Planning Index: Interactions & Ecosystems | Print |

Grade 7 Science Unit Plan
Unit A - Interaction and Ecosystems
(emphasis on Social and Environmental context)

Grade 7 Unit Overview (Alberta)
Ecosystems develop and are maintained by natural processes and are impacted by human action. To foster an understanding of ecosystems, this unit develops students' awareness of their components and interactions, as well as natural cycles and processes of change. Building on this knowledge, students investigate human impacts, and engage in studies that involve environmental monitoring and research. By reflecting on their findings, students become aware of the intended and unintended consequences of human activity, and recognize the need for responsible decision making and action.

Concepts Covered and Developed through Instruction

  • interactions and interdependencies
  • species distribution
  • environmental monitoring
  • succession
  • environmental impacts
  • endangered species
  • producers, consumers, decomposers
  • extinction
  • nutrient cycles and energy flow
  • environmental management

What do the students already know?

How do students think we can affect an ecosystem?
Can they explain how we can monitor and reduce our impact on ecosystems?

What must they Learn?

Sustainability in balanced ecosystems


Specific Learner Outcomes

Instructional Focus


Focus 1


Investigate and describe relationships between humans and their environments, and identify related issues and scientific questions


- meeting needs
- interaction/interdendency
- human impacts
- decision making

Graphic Organizers

Lab Activities
Issue Investigation - Role Plays
Problem Solving

Focus 2

Ecosystem Energy Flow

Trace and interpret the flow of energy and materials within an ecosystem


- biotic/abiotic
- producers, consumers, decomposers
- energy and nutrient storage
- recycling nutrients
- food webs
- carbon cycle/water cycle
- ecosystem pollution and bioaccumulation


Comparison of Factors
Predator-Prey Game

Graphic Organizers
Lab Activities

Focus 3

Ecosystem Monitoring

Monitor local ecosystems and assess impacts of environmental factors on the growth, health and reproduction of organisms within those environments


- distribution of organisms
- population fluctuations
- succession

Textual Resources / Reports / Internet
Scientific Studies
Lab Activities

Focus 4

Human Impacts

Describe the relationships among knowledge, decisions and actions in maintaining life-supporting environments


- consequences
- scientific investigations
- limited action
- local issue

Scientific Reports / Eco-Groups
Lab Activities
Demonstrations / Presentations