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
If this activity were done at the start of a unit on Matter and Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems, it would provide experience with a highly engaging phenomenon. By empirically discovering what animals are eaten by an owl, students begin to build toward the achievement of this Performance Expectation. Students could eventually incorporate the learning from this activity in the creation of food web models to explain the transfer of matter and energy in ecosystems. This activity demonstrates the movement of energy from small animals to the owl.
To more fully address the standard, the students would need to include the Sun, producers, and decomposers in the food web. The students could design a model of the food web for the owl, beginning with the Sun, moving to the seeds and plants that the small animals inside the owl would have eaten, then the small animals, then the owl, then things that ate the owl, and finally end with decomposers. By bringing in all of these tropic levels, the activity will address the complete standard.