Activity 1.2: Expressing Ideas for Patterns in Ecosystems Worksheet (40 min)

Target Student Performance

Students ask and record specific questions about changes in matter and energy in response to the unit driving question: How many foxes can live in a meadow?

Resources You Provide

  • sticky notes (1 for each student)

Resources Provided

Recurring Resources


Print one copy of the 1.2 Expressing Ideas and Questions Tool for Ecosystems, Big Idea Probe: Wolves and Deer (optional), and a href="/sites/default/files/ecosystems/handouts/1.2_Ecosystems_Storyline_Reading.pdf" target="_blank">1.2 Ecosystems Storyline Reading for each student.


1. Have students discuss the pretest

Ask students to write down questions they have after taking the pretest (for instance, on the back of their 1.2 Expressing Ideas and Questions Tool for Ecosystems). Explain that we will try to answer most of those during the Ecosystems unit.


Use the 1.2 Assessing Expressing Ideas Tool for Ecosystems to note how students are responding. Do not tell them what Level 4 types of responses you are looking for, just that you are interested in how they are thinking about ecosystems right now.


Check to see what types of ideas students have about ecosystems.

  • Refer back to Expressing Ideas and Questions Tools from past units as a model.
  • Strategic grouping with strong speakers 
  • Provide sentence stems to aid individual writing and for discussion
  • Insist on ideas and questions from all students
  • Emphasize that there are no incorrect answers and check for alternative ideas that may be cultural in nature
Extending the Learning