Reading and Recording History of Urban Ecosystems

Kim Mayes, Science, Cochrane Collegiate Academy

Curriculum Units (pdf)


In this curriculum unit, students explore ecosystems, evolution, abiotic and biotic factors, symbiotic relationships, and the law of superposition. Students will observe their urban ecosystem and determine abiotic and biotic factors in their ecosystems, as well as track the energy flows of nutrients and resources in the ecosystem. Students will then identify sensitive and factors areas that could change the course of history of their ecosystems.  Students will then explore the different methods of relative age to explain the use of fossils, ice cores, composition of sedimentary rocks, faults, and igneous rock formations found in rock layers as evidence of the history of the Earth and its changing life forms. Using this information student will also explore how current phenomenon may leave its mark on the landscape for future exploration and analysis. Students may also refer to biotechnology that could improve the future of their urban ecosystem. This unit is intended to weave together several of the eighth grade curriculum standards as a culminating or simultaneous project during student learning.