How does ocean acidification affect organisms?

Lesson overview

Students work scientifically by writing a method to test a hypothesis and then practise this in an exam setting. The context of the lesson is Dr Ceri Lewis’ work into the impact of ocean acidification on copepods, a type of zooplankton with calcium carbonate shells. The lesson builds on students’ prior knowledge of the environmental impact of anthropogenic CO2 production.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the wider context and learning outcomes
  • Identify variables for a hypothesis
  • Write a logical step-by-step method
  • Describe how to control common hazards
  • Demonstrate learning

Lesson steps

  1. Brief from Dr Ceri Lewis (10 mins)
    Use the slides to set the context and share the learning outcomes.
  2. Deconstructing a scientific plan (15 mins)
    Using slides, students learn how to identify variables from a hypothesis.
    Using the method for the practical in Step 3 and a mark scheme, students analyse the structure of a scientific plan.
  3. Practical work (20 mins)
    Students investigate how increasing ocean acidity can lead to the corrosion of shells.
  4. Exam Style Question (15 mins)
    Students write a method from an exam style question, set from a slide.