Differentiated Lesson Plan on Ecosystems

Submitted by: Jaclyn Patino

In this differentiated lesson plan, students will use BrainPOP resources to explore ecosystems.

Students will:

  1. Students will define "What is an Ecosystem?"
  2. Students will explain "What is a habitat?" and name some examples.
  3. Students will match vocabulary words to pictures.
  4. Students will answer multiple choice and open-ended questions on the ecosystems through Quiz Mixer.

Materials:

  • Access to all three BrainPOP sites (BrainPOP, BrainPOP Jr, and BrainPOP ESL)
  • teacher-made notetaking worksheet
  • science notebook
  • articles on various freshwater habitats for jigsaw activity

Vocabulary:

ecosystems, pond, habitat, lake, river, wetlands, persuasive, concept map, depend, freshwater, saltwater.

Preparation:

Activities for students to complete are sectioned based on BrainPOP, BrainPOP Jr, and BrainPOP ESL. Students will be assigned a specific BrainPOP to complete various activities based on the KWL entrance quiz created on the quiz mixer.

High level students will be assigned to watching the BrainPOP video on ecosystems and fill out a teacher created note-taking sheet to jot down main points through the movie. The teacher will use the pause point strategy to discuss key points in the video and give students the opportunity to take notes. After the students have watched the video and complete their notes worksheet, they will learn how to create an ecosystems concept map. Student’s will snapshot certain video clips from the ecosystem video onto their map, as well as utilizing key words/visuals. The final assignment for this group is to create a persuasive writing piece on "Why it is important to protect our ecosystem?" and "What methods can be utilized in order to save the ecosystem's plants/animals.

The on grade level group will watch the BrainPOP Jr video on “Freshwater Habitats”. Students will begin by completing the quiz first in order to understand what the main idea of the video is about for the lesson. Afterward, students will watch the video then fill in the graphic organizer in the “Talk About It” section. When the graphic organizer is completed, students will submit the assignment to the teacher for grading. This lesson will be followed by a jigsaw activity were students will be placed in groups to learn specifically about freshwater habitats (e.g. pond, lake, rivers, wetlands).

Finally, the below grade level students will go onto BrainPOP ESL. The students will have the opportunity to learn about the various vocabulary words in the “Flash Words” section (e.g. ecosystems, ponds, depend etc). Students will learn how to pronounce each word, learn the definition, draw a picture of the word (students can use visual found in Flash words), and learn the part of speech. The students will also create a scientific word glossary in their science notebook. Students will create a table that has four sections labeled: word, the part of speech, definition and picture. Students will complete this table using the vocabulary words from “Flash Words.” After the vocabulary chart is completed, the students will complete the “Warm Up” activity found in BrainPOP ESL under ecosystems. Students will also have the chance to engage in a turn/talk with their groups about the vocabulary words.

To prepare for the lesson, you will probably need to spend one to two hours to create/print the worksheets/articles. This lesson will probably take three-four days to complete all assignments.

Have students take a quiz generated on the Quiz Mixer for all types of learners to answer. Students will complete an entrance ticket on the quiz mixer to answer questions based on the ecosystem and various habitats. The teacher will collect the data to see what students know/don't know about this topic. This information will allow the teacher to place students into groups based on their instructional level and understanding of ecosystems.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Each group activity should be separated into three or four days during science.

    BrainPOP (Above grade level group)
    Day 1. Watch video on Ecosystems and complete teacher created note-taking guide.
    Day 2. Create an ecosystems concept map.
    Day 3/Day 4: Write a persuasive writing piece on "Why it is important to protect our ecosystem?" and "What methods can be utilized in order to save the ecosystem's plants/animals.

    BrainPOP Jr (On grade level group)
    Day 1: Complete video quiz on Freshwater Habitats, watch movie, and complete graphic organizer in "Write About it".
    Day 2/Day 3: Jigsaw groups to learn about one type of habitat
    Day 4: Students share information on what they learned from their expert group

    BrainPOP ESL (Below grade level group)
    Day One: Learn about the various vocabulary words in the “Flash Words” section (e.g. ecosystems, ponds, depend etc).
    Day Two: Students will create a scientific word glossary in their science notebook.
    Day Three: Complete the “Warm Up” activity found in BrainPOP ESL under ecosystems then engage in a turn/talk about the vocabulary words.

Extension Activity:

The class will view a former student's project on picking/creating a habitat using a software from book creator. Students will have the opportunity to use what they have learned from all three BrainPOP sites to pick/create a habitat. The activities to complete for this project are below:

1. Draw/Label a diagram of your chosen habitat.
2. Describe the important features/benefits that your habitat has on the environment and its plants/animals.
3. Using all your researched information/BrainPOP notes, you will create your own eBook about your habitat. Students will place all information gathered into this electric book and pair it with visuals. The final project will be presented to the class during an "Author's eBook Celebration" Party.

Filed as: General, Science