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Module 2: Lesson 1

Students will play a game to determine food webs, food chains, and biotic or abiotic components of a mangrove ecosystem. They will play an outside game to reinforce what they learned about the fragile yet resilient mangrove forests. Then they will participate in a lab activity to determine whether mangroves grow better in salt or fresh water. Lastly, they will use this experiment as a model of the issues mangrove forests are facing due to sea level rise.

Lesson Plan

Essential Questions:

  • What are some biotic and abiotic factors in a mangrove habitat?
  • What are the roles of and relationships among producers, consumers and decomposers in the process of energy transfer in a mangrove food web?
  • What are the characteristics of populations within a mangrove forest, such as number of individuals, age structure, density and pattern of distribution?
  • When conducting an experiment, what are the different variables? When using a scientific model, what are the limitations and benefits?

Objectives: By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain and illustrate the roles of and relationships among producers, consumers and decomposers in the process of energy transfer in a mangrove food web and characterize the biotic and abiotic components in a mangrove habitat
  • Explain the pathway of energy transfer through trophic levels and the reduction of available energy at successive levels
  • Describe and investigate various limiting factors in a mangrove ecosystem and their impact on native populations, including food, shelter, water, space, disease, parasitism, predation and nesting sites
  • Identify test variables (independent variables) and outcome variables (dependent variables) in an experiment, and the limitations and benefits of a scientific model
  • Explain how hypotheses are valuable even if they turn out not to be supported by the data

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