Over and Under the Pond

Contributor
Kate Messner
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Phenomenon
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

Over and Under the Pond describes a pond ecosystem in the Adirondacks at twilight from the viewpoint of a young boy in a canoe. Through the boy’s eyes, the reader discovers the plants and animals in this interconnected community. The back matter provides an author’s note about ecosystems and a more in depth look at each of the animals highlighted in the book.

Intended Audience

Learner
Educational Level
  • Elementary School
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Available for purchase - The right to view, keep, and/or download material upon payment of a one-time fee.

Performance Expectations

5-LS2-1 Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on the idea that matter that is not food (air, water, decomposed materials in soil) is changed by plants into matter that is food. Examples of systems could include organisms, ecosystems, and the Earth.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include molecular explanations.

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
This book describes observations made by a boy as he and his mother paddle around a pond at twilight in a canoe. He observes interactions between organisms and between living and non-living things. This book could be used to introduce an ecosystems, giving students a common experience to begin exploring feeding relationships in ecosystems. To strengthen the alignment to the performance expectation, students could also use the back matter to create a model showing the interconnectedness of the animals in this ecosystem through feeding relationships Their model would show matter movement through the pond ecosystem and could be revised as learn more in the unit.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The book (with the back matter) provides information about a pond ecosystem that students can use to explain how matter moves through the pond ecosystem through the feeding relationships of the organisms in that ecosystem. Students could make predictions based on prior years’ instruction about what organisms might be discussed in the book. A class chart could be constructed to identify the organisms as the book is being read. The chart could include the interactions between organisms or between organisms and nonliving things in the ecosystem.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource was not designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Students can use the text and the information in the back matter to create a model showing the interactions among the organisms of this ecosystem. They could create cards for each organism with information about the organism that includes what they eat and what eats them. These cards can be used to show how the organisms interact with each other. If a web is constructed using the cards or other methods, students could discuss what might happen in the ecosystem if one of the organisms disappears or if population numbers change.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students would need to describe this system, its components and the interactions using the book text and back matter. This can be accomplished as a whole class, in small groups or individually. If done individually, the work could provide a formative assessment to guide instruction. Students might create models of the pond system and then explain it.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The book itself does not integrate the three dimensions of science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts; however, it does provide a phenomenon for students to describe. The book describes observations made by a child in a pond ecosystem. Students can use the text and back matter to define the system and explain how multiple organisms can meet their needs in this system. Teachers can ask the following questions or lead students in asking questions: Define the system being described in the book. How do the organisms in this ecosystem interact with each other? How do they interact with other components of the system?

  • Instructional Supports: The book itself does not provide instructional supports. The teacher will be familiar with the reading abilities of the students in the class and be able to provide supports to reading the book as needed. The book can be read aloud, taped or have enough copies for the class to read or be read in small groups. The back matter text is more dense and may require additional supports for students.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: If students created cards for each organism with information about the organism that includes what they eat and what eats them, the cards could be used to create a model. Groups could present models to the class and models can be revised during reading, rereading or further instruction.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: This resource does not include a technologically interactive component.