Representatives from 10 sovereign Native American nations in Michigan, five State of Michigan agencies, two universities, and three private organizations collaborated to develop two short curriculum units, one for 3rd grade and one for 5th grade. Each grade level unit includes five lesson plans and support materials for teachers using information from two archaeological sites provided by MDOT and cultural, historical, environmental, and indigenous knowledge provided and vetted by Michigan Native American tribal partners participating in the project. The lesson plans use the Inquiry Arc of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework and focus on specific Michigan Social Studies Standards. The lesson plans also provide links to Michigan English Language Arts (ELA) literacy standards, as well as science and math applications.
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Bug Hunt uses NetLogo software and simulates an insect population that is preyed on by birds. There are six speeds of bugs from slow to fast and the bird tries to catch as many insects as possible in a certain amount of time. Students are able to see the results graphed as the average insect speed over time, the current bug population and the number of insects caught. There are two variations to try for the predator, one where the predator pursues the prey and one where the predator stays still and captures insects that pass nearby. In the first case the bird catches the slow insects and the faster ones survive, reproduce and pass genes on. The average speed of bug should increase over time. In the second case the faster bugs come near to the bird more often than the slow ones. The slow ones survive more, reproduce and pass their genes on.
This online interactive module of 10 pages or frames integrates textual information, 3D molecular models, interactive molecular simulations, and embedded assessment items to guide students in understanding the copying of DNA base sequences from translation to transcription into proteins within each cell. The module divides the exercises in to Day 1 and Day 2 time frames. Teachers can view student assessment responses by assigning the module within a class created within the Molecular Workbench application. This Java-based module must be downloaded to each computer.
This interactive simulation of human homeostasis provides students the opportunity to explore how our body maintains a stable internal environment in spite of of the outside conditions, within certain limits. This simulation allows students to investigate a phenomenon that may in real life, be dangerous to humans. Students are asked to regulate the internal body temperature of an individual using clothing, exercise, and perspiration. A four- page exploration sheet guides students through the simulation, including a short prior knowledge piece providing information on how to use the simulation and introductory questions. Two separate activities are included: one that helps students understand the how each external factor affects initial body temperature and another that allows students to explore effects on body temperature after one hour. In the second portion of the interactive simulation students try to maintain a stable body temperature when the factors are changed. Students choose the factors of exercise level, sweat level, body position, clothing, and nutrients in terms of both water and food to maintain homeostasis. The simulation generates data tables and graphing during specific time intervals of outside temperature and body temperature. Students may also alter the outside temperature as part of the simulation. Students adjust the exercise level, amount of clothing, and sweating levels. Water level, sugar level, and fatigue level are influenced by the students choices and are illustrated by bar graphs and line graphs. This simulation can provide an introduction to a lesson or unit that explores how body systems interact. This simulation provides a good foundation for continued study of how the body systems interact and would be an excellent starting point for a lesson or unit on this concept. This interactive simulation provides students with a strong introduction to how body systems interact as the simulation illustrates how to maintain body temperature, sugar level and fatigue level and students are made aware of the consequences of not maintaining those levels. The importance of water and food are also emphasized. Students can rerun the simulation making different choices to determine the effects on homeostasis. Student exploration sheets provide guides for different runs with students setting their own parameters for the runs and drawing conclusions from the resulting changes. Teachers can view student assessment responses by assigning the simulation to a class created within the ExploreLearning site. Access to the teachers guide is provided with the free 30 day access and is helpful and complete. Vocabulary of dehydration, heat stroke, homeostasis, hypothermia, and involuntary, voluntary and thermoregulation are explained in detail in the accompanying teachers vocabulary guide.
This Java-based NetLogo model allows students to investigate the chemical and energy inputs and outputs of photosynthesis through an interactive simulation. The simulation is a visual, conceptual model of photosynthesis and does not generate quantitative data. The central concept in the model is the role of chlorophyll in capturing light energy, and this concept is presented without delving into the biochemical details of the photosynthetic reactions. This allows students to focus on the core idea that photosynthesis transforms light energy into chemical energy. Along with exploring the basic process of photosynthesis, students can investigate the effects of light intensity, the day-night cycle (assuming the most common C3 photosynthetic pathway), CO2 concentration, and water availability on the rate of sugar production during photosynthesis. The model highlights the cycling within the chloroplasts between excited and unexcited states as energy is captured and released by chlorophyll. The lesson is written as an introductory learning experience, beginning with the question: What is needed for photosynthesis in a leaf, and what is produced? This resource is best suited as one in a series of learning experiences that either reinforce or extend the concepts addressed here. The model is embedded within an electronic form that provides instructions and guiding questions. Teachers and students should note that the electronic form does not save user data. An important limitation is that the model relies heavily on students visual perception, and this may pose a barrier for some students.
This web simulation allows students to explore adaptive radiation of a fictitious group of birds called Pollenpeepers over a period of 5 million years. A hurricane blows some birds to 3 very different island groups and students identify the changes that take place over time and their causes including different climates, food, competition and predators. Each of the three island groups are compared to the original habitat with respect to topography, temperature, growing season and type of vegetation. Students read about the competition that the birds face when they arrive five million years ago, look at the amount of seeds, insects and flowers present and whether the number of predators is high, medium or low. They can then go forward in time a million years at a time and see the changes that have taken place in the population of pollenpeepers in each of these time periods. Instructions to operate the simulation are included as well as a species gallery where students can explore adaptive radiation in lemurs, Galapagos finches, Hawaiian silverswords, tenrecs and Hawaiian fruit flies.
The goals of the International OER Exchange Pilot project are to: facilitate the development and use of Open Educational Resources (OER) by teachers and students globally, track the development and use of the science learning materials and data collection, especially around climate change study, created in the project through OER Commons, and highlight the process and results through workshops and conference presentations.The broader purpose of the project is to support the international exchange of information and understanding through freely available resources among teachers and students, especially in the area of environmental science and climate change investigation.
Population Explosion is a computer simulation which allows students to manipulate factors to see what happens over time to a population of sheep within an enclosed field. As the simulation runs, a graph shows the dynamic relationship between the sheep population size and their primary food resource, grass. Students can control factors such as initial number of sheep, grass regrowth rate, gain from food, and birthrate. Predation is represented by a reaper button which may also be controlled. The speed of the simulation can be set so that students can see more clearly what happens over time, or collect data more quickly, depending on how fast the simulation runs. Directions and a suggested simulation sequence are provided along with prompts so that students can pause and consider their results. A space within the simulation is provided for students to record observations and answers to the prompts. For each step in this suggested sequence, students take a snapshot of graphs they have created and store them in an album. At the end of the activity analysis questions help students connect the activity to wild populations. An optional extension exercise is also suggested.
This computer-based learning module engages students in questions that scientists around the world are exploring about Earths climate. They gain an appreciation for how much is not known about the Earth and climate change. The module contains 5 activities; 1) Earths Changing Climates, 2) Interactions Within the Atmosphere, 3) Sources, Sinks, and Feedbacks, 4) Feedbacks of Ice and Clouds, and 5) Using Models to Make Predictions. Each activity provides information in simulations, text, video, or graphic format and the students enter answers to both open-ended and closed questions within the program. Once the students have completed an activity, they can print a report showing all the questions and their answers. The authors estimate the entire module should take 225 minutes.