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What would happen to an organism from East Asia in California?

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Betsy Telle
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What would happen to an organism from East Asia in California?

Lesson Plan of Betsy Telle

8th Grade Science Class



This lesson is part of the Unit on Evolution. The unit looks at how the environment affects organism populations and the evolution of the species. Since this is a phenomena that happens all over the world, this is a good place for me to bring in learning about East Asia to my Science class. Students will look at the environments that are found in East Asia and think about how these environments would affect the population and evolution of organisms.



Skill and Content Objectives:

MS-LS2-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.


MS-LS2-2. Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.


MS-LS1-5. Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.



Lesson Plan:

Day 1 –


What do you know:

-Students are shown pictures of different East Asian Countries and ecosystems. Students guess what country or ecosystem it is.

-Students fill out a K,W,L chart about East Asia


Mapping East Asia Activity:

-Students are given a blank map of East Asia. Using Google Maps students label each country in East Asia.

-Students work in groups, with each group selecting a different a different country from their filled in maps.

- Students work in their groups to research the geography of their chosen country. Students should research and label their map with geological features found in their country (i.e. rivers, major lakes, mountain ranges) and they types of ecosystems/environments in the country.

-Students regroup so that each member in the new group had researched a different country. Students share with their new group all the geological features and ecosystems they labeled on their map. Each student adds the shared information to their own map.



Day 2 -


Organism of East Asia Presentation:

-Students chose an organism that is found in East Asia and not California.

-Students use a template to create a Google Slides presentation about their chosen organism. The presentation should include the Scientific Classification of the organism and the common name, 5 facts about the organism, which countries the organism is found in, and which type of ecosystem does it live in.

-Students add the location of their organism to their map. Students do a give one/get one with 4 other classmates to learn and add the location of their organisms to their map.


Population troubles in East Asia:

-The class reads aloud the article “Europe shows how Asia’s demographic crisis might correct itself.”

-The class works together to define the term “Demographic Crisis”.

-Teacher leads a discussion of what the impacts of the crisis are.

-Students brainstorm what it would look like for an organism to experience a Demographic Crisis. Students work in groups to figure out what would cause a crisis for an organism and what could be done to solve the crisis for an organism.



Day 3 –


Phet Simulation:

-Students use a Phet Simulation to explore the concept of population limits and evolution.

-Teacher leads a class discussion on the students discoveries. Students add their learnings to their Interactive Notebook.


Coyotes from California in Asia:

-Teacher tells the class that a group of Coyotes from California has been taken to Asia.

-Students work in their Country groups from Day 1 to determine the ecosystem in their researched country the Coyotes would be able to survive in the best and which ecosystem they think they Coyotes would not be able to survive in.

-The group works together to determine if the Coyotes would experience a Demographic Crisis in their country.

-The group then works to determine what traits the Coyotes would need to evolve to be able to survive in the new environment.


Asian Organism in California:

-Students are told that their organism from the day before have been transported and released in California.

-Students work independently to determine if their chosen organism from Day 2 would have a Demographic Crisis or would overpopulate in California.

-Students determine what traits their organism would need to evolve to be able to survive in California.

-Students write an essay with their determinations.



Assessing Student Achievement:

Students maps will be assessed during class to check for students’ understanding of ecosystems. Students should be able to show that they know multiple types of environments and what areas they are located in.


Organism presentations will be assessed based on the accuracy of the information presented.


Students’ final essays should show an understanding of all the topics covered. They should reference the environment that the organism is coming from and how that environment is similar and different than the environment in California. Students should also address how the changes in the environment would affect the organisms ability to survive and the impact on the organism’s population.