SC.4.L.17.4

Recognize ways plants and animals, including humans, can impact the environment.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 4
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 3: Strategic Thinking & Complex Reasoning
Big Idea: Interdependence -

A. Plants and animals, including humans, interact with and depend upon each other and their environment to satisfy their basic needs.

B. Both human activities and natural events can have major impacts on the environment.

C. Energy flows from the sun through producers to consumers.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
5020050: Science - Grade Four (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7720050: Access Science Grade 4 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.4.L.17.In.4: Recognize things that people do to help or hurt the environment, such as recycling and pollution.
SC.4.L.17.Su.3: Recognize ways that people can help improve the environment, such as cleaning up trash.
SC.4.L.17.Pa.3: Recognize ways that people can help improve the immediate environment, such as cleaning up trash.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Educational Game

Permit Student Reading:

Students will learn about the role of seagrass as stabilizers in an ecosystem. This is an outdoor class game where students will be assigned the role of either seagrass or sand, and the seagrass will try to “catch” the sand, much like the game “Red Rover.”

Type: Educational Game

Formative Assessment

Packing Materials:

Students will test the solubility of different items used in packing. Based on their observations, the student will explain which of the materials would be least harmful to the environment. The task assesses students' ability to make simple observations and make generalized inferences from their observations

Type: Formative Assessment

Image/Photograph

Oil Slick Satellite Image:

NASA Aqua Satellite image, captured on April 25, 2010, of an oil slick caused by the April 20, 2010 explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico off the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida.

Type: Image/Photograph

Lesson Plans

Producer Consumer Reading:

Students will learn about energy transfer between organisms, and understand the different roles that organisms can hold in a food web. They will use cards to create food webs as groups, then combine all their food webs into one large ecosystem.

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr. 4 Lesson 1-Food Chain Gang:

Students will be able to explain the purpose and path of a food chain is, describe a simple Everglades food chain and trace the flow of energy from the sun as it is transferred. Students will also be able to explain the impacts of a loss of a species in a food chain. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr. 4 Lesson 2-Wanted - Alive!:

Students will be able to explain the threats to animals in certain Everglades habitats and why they are threatened or endangered. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Gr. 4 Lesson 3-I'm In Big Trouble!:

Students will be able to define the terms threatened, endangered, and extinct and analyze the impact of humans and other living things as a result of human, social, economic, and political activities. Students will also be able to name three endangered species living in the Everglades. 

Type: Lesson Plan

What Did You Say Happened to the Everglades?:

In this lesson, students will conduct a close reading of an informational article about pythons in the Everglades. Students will use a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of selected academic words in context, and they will sort selected tier 3 words into categories and examine the relationships between words in a category. Students will also answer text-dependent questions about the article and identify and describe the cause/effect structure used throughout the article. Students will complete an informational paragraph about the events that are occurring in the Everglades using text evidence to support their ideas. Graphic organizers, answer keys, and a writing rubric have been provided with the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

How Important is the Amazon Rainforest?:

In this lesson, students will conduct a close reading of an informational article about the destruction of the Amazon rain forest. Students will use a variety of strategies to determine the meaning of selected academic words in context, and they will sort selected tier 3 words into categories and examine the relationships between words in a category. Students will also answer text-dependent questions about the article and identify and describe the cause/effect structure used throughout the article. Students will write an informational paragraph about the events that are occurring in the Amazon rain forest. Graphic organizers, answer keys, and a writing rubric have been provided with the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Slither Not in the Everglades! Python MEA:

This is a 4th grade MEA. This MEA will ask students to work in teams to help their client, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Juvenile Commission, to decide which Burmese Pythons traps manufacturing company is the most economical to buy traps from. The traps will be placed along the Florida Keys and the Everglades to further help prevent the growth of Burmese Pythons species invasion. The students will implement their knowledge of how plants, animals, and humans impact the environment, use mathematical and analytical problem-solving strategies, and be able report their finding in an organized, descriptive manner.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

"The Big Oil Spill":

What an exciting opportunity for the students to learn and become a productive individual in their community, by learning and understanding that each and everyone plays a huge part in protecting the environment. This project will instill a lifetime commitment to developing values that lead to protecting our wild life. The MEA is a realistic, real life experience that could be translated into everyday experiences.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Aquifer in a Cup:

Students will create an aquifer in a cup and model how groundwater can become contaminated.

Type: Lesson Plan

Arctic Animals and a Changing Climate:

Learn about the effects of a changing climate on the Arctic ecosystem and four of its well-known mammals: the polar bear, the walrus, the Arctic fox and the beluga whale.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Biological Nature Preserve:

This Model-Eliciting Activity (MEA) is written on a 4th grade level. In this open-ended problem, the Biological Nature Preserve MEA provides students with an engineering problem where they must work as a team to analyze data to choose the best tree to plant in the serenity garden. The students will consider the cost, shade, height, leaf color, maintenance, and growth rate to choose the best tree that not only will benefit the environment but also this nature preserve. The students will work in teams to decide on a process of how to rank these trees from "best to worst" as well as explain how they arrived at their solution using a letter format.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Shall We Rescue the Amazon?:

In this lesson, students will learn how humans are impacting the environment by reading various informational texts on the topic of saving the rain forests. Students will determine the meanings of unknown content-specific words and identify the main idea and supporting details within the text. They will write a summary of the text and respond to a prompt by writing an opinion essay.

Type: Lesson Plan

Earth-Friendly Party Planning:

In this MEA the Parent-Teacher Group asks the students to help them plan a fun yet environmentally friendly end-of-the-year party.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Plants: To Eat or Not to Eat:

In this lesson, students will explore the structure of plants in ways never before. Through observations about plant parts related to everyday food, students will gain a further understanding of humans and plants being interdependent. This lesson integrates Science, Reading, Writing and even some Math practices if choosing to complete the extension activities.

Type: Lesson Plan

Wake up America!:

Students explore the impact plants, animals, and humans are having on the environment - especially native plants and animals. This lesson has some interesting hands-on investigations to help students visualize the impact pollution is having on habitats. For the final project, students use their research to create a class book informing others about plants and animals that are endangered. Students also share ways people can help!

This lesson includes reading and writing activities that could be integrated into daily reading and language arts time blocks.

Type: Lesson Plan

Glow Kitty, Glow!:

This lesson studies the emerging science of using glow technology (phosphorescence and fluorescence) to improve the well-being of living things. Students will be introduced to the Glow Kitten and other animals that are naturally bioluminescent or have been modified by human impact. Then students will take part in their own investigation and create a glowing carnation while considering ways this technology can be used in their own lives. Along the way, students will research books, articles, and websites and use journal entries to record their learning. Finally, students will create their own advertisement highlighting their glowing carnation and its amazing uses!

Type: Lesson Plan

Cookies and Treats:

Fourth graders will help Cookies and Treats find cost-effective and eco-friendly packaging for its cookies. Students will organize data and compare prices using decimal notation in order to develop a procedure for choosing packaging for cookies.  Students will use multiplication and division of whole numbers to plan for how many packages to order.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Pollinators:

This Model Eliciting Activity (MEA) is written at a 4th grade level. The Pollinator MEA provides students with an engineering problem in which they must work as a team to design a procedure to select the best pollinator for certain situations.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Engineering Solutions:

This lesson is designed to use Internet resources to explore the side effects of technology; to design, implement and evaluate solutions related to the problem of waste disposal.

Type: Lesson Plan

Recycling and Composting:

This lesson shows students how important renewable resources are for our society & the world of living things. Trees, fresh water, and clean air support the majority of life on Earth; because of this, we must protect these and other critical natural resources from exploitation and pollution. One approach to this is conservation, the practice of ensuring that our natural resources will always be available to future generations. Class discussion and activities will help broaden students' understanding about some important conservation activities: recycling and composting.

Type: Lesson Plan

Introducing Biodiversity:

In this lesson, students identify and talk about biodiversity and what they know about the various habitats and life around them. Using online resources, they identify the basic components necessary for biodiversity, the critical and countless benefits of habitats, as well as the serious present and future threats to their ongoing existence. Classification and characteristics is part of this lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Ocean In A Bottle:

Students have an opportunity to discover how man affects the environment through pollution.

Type: Lesson Plan

Part 1: Pond Life:

This lesson is designed for students to investigate familiar and unfamiliar ecosystems using Internet resources, to explore how various organisms satisfy their needs within their environments, and to study the kinds of relationships that exist between organisms within an environment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Recycle This!:

Students will learn about recycling renewable and nonrenewable resources while completing a model eliciting activity in which they help Sunshine School District to decide which material to start their recycling program with.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

In Hot Water: How Climate Change is Changing Our Planet :

Explore some facts about climate change and how it impacts our world in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Animals of Florida Part 2: Non-Native:

Explore some non-native animals in Florida including the honeybee, Cuban tree frog, and lionfish in this interactive tutorial.

Click the link to open .

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Animals of Florida Part 1: Native:

Explore some native animals of Florida including the Florida panther, gopher tortoise, and American alligator in this interactive tutorial.

Click the link to open .

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Plants of Florida Part 2: Non-Native:

Explore non-native plants of Florida, including orange trees, sugarcane, and Brazilian Peppertree in this interactive tutorial.

Click the link to open .

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Plants of Florida Part 1: Native:

Explore some native plants of Florida including bald cypress, longleaf pine and prickly pear in this interactive tutorial.

Click the link to open .

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Project

Energy Flow of a Mountain Ecosystem:

In this project students will research a mountain ecosystem. They will create a presentation of their ecosystem that includes information on animals and vegetation, which will also demonstrate the flow of energy through the ecosystem. Students will interpret and analyze the data to hypothesize what would happen if a species was removed or added to the flow of energy. To finalize, students will write an explanatory piece that describes the possible changes that would take place if an animal was removed from an ecosystem and how that would affect the food chain.

Type: Project

Teaching Ideas

Bycatch Game-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

Students will explore the advantages and disadvantages of different fishing techniques.

Type: Teaching Idea

Catch as Catch Can-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students simulate fishing techniques and explore processes that result in bycatch. They visually express their catch in the form of a graph at the end of the activity.

Type: Teaching Idea

Engineers Speak For The Trees:

Students begin by reading Dr. Seuss' "The Lorax" as an example of how overdevelopment can cause long-lasting environmental destruction. Students discuss how to balance the needs of the environment with the needs of human industry.

Type: Teaching Idea

No Place to Hide-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students will learn how the destruction of a coral reef affects the animals that live there.

Type: Teaching Idea

Our Changing World:

As a result of this activity, students will be able to recognize how living organisms change their environments and how these changes affect other organisms.

Type: Teaching Idea

Purchase Power-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will distinguish, from a list of consumer products, which products are environmentally friendly to purchase.

Type: Teaching Idea

Sea Turtle Summit-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will take a hypothetical environmental situation and research appropriate literature to determine factual information and logicially argue a particular point of view.

Type: Teaching Idea

Trash Trivia-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will classify trash components and select appropriate ways of recycling.

Type: Teaching Idea

Web Connection-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will learn how animals are interconnected with the arctic ecosystem and how humans impact these interrelationships.

Type: Teaching Idea

Web Of Life:

This resource is a simulation game where students represent plants and animals living in a forest habitat. Sitting in a circle, they connect themselves using string to represent the ways they depend on each other. As they make connections, the string forms a web of life. They will also learn what occurs when an invasive species enters their environment.

Type: Teaching Idea

Wetlands Mix and Match-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will understand the importance of wetland plants in early medicine and for other uses.

Type: Teaching Idea

Wildlife Rehab Game-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will discuss and determine wildlife rescue scenarios based on cards with situations.

Type: Teaching Idea

Wildlife Reserve-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will design a protected environment for an endangered animal that encourages the animal's natural behaviors and meets its physical requirements. Students will explain to their classmates why the protected environment is essential for the endangered animal.

Type: Teaching Idea

Text Resources

Green Invaders!:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. This National Geographic Kids article explains how the invasion of non-native plants is threatening native food webs.

Type: Text Resource

Help Protect Florida's Natural Areas from Non-Native Invasive Plants:

This resource provides information on some of Florida's non-native invasive fauna. The resource includes a list, description, and prevention guide for non-native invasive plant species in Florida.

Type: Text Resource

Unit/Lesson Sequences

Honeybee Mystery--a Comprehension Instructional Sequence Lesson Plan:

In this lesson tied to Florida Standards for English/Language Arts, students receive support as they read a complex informational text about honeybees. The teacher facilitates a close reading and writing a response-to-text.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Pollution:

In this lesson students will learn about pollution and its effects. They will learn in depth about pesticides and see its harmful effects that they might not have realized at first. The students will simulate a landfill and see what objects will decompose and which objects won't. They will create their own solutions to an oil spill and test to see which solution is the most effective. The students will observe the effects oil has on water birds. Through this they will determine the long term damage done by an oil spill.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Video/Audio/Animation

Beavers:

The beaver is often referred to as nature's own engineer. This video segment focuses on the beaver's ability to transform its environment to suit itself. The beaver does so with an innate ability to construct dams -- a feat no creature, save humans, is able to achieve.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

STEM Lessons - Model Eliciting Activity

"The Big Oil Spill":

What an exciting opportunity for the students to learn and become a productive individual in their community, by learning and understanding that each and everyone plays a huge part in protecting the environment. This project will instill a lifetime commitment to developing values that lead to protecting our wild life. The MEA is a realistic, real life experience that could be translated into everyday experiences.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Cookies and Treats:

Fourth graders will help Cookies and Treats find cost-effective and eco-friendly packaging for its cookies. Students will organize data and compare prices using decimal notation in order to develop a procedure for choosing packaging for cookies.  Students will use multiplication and division of whole numbers to plan for how many packages to order.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Earth-Friendly Party Planning:

In this MEA the Parent-Teacher Group asks the students to help them plan a fun yet environmentally friendly end-of-the-year party.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Pollinators:

This Model Eliciting Activity (MEA) is written at a 4th grade level. The Pollinator MEA provides students with an engineering problem in which they must work as a team to design a procedure to select the best pollinator for certain situations.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Recycle This!:

Students will learn about recycling renewable and nonrenewable resources while completing a model eliciting activity in which they help Sunshine School District to decide which material to start their recycling program with.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Slither Not in the Everglades! Python MEA:

This is a 4th grade MEA. This MEA will ask students to work in teams to help their client, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Juvenile Commission, to decide which Burmese Pythons traps manufacturing company is the most economical to buy traps from. The traps will be placed along the Florida Keys and the Everglades to further help prevent the growth of Burmese Pythons species invasion. The students will implement their knowledge of how plants, animals, and humans impact the environment, use mathematical and analytical problem-solving strategies, and be able report their finding in an organized, descriptive manner.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

The Biological Nature Preserve:

This Model-Eliciting Activity (MEA) is written on a 4th grade level. In this open-ended problem, the Biological Nature Preserve MEA provides students with an engineering problem where they must work as a team to analyze data to choose the best tree to plant in the serenity garden. The students will consider the cost, shade, height, leaf color, maintenance, and growth rate to choose the best tree that not only will benefit the environment but also this nature preserve. The students will work in teams to decide on a process of how to rank these trees from "best to worst" as well as explain how they arrived at their solution using a letter format.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations. Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

Animals of Florida Part 1: Native:

Explore some native animals of Florida including the Florida panther, gopher tortoise, and American alligator in this interactive tutorial.

Click the link to open .

Animals of Florida Part 2: Non-Native:

Explore some non-native animals in Florida including the honeybee, Cuban tree frog, and lionfish in this interactive tutorial.

Click the link to open .

In Hot Water: How Climate Change is Changing Our Planet :

Explore some facts about climate change and how it impacts our world in this interactive tutorial.

Plants of Florida Part 1: Native:

Explore some native plants of Florida including bald cypress, longleaf pine and prickly pear in this interactive tutorial.

Click the link to open .

Plants of Florida Part 2: Non-Native:

Explore non-native plants of Florida, including orange trees, sugarcane, and Brazilian Peppertree in this interactive tutorial.

Click the link to open .

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorials

In Hot Water: How Climate Change is Changing Our Planet :

Explore some facts about climate change and how it impacts our world in this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Animals of Florida Part 2: Non-Native:

Explore some non-native animals in Florida including the honeybee, Cuban tree frog, and lionfish in this interactive tutorial.

Click the link to open .

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Animals of Florida Part 1: Native:

Explore some native animals of Florida including the Florida panther, gopher tortoise, and American alligator in this interactive tutorial.

Click the link to open .

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Plants of Florida Part 2: Non-Native:

Explore non-native plants of Florida, including orange trees, sugarcane, and Brazilian Peppertree in this interactive tutorial.

Click the link to open .

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Plants of Florida Part 1: Native:

Explore some native plants of Florida including bald cypress, longleaf pine and prickly pear in this interactive tutorial.

Click the link to open .

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Text Resource

Help Protect Florida's Natural Areas from Non-Native Invasive Plants:

This resource provides information on some of Florida's non-native invasive fauna. The resource includes a list, description, and prevention guide for non-native invasive plant species in Florida.

Type: Text Resource

Video/Audio/Animation

Beavers:

The beaver is often referred to as nature's own engineer. This video segment focuses on the beaver's ability to transform its environment to suit itself. The beaver does so with an innate ability to construct dams -- a feat no creature, save humans, is able to achieve.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Lesson Plan

Part 1: Pond Life:

This lesson is designed for students to investigate familiar and unfamiliar ecosystems using Internet resources, to explore how various organisms satisfy their needs within their environments, and to study the kinds of relationships that exist between organisms within an environment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Teaching Ideas

Web Connection-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will learn how animals are interconnected with the arctic ecosystem and how humans impact these interrelationships.

Type: Teaching Idea

Wildlife Reserve-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will design a protected environment for an endangered animal that encourages the animal's natural behaviors and meets its physical requirements. Students will explain to their classmates why the protected environment is essential for the endangered animal.

Type: Teaching Idea

Text Resource

Help Protect Florida's Natural Areas from Non-Native Invasive Plants:

This resource provides information on some of Florida's non-native invasive fauna. The resource includes a list, description, and prevention guide for non-native invasive plant species in Florida.

Type: Text Resource