Subjects & Disciplines
- Arts and Music
- English Language Arts
- Differentiate between producers, primary consumers, secondary consumers, tertiary consumers, apex predators, and decomposers in marine ecosystems.
- Describe how ingestion and entanglement impact organisms at each level of the food web.
- Create an argument about whether they think this plastic pollution is capable of causing harm to humans, and justify their argument with evidence.
- Identify producers, consumers, and decomposers in a variety of different marine ecosystems.
- Illustrate the process of biomagnification within a food web, showing the cycling of plastics and toxic chemicals between organisms.
- Articulate a personal connection to their unit project.
- Synthesize information from notes and resources to make progress toward unit project goals.
- Reflect on what information they still need to embark on the next steps of their project.
- Create an argument about whether they think plastic pollution is capable of causing harm to humans, and justify their argument with evidence.
- Illustrate the process of biomagnification within a food web, showing the cycling of plastics and toxins between organisms.
- Project-based learning
- Cooperative learning
- Multimedia instruction
- Simulations and games
- 21st Century Student Outcomes
- 21st Century Themes
Critical Thinking Skills
Science and Engineering Practices
- Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
- Developing and using models
- Engaging in argument from evidence
- Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Connections to National Standards, Principles, and Practices
What You’ll Need
The resources are also available at the top of the page.
- Internet Access: Required
- Internet access: Required
- Tech Setup: 1 computer per classroom, 1 computer per pair, Printer, Projector, Speakers
Prior to teaching this activity, set up four pieces of chart paper with the following titles and hang them in visible locations around the room:
- Plastics in the food chain are harming humans now.
- Plastics in the food chain are not harming humans now, but may in the future.
- Plastics in the food chain do not harm humans, now or in the future.
- I still need more information to make a decision about this.
When printing the Food Web Infographics (one set per team), keep them organized in a folder or with a paper clip (not stapled) so students can view them all together when spread out on a table.
Print the Featured Marine Organism Profile single-sided on two separate sheets of paper, so that these pages can face each other in the magazine.
Cards for the card sort should be printed and cut out in advance. You may wish to print these on cardstock if you intend to use them multiple times with different classes.
Prior to this activity, choose jigsaw groups for your students. The readings presented in this jigsaw activity are more uniform in terms of reading level and format than those in the previous jigsaw.
- Jigsaw grouping
- Large-group instruction
- Small-group learning
- Small-group work
Recommended Prior Lessons
to stick to or support.
species at the top of the food chain, with no predators of its own. Also called an alpha predator or top predator.
process by which chemicals are absorbed by an organism, either from exposure to a substance with the chemical or by consumption of food containing the chemical.
process in which the concentration of a substance increases as it passes up the food chain.
organism that breaks down dead organic material; also sometimes referred to as detritivores
community and interactions of living and nonliving things in an area.
study of substances that are harmful to the environment.
the state of being trapped or caught in something
all related food chains in an ecosystem. Also called a food cycle.
to take material, such as food or medicine, into a body.
the act of eating or consuming.
chemical or other substance that harms a natural resource.
organism that eats producers; herbivores.
organisms, such as plants and phytoplankton, that can produce their own food through photosynthesis or chemosynthesis; also called autotrophs.
organism on the food chain that can produce its own energy and nutrients. Also called an autotroph.
organism that eats meat.
carnivore that mostly eats other carnivores.
poisonous substance, usually one produced by a living organism.
one of three positions on the food chain: autotrophs (first), herbivores (second), and carnivores and omnivores (third).