Overview of Instructional Segments for Grade Seven
1 Interdependent Ecosystems Students view ecosystems as systems. They analyze the exchanges of energy and matter in the system and recognize patterns in the way different organisms interact.
2 Photosynthesis & Respiration Students zoom into the most important processes that allows the exchange of energy and matter in ecosystems, photosynthesis and respiration. They develop models of how organisms rearrange molecules during these chemical reactions to survive and grow. They explain how reactions at the molecular scale explain the interactions at the ecosystem scale.
3 Cells and Body Systems Students collect investigations to gather evidence that living things are made of cells. They develop a model of how cells work as self-contained systems and as part of broader body systems.
4 Evidence of Evolution Students analyze structures of different organisms to notice evolutionary patterns. Their data comes from the fossil record, anatomical similarities, and embryological development.
5 Inheritance and Genetics Students develop a model that explains how cells store and use their genetic code. They extend the model so that it can explain variation in traits caused by reproduction and mutation.
6 Natural Selection Students analyze data that shows evidence of natural selection. They develop conceptual and mathematical models that explain how the traits of organisms and the availability of resources affect the survival of specific individuals, and how that translates into broader shifts in populations.
7 Ecosystem Interactions, Revisited Students revisit ecosystem interactions as a capstone to develop solutions that maintain biodiversity and ecosystem services in the face of human impacts on ecosystems.