idea" and be able to distinguish central ideas from key details.
- "Central idea" means the same thing as "main idea." The central idea is the author's main point about the topic or topics in a text. The central ideas are the dominant, most important, or chief ideas that emerge from all the ideas presented in a text. Students should be aware that the author can have several main points he or she wants to make about the topic or topics in a piece of writing, and as a result, there can be multiple central ideas in a text, especially in longer more complex pieces.
- Key, or in other words, important, details in a text help an author support and develop his or her central ideas.
3. Based on the writing rubric provided with this lesson, 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).
4. 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. Teachers might wish to provide students with a sheet of transitions to help them. This site provides transitions teachers might provide.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
1. Why are coral reefs important?
Coral reefs are the most productive and diverse marine ecosystem. They are often called the rainforest of the ocean. Coral reefs support more species per unit area than any other marine ecosystem. Thousands of species of fish and invertebrates use reefs as their breeding grounds. Due to the endless number of different species, possible new medicines could be produced from these ecosystems. In addition, reef systems are important economically for fishing and tourism.
2. What human activity is causing an impact on the health of coral reefs?
The article in this lesson discussed one major human activity that causes an impact on coral reef systems, which is overfishing. People use the fish as a food source, as well as for the pet industry/aquariums.
3. How is microbialization linked to overfishing?
- Overfishing causes the reduction of algae-eating fish.
- The algae population explodes.
- Algae release dissolved organic carbon.
- Dissoved organic carbon is food for microbes.
- Microbe population explodes.
- Microbes deplete oxygen from the water.
- Living organisms die due to lack of oxygen.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
1. Begin the lesson by posting a general question to the class: “Why are coral reefs so important?” Have students write their answer on a piece of paper; they will use it again later.
2. Assign students to groups of four, depending on class size.
- Great Barrier Reef, Australia
- Apo Reef, Philippines
- Mesoamerican Reef, Caribbean Basin
- Florida Keys, United States
- New Caledonian Barrier Reef, New Calendonia
- Red Sea Coral Reef, Red Sea
- Belize Barrier Reef, Belize
- Andros Barrier Reef, Bahamas
If students have Internet access, give them 20 minutes to research their assigned reef system. During that time, working as a team, instruct them to make a quick poster or an advertisement about their system. If students do not have Internet access, print one or two articles on each reef system. These can be used as a class set if you have more than one class completing this lesson plan.
After 20 minutes, give each group 2 minutes to “sell” their reef to the class.
3. Then, show students this 5-minute video, "What are Coral Reefs and What’s Their Purpose?"
4. After the video, ask the students to look at what they wrote as an answer for the question, “Why are coral reefs so important?”.
5. Now ask the students to add any additional thoughts on why they think coral reefs are important.
6. Briefly discuss students' answers.
7. End the discussion by informing students that they will be reading about coral reefs and how the presence of too much algae is affecting their health.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
1. Provide each student with a copy of the article "Too Much Algae--too Many Microbes--Threaten Coral Reefs." For the class discussions that will follow, it might be helpful to have students number each paragraph within each section. Each section has a section heading.
2. Provide each student with a note-taking guide.
3. Before students begin reading, direct them to pay attention to the text features of the article to help them learn and locate information.
- Title: Too Much Algae--and too Many Microbes--Threaten Coral Reefs
- Subtitle: 'Microbialization' Destroys Reef Habitats
- Headings: Threat of Microbialization, Harmful Microbes Endanger Reef Ecosystem, Sampling Corals Worldwide
- Caption: Located under the opening photograph
4. Have students fill out the note-taking guide as they read the text. This can be done individually, in pairs, or in a small group. The teacher should monitor students as they work and provide support and guidance as needed. On the note-taking guide, students should work to determine the meaning of any words they list in column one. Students should have access to print or online dictionaries.
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for student understanding?):
1. Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting students' completed note-taking guide, checking their work, providing written feedback, or 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:
1. Students often think that the more producers that are in an ecosystem, the better it is for the environment. Students often focus on the fact that more producers use carbon dioxide and give off oxygen as a waste product. Students are usually unfamiliar with other waste products that producers release and how this affects the rest of the ecosystem. Be sure to clarify that while the algae does help remove carbon dioxide from the environment, the dissolved carbon algae release causes increased microbial growth, and this is very destructive to the whole reef ecosystem.
2. Students often believe coral is a plant. Coral is an animal that is closely related to jellyfish.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Provide each student with a copy of the 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 their 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 for the summative assessment, 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. Teachers could show the sample response on an overhead or with an LCD projector and ask students to:
- Identify the use of textual evidence from the article that supports the main point of the written response (evidence that shows how overfishing is harming the environment).
- Identify accurate and effective use of domain-specific evidence in the text (e.g., coral reef, fleshy algae, microbes, oxygen depletion, algae-eaters, biodiversity, pathogens).
3. At the end of the lesson: Ask the students to sketch or draw three concepts they learned from the lesson, and then label them. (A time limit of 5 minutes is recommended.) Students can share these with the class, or just turn them into the teacher. Teachers can use this as a type of formative assessment to help them prepare for the next day's lesson.
1. Students will individually respond to the writing prompt. They should be directed to respond with a multi-paragraph response, with a clear introduction, body section, and 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 the rubric with them so they will know how their written responses will be assessed.
3. Go over the writing prompt with students to make sure they understand what the prompt is asking them to address.
The prompt: Millions of people around the world depend on coral reefs to provide productive fisheries. In many areas of the world, fish is the main source of protein for many people. Discuss, using evidence from the article, the large-scale environmental impacts that are occurring as a result of overfishing by humans.
4. Teachers will use the rubric to assess students' written responses.
Specific suggestions for conducting the Formative Assessment can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson.
Feedback to Students
Specific suggestions for providing Feedback to Students can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond."