Discipline: Science

Grade Level: 7

Course: Life Science

©Literacy Design Collaborative. September 2011

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The Effect Algal Blooms Have on Marine Ecosystems
Overview
  • Module Description
    • The focus of this module is for students to learn about the importance of population balance in marine ecosystems and how human activities, specifically fertilizer run-off from nearby farmlands into the Mississippi River, can impact energy webs by offsetting predator-prey relationships. Students are required to use scientific articles to research the cause and effect of algal blooms off the coast of the U.S. and write a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to inform them of the problem as well as suggest possible solutions.

  • Tasks
    • Teaching Task Template Task (Design your own lesson)

      L1: What effect do algal blooms have on marine environments off the coast of the United States? After reading scientific texts on fertilizer run-off and algal blooms, write a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency that examines the causes of algal blooms and explains the effect fertilizer run-off has on the overpopulation of algae in marine ecosystems. What conclusions or implications can you draw? Support your discussion with evidence from the texts.

      Task Template 25

       [Insert question] After reading ________ (literature or informational texts) on ________ (content), write a ________ (report or substitute) that examines the cause(s) of ________ (content) and explains the effect(s) ________ (content). What conclusions or implications can you draw? Support your discussion with evidence from the texts. (Informational or Explanatory/Cause-Effect)
  • About the Teacher
    • Author: Mark Weese

      Course: 7th Grade Life Science

  • Materials, References, and Support
    • For Teachers

      Texts:

      For Students

      Selected Articles:

      • Dybas, C. (2005, July). Dead zones spreading in world oceans. BioScience, 55(7), 552.
      • Schrope, M. (2006, December 9). The dead zones. New Scientist, 192(2581), 38–42.
      • Raloff, J. (2004, June 5). Dead waters. Science News, 165(23), 360.
      • Mee, L. (2006, November) Reviving dead zones. Scientific American.
      • Kowalski, K. (2010, October). Oceans of trouble. Choices: Current Health Teens, 37(2), 16.
      • Ferber, D. (2000, October 12). Agreement to shrink dead zone. Science Now.
      • Dead in The Water. Weir, K. (2005, March 4). Dead in the water. Current Science,.90(12), 10–11.
      • The Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone and Red Tides. Retrieved from http://www.tulane.edu/~bfleury/envirobio/enviroweb/DeadZone.htm
      • Red Tide's Weather Trail. Cutlip, K. (2001, November/December). Red tide’s weather trail. Weatherwise, 54(6) 10.
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