Transformations in Matter and Energy Carbon TIME is an NSF-funded partnership led by Michigan State University
Activity 2.2: The Meadow Simulation (50 min)
Target Student Performance
Students identify patterns in relationships among organic mass of populations at different trophic levels in a simulated meadow ecosystem (the organic matter pyramid).
Materials You Provide
- Computer with internet access for students (1 per pair of students)
- Meadow Simulation
- 2.2 Meadow Simulation PPT
- 2.2 Meadow Simulation Worksheet (1 per student)
- 2.2 Assessing Meadow Simulation Worksheet
Set up a computer for each pair of students to work at as well as a projector to display the 2.2 Meadow Simulation PPT. Also print a copy of the 2.2 Meadow Simulation Worksheet for each student.
Use 2.2 Meadow Simulation Worksheet to get a sense of students’ initial ideas and explanations about patterns in organic matter in ecosystems. At this point, students should not be penalized for incorrect ideas, and they should not be given the “correct” answers. During this activity, pay particular attention to the explanations that students have for why it takes so much plant mass to support so few foxes. This will be important in the next lesson.