Environmental Literacy                                        

      Michigan State University

Biodiversity and Evolution
Teaching Experimental Materials (12-13)

Middle school version

Middle School version -  The middle school version focuses on food web relationships, taxonomic diversity, and classification.   It includes a vocabulary introduction to biodiversity and fewer lessons that involve integrating math, connections with the abiotic factors in a community, and functional redundancy. 

Lesson Plans – This document (teachers guide, students workbook) includes Teacher Notes, Student Worksheets, Teacher Answer Keys, Appendices, and additional handouts. Power points and other resources can be found below.
Assessments -- Assessments are available in online or paper and pencil versions, click here. Please plan to do the pre-test within 2 weeks of starting the lessons and post-tests within 2 weeks of ending the lesson. The pre and post test forms are the same but there are separate tests for middle school and high school students.
Teacher Feedback Form -- We would like your feedback to improve these lessons! Also, in order to make proper inferences about student learning we would like to understand what actually happened in your classroom. Please fill out this form and return it to your MSP researcher.
MSP researcher Contacts for Support or Questions
For Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES) or New York Teachers: Lia Harris (harrisc@caryinstitute.org)
For Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) Teachers: Jennifer Doherty (dohertyjh@gmail.com)
For Shortgrass Steppe (SGS) or Wyoming Teachers: MaryAnn Murphy (MMURPHY1@greeleyschools.org) or Laurel Hartley (laurel.hartley@ucdenver.edu)
For Santa Barbara Coastal (SBC) Teachers: Scott Simon (simon@msi.uscb.edu)
For all others: Jennifer Doherty (dohertyjh@gmail.com)

Additional Support Materials for Lessons
Posters and sorting cards:
Organism sorting cards (For lessons 6, 9, 10, and 11)
Sorting cards for students to use with the three posters below.  There are smaller versions for student desk work and larger versions for whole class board work.
Powers of 10 poster (optional)
This diagram is designed to help students understand the relative sizes of organisms identified in the leaf pack.
Biodiversity Life in a drop of Water (for Lesson 5)
This provides a simple key to organizing smaller organisms in water samples. 


Powerpoint Presentations
Biodiversity Introduction PowerPoint Slide Presentation– (for Lesson 1)
This Powerpoint introduces the key vocabulary used in the unit and the experimental design.

Biodiversity PowerPoint Slide Presentation– (for Lesson 2)
This Powerpoint is used to focus on the experiment that will be done in the stream, and should be modified for your site as appropriate.   
Feeding Groups PowerPoint Slide Presentation- (For Lesson 4)
This PowerPoint introduces different feedings strategies, helps students see the different types of mouthparts present on stream invertebrates, and helps them think about how mouthparts are related to functional feeding groups. 

Decomposer PowerPoint Slide Presentation - (For Lesson 5)
This PowerPoint presentation contains pictures and information about different groups of microscopic decomposer organisms that are likely present in the leaf packs. It is focused primarily on bacteria and fungi and how microorganisms acquire resources (food).

Teacher Food Book PowerPoint Slide Presentation– (for Lesson 7)
This PowerPoint provides a teacher answer key for the Food Book activity in Lesson 7.