Year 8 Independant Learning Program (ILP)

CHS 2 Ecology

Allow a maximum of 6 weeks for this topic

BOS or NESA outcomes

Outcome:   SC4-15LW, Knowledge and Understanding
LW5 Students:
a. construct and interpret food chains and food webs, including examples from Australian ecosystems
b. describe interactions between organisms in food chains and food webs, including producers, consumers and decomposers.
c. describe examples of beneficial and harmful effects that micro-organisms can have on living things and the environment
d. predict how human activities can affect interactions in food chains and food webs, including examples from Australian land or marine ecosystems.
e. explain, using examples, how scientific evidence and/or technological developments contribute to developing solutions to manage the impact of natural events on Australian ecosystems.
f. describe how scientific knowledge has influenced the development of practices in agriculture, eg animal husbandry or crop cultivation to improve yields and sustainability, or the effect of plant-cloning techniques in horticulture.

Working scientifically (skills):
WS5.2 Students plan first-hand investigations by:
a. collaboratively and individually planning a range of investigation types, including fieldwork, experiments, surveys and research
WS7.2 Students analyse data and information by:
b. constructing and using a range of representations, including graphs, keys and models to represent and analyse patterns or relationships, including using digital technologies as appropriate 
WS7.2 Students analyse data and information by:
f. reflecting on the method used to investigate a question or solve a problem, including evaluating the quality of the data collected.
WS8 Students solve problems by:
d. using cause and effect relationships to explain ideas and findings
WS9 Students communicate by:
e. constructing and using the appropriate type of graph (histogram, column, sector or line graph) to express relationships clearly and succinctly, employing digital technologies as appropriate

Learning Activities:

1) Define the terms Ecology and Ecosystem. Next explain why Australian Ecosystems are different from those of the other countries or continents.

2) Perform a google search on the term "food chains and food webs", study several websites including wikipedia. Then in your own words write a definition for the terms "Food Chain" and for "Food Web", then explain the difference between these terms.

3) Choose an example of a food web, draw its diagram and explain in your words what is happening in this system. Do the same for a food chain of your choice. At least one of these examples must be from the Australian Ecosystem.

4) Define in terms of food webs and food chains, the words: Producer, consumer and decomposer. Using these 3 words, Describe the interactions in your chosen ecosystems in 3) above.

5) Define the term Micro-organism, how many different types are there? I can think of at least 3, ask your teacher if you are having trouble finding the different types. For each type or class of Micro-organism find and describe at least one example that has harmful effects on living things and one example that has benificial effects on living things. Extension students should describe a greater range of these organisms, for instance they can find examples for every type of living organism, eg plants, legumes, vertebrites, birds, fish, invertebrites, insects, spiders, etc.

6) Research how agriculture has changed the environment in your local area (the western planes), then explain how this has impacted on the natural food webs and chains in this area.

7) Investigate the possible impacts of Coal mining in North Queensland on great barrier reef, some of the impacts are a result of activities not directly to do with the mining process itself, consider the construction of Ports for ships in Harbour along the Queensland Coast, as well as the environmental impact of burning the caol that is burnt. Then prepare a report or presentation of your findings, this could be published on a web page or in a book or as a spoken presentation to a live audience, choose your own approach, talk to your teacher about any help that you need.

8) Study the Warrumbungle bush fire of 2013, determine what started the fire, what damage was caused to people and the environment. Find out what work Scientists have completed in the aftermath of the fire, what discoveries did they make? what can mankind do to reduce the damage from such big fires in future?

9) What is GM Canola? Why do some farmers prefer to grow GM Canola instead of normal Canola, what advantage do they get from it? What did Scientists have to do to normal Canola to make the GM Canola? If you prefer you could look at GM Cotton instead or any other GM products.

10) How and why have wheat farmers used GPS in the sowing and growing of their crops?

11) How and why is liquid nitrogen used in the breeding of more productive sheep and cattle in Australia?

12) Ask your teacher for the assessment task for this topic.