This unit will explore ecosystems – communities of organisms interacting with their environments. We will learn about the different groups of living organisms that inhabit different types of ecosystems and characteristics that allow them to compete for resources in their environments.
We will also examine factors that can cause changes in ecosystems. In some cases these changes can affect the populations of an ecosystem, causing them to adapt, relocate, or die.
Lesson 1: Organisms and Environments In lesson 1, we will introduce the unit by discussing energy – the ability to do work. We will also be exploring the two major types of energy. Potential energy is stored energy, or energy that an object has because of its position relative to other objects. Kinetic Energy is energy that is doing work, or energy in motion. Energy can take a variety of forms such as sound, light, heat, motion, magnetism, or electricity. Even though the Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy tells us that new energy cannot be created and existing energy cannot be destroyed; the energy that is present in our universe is constantly being used, changing forms, and moving around Earth and throughout the universe. Download PDF Notes
Lesson 2: Changes in Ecosystems In lesson 2, we will explore the sound energy – the movement of energy through vibrations in the form of waves. Because they travel by vibrations, sound waves must have a medium to travel through. This medium can be a solid, liquid, or gas; however, sound cannot travel through a vacuum where no molecules are present to vibrate. As we study sound, we will look at the different characteristics of a sound wave such as wavelength, frequency, and amplitude. By changing these characteristics as we listen to a variety of sounds, we will also be able to observe how each of these characteristics can affect how our ears hear a sound’s pitch and volume. Download PDF Notes
Lesson 3: Adaptations In lesson 4, we will be exploring heat energy. Heat is the transfer of thermal energy through vibrations between molecules. As the temperature of an object of substance increases, its molecules will begin to vibrate more quickly. In this lesson, we will also observe and compare the three methods by which heat can transfer. It is important to remember that heat will always transfer from a warmer object to a cooler object. Conduction occurs as heat transfers between two objects that are touching. Radiation describes the transfer of heat through space by electromagnetic radiation. Convection, the final method of heat transfer, involves the transfer of thermal energy through a current of liquid or gas. Download PDF Notes
Resources and Other Documentation
Unit 6 Guided Notes The guided notes for each unit provide students with a printable copy of notes summarizing the content from each class. Blanks are inserted into the notes where key facts or content should appear. As information is covered during class, students should write missing content into the blanks to complete the guided notes. These guided notes may also be used as a review tool for unit tests. Students may print a copy of the guided notes and fill in the missing content. This can be checked using the complete PDF notes for each lesson.