Activity 2.3: Evidence-Based Arguments for the Meadow Simulation (40 min)

Target Student Performance

Students develop arguments from evidence about possible patterns in relationships among mass of populations at different trophic levels in a simulated meadow ecosystem (the organic matter pyramid).

Resources You Provide

Resources Provided


Prepare a computer and a projector to display the PPT and one copy of 2.3 Evidence-Based Arguments Tool for the Meadow Simulation for each student.


1. Use the instructional model to show students where they are in the course of the unit.


Remember that at this point in the Unit it is okay for students to have many unanswered questions and incorrect ideas. It is important that they are able to describe the organic matter pyramid as a pattern in ecosystems, but they should not be expected to fully explain it at this point. Use the 2.3 Assessing the 2.3 Evidence-Based Arguments Tool for the Meadow Simulation to get a sense for where students are in their ability to identify the main pattern in this unit: the organic matter pyramid.

  • Strategic grouping with strong speakers 
  • Provide sentence stems for discussion and filling in the Evidence-Based Arguments Tool
  • Refer to previous Evidence-Based Arguments Tools from past Carbon TIME Units, if applicable
  • Compare the Evidence-Based Arguments Tool to the Predictions and Planning Tool. Have students verbalize similarities and differences in groups before sharing with the class.
Extending the Learning
  • Have students make predictions about how the results of the investigation would change if they used different ecosystems.