Gnarly Nutrients

DCIs: LS2.D: LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems; LS2.B: Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in EcosystemsLS4.C: AdaptationPS1.B: Chemical Reactions

SEPs: Asking Questions (for Science); Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Constructing Explanations (for Science); Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

CCCs: Cause and Effect: Mechanism and Explanation; Scale, Proportion, and Quantity; Energy and Matter: Flows, Cycles, and Conservation; Structure and Function

CA EPs & Cs: 

Time: 1 Day, 40 minutes

Prep: Review Lesson Plan

Anchoring Phenomena

Essential Question

What role does the California condor play in the California ecosystem, and how do changes in the ecosystem impact condors over time?

Instructions

Day 1

1. Engage/Warm Up

  • Deer Decomposition Video (graphic)

  • Have students watch the video once quietly.

  • Show the video a second time and have students See - Think - Wonder.

    • Ask the students to write questions that they have on Post-Its. Then, have students share their questions with a partner or small group so they can generate more questions. 

  • Have students share their best/favorite questions with the class and add them to the Question Board.

 

2. Active Reading

  •  National Geographic Encyclopedia: Scavengers

    • Have students number the paragraphs.

    • Reread the article and underline the definition of a scavenger. Have the students circle examples of scavengers.

    • Reread the last three paragraphs – how do humans impact scavengers?

  • Read this article together as a class. 

 

3. Class Discussion: Anchoring Phenomena Video

  • What is the role of condors as scavengers in the environment?

  • Have the students compare condors eating a dead deer in the Anchoring Phenomena video to the deer decomposition video.

    • Which is more efficient for cleaning up carrion?

    • Possible Discussion points: Nature’s clean-up crew, prepare nutrients for decomposers, remove dead things/carrion, and/or remove viruses and bacteria that could be dangerous to humans or other animals.

    • Difference between scavengers and decomposers? 

**Fun Fact: condors actually receive calories (energy) from the many microbes they consume. They use them as nutrients.

 

4. Revise Model - Have students revise or add to their models and label scavengers.

 

5.  Reflection:  Have students complete the following sentence frame about condors:  “I used to think _____ about California condors, and now I think _____...”

 

6. Optional - Homework/Extend

Call us:

SB Zoo - 805-962-5339

USFWS - 805-644-5185

Find us: 

500 Ninos Dr, Santa Barbara, CA 93103

2493 Portola Road Suite A, Ventura, CA 93003

sbzoologo.jpg
US-FWS-logo.png
Refuges.jpg
UWRPSticker.png