How does ocean acidification affect communities?

Lesson overview

Students work scientifically by developing and using a model (a food web) to formulate hypotheses. The context of the lesson is Dr Ceri Lewis’ investigation into how ocean acidification might affect plankton at low trophic levels and the cascade effects at higher levels. The lesson builds on students’ prior knowledge of interdependence.

Learning outcomes

  • Understand the wider context and learning outcomes
  • Formulate a hypothesis
  • Construct a model
  • Use a model
  • Demonstrate and reflect on learning

Lesson steps

  1. Brief from Dr Ceri Lewis (10 mins)
    Use the slides to set the context and share the learning outcomes.
  2. What makes a good hypothesis? (10 mins)
    Using the slides, students compare hypotheses to understand their structure.
  3. Developing a model food web (10 mins)
    Students construct a model food web using Students Sheets 3a and 3b.
  4. Using a model to predict (10 mins)
    Students use their model to make predictions about the community level impact of population changes.
  5. Writing a hypothesis (15 mins)
    Students demonstrate their learning by writing a hypothesis using the slide.
  6. Self-reflection (5 mins)
    Using the slides, students consider how alternative ‘teachers’ may have delivered the lesson.
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