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overhead view of wild fire

Driving Phenomenon: The November 2016 Chimney Top Fire caused big population shifts for some small mammals. Students try to figure out why populations decreased after the fire and what might allow some populations to rebound.

Download All Task Documents (.ZIP – 6MB)
Task Overview (.PDF – 387KB)
Student Version (.DOC – 1MB)
Teacher Guide (.PPT – 2MB)
Scenario Slides (.PPT – 3MB)

Tennessee Academic Standards for Science and Next Generation Science Standards Learning Targets

Tennessee Academic Standards for Science

  • 6.LS2.6: Research the ways in which an ecosystem has changed over time in response to changes in physical conditions, population balances, human interactions, and natural catastrophes.

Next Generation Science Standards

  • Science and Engineering Practices
    Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

    • Middle School Element: Apply scientific ideas, principles, and/or evidence to construct, revise and/or use an explanation for real world phenomena, examples, or events.

    Engaging in Argument from Evidence

    • Middle School Element: Compare and critique two arguments on the same topic and analyze whether they emphasize similar or different evidence and/or interpretations of facts.

    Asking Questions and Defining Problems

    • Middle School Element: Ask questions that arise from careful observation of phenomena, models, or unexpected results, to clarify and/or seek additional information.
  • Disciplinary Core Ideas
    LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience

    • Middle School Element: Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological components of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations.
  • Crosscutting Concepts
    Cause and Effect: Mechanism and Prediction

    • Middle School Element: Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.
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The Tennessee District Science Network was funded by Arconic Foundation.

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