Download Lesson

Download Biomes and Dandelions!

Fill out our short form to view and download the lesson packet
Download Lesson

Biomes and Dandelions Overview

8th Grade

Students will recognize biotic and abiotic words, complete a lab to explore different types of soils using the naked eye and microscope, and create a drawing of the nitrogen cycle. They will conclude with an extensive research project that includes making a food web poster and a diorama/3-D model about the dandelion biome.

Lesson Objectives

  • Students will classify the organisms within an ecosystem according to the function they serve: producers, consumers, or decomposers (biotic factors).
  • Students will explain why producers (such as dandelions) and decomposers (such as fungi and bacteria) are important to the survival of ecosystems.
  • Students will discover and report on the flow of energy within food webs. They will use appropriate methods (charts, graphs, etc.) to share the relevant data.
  • Students will summarize how abiotic factors such as temperature, water, sunlight and soil quality in biomes affect an organism’s ability to survive.
  • Students will explain how the flow of energy within food webs is interconnected with the cycling of matter (including water, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen).

Curriculum Alignment

NC Essential Standards

  • 8.L.3 Understand how organisms interact with and respond to the biotic and abiotic components of their environment.
  • 8.L.3.1 Explain how factors such as food, water, shelter and space affect populations in an ecosystem.
  • 8.L.3.2 Summarize the relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers including the positive and negative consequences of such interactions including:
    • Coexistence and cooperation
    • Competition (predator/prey)
    • Parasitism
    • Mutualism
  • 8.L.3.3 Explain how the flow of energy within food webs is interconnected with the cycling of matter (including water, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen).
  • 8.V.3 Create art using a variety of tools, media, and processes, safely and appropriately.
  • 8.TT.1 Use technology and other resources for assigned tasks.
  • 8.RP.1 Apply a research process to complete project-based activities.
  • 8.SE.1 Apply responsible behaviors when using information and technology resources.

Next Generation Science Standards

  • MS-LS1-6 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.
  • MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
  • MS-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
  • MS-LS2-3 Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
  • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical and biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

Common Core

  • ELA-Literacy.WHST.6-8.1.b Support claim(s) with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, using credible sources.
  • ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.
  • ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements or performing technical tasks.
  • ELA-Literacy.SL.8.4 Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  • ELA-Literacy.SL.8.5 Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.
  • ELA-Literacy.RI.8.1 Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • ELA-Literacy.W.8.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
  • ELA-Literacy.W.8.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • ELA-Literacy.L.8.6 Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.