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UNIT 2. TEK 7.5B Demonstrate and explain the cycling of matter within living systems, such as in the decay of biomass in a compost bin 7.5C Diagram the flow of energy through living systems including food chains, food webs, and energy pyramids. 8/30/2010 Decay of Biomass PG. 16.

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Unit 2


TEK 7.5B Demonstrate and explain the cycling of matter within living systems, such as in the decay of biomass in a compost bin

7.5C Diagram the flow of energy through living systems including food chains, food webs, and energy pyramids

8 30 2010 decay of biomass pg 16

8/30/2010 Decay of Biomass PG. 16

  • IN: OBJ: The student will understand and build a compost bin using organic matter.

  • TEK: 7.5B

  • Language OBJ: discussion

In warm up how much garbage

IN: Warm-up: How much Garbage?

  • Is taking out the trash one of your chores at home? Sometimes, the bags aren’t too heavy, some days you are begging for help to drag them to the dumpster. Using your knowledge of how much trash you generate at home, circle an answer to each question below that is closest to your own hypothesis on how much garbage Americans generate.


      • A. about 20 pounds

      • B. 50 pounds

      • C. 80-150 pounds

      • D. 250 pounds


      • A. 1 pound

      • B. 3-4 pounds

      • C. over 10 pounds

      • D. 22 pounds

Unit 2

  • Americans generate about 190-210 million tons of garbage a year. That is enough trash to fill a bumper-to-bumper convoy of garbage trucks halfway to the moon.

  • What happens to the garbage? What happens when it gets to the landfill?

  • Every day, leaves die and fall off of plants. In the fall, many trees lose their leaves. People in your neighborhood mow their yard. What happens to those leaves? Why are we not up to our necks in garbage, dead leaves, and the remains of living things that die?

  • When living things die, what happens to the energy trapped in the bodies of the organisms? When we throw things away, what happens to the energy trapped in the matter of those objects when they end up in the landfill? Write your ideas of what happens in the box beside the trash truck.

Through decomposers

THROUGH: Decomposers

  • Located on the bottom of ecosystem diagrams such as food chains, food webs, and energy pyramids.

  • Break down dead material, they provide nutrients that other organisms need to survive.

  • Types of decomposers (saprotrophs) are bacteria and fungi.

  • Important role in the recycling material in the environment

Unit 2

  • When a plant or animal dies, it leaves behind nutrients and energy in the organic material that comprised its body.

  • Scavengers can feed on the carcasses, but they leave behind a large amount of unused every and nutrients.

  • This unused energy is found in the form of uneaten bones, feathers, exoskeletons of insects, or fur in the case of animals, wood in the case of plants, and in the feces of scavengers.

  • Decomposers complete decomposition by converting this remaining organic matter into carbon dioxide and nutrients.

  • This releases nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous, and magnesium, in a form usable to plants and algae.

  • This process resupplies nutrients to the ecosystem which the producers use.

Compost bin

Compost Bin

  • “Greens” for compost bin – grass clippings, green leaves, or plant clippings

  • “Browns” for compost bin – dry leaves, straw, hay, or saw dust, newspaper

  • Organic rich, fertile soil

  • Non-chlorinated water

Compost column construction data

Compost Column Construction Data

Unit 2

  • Recall: Vocab Words – microorganisms, biomass, decay, decomposition, compost

  • Summary – explanation of the day

  • OUT: How does decay of biomass relate to a food chain or food web?

8 31 2010 decay of biomass pg 18

8/31/2010 Decay of Biomass Pg. 18

  • IN: OBJ: The students will understand the decay of biomass and energy flow of living organisms using discussion and graphic organizers.

  • TEKS: 7.5B and 7.5C

  • Language Obj: we will illustrate through diagrams and discuss

In warm up organism shuffle

In: Warm-up: Organism shuffle

  • Organize these animals in a way that you think these organisms interact in the wild. Build a food chain. What are the reasons you organized these animals this way?

    • Snake

    • Grass

    • Rat

    • Owl

Through what is composting

Through: What is composting?

  • Composting creates the ideal conditions for the natural decay or rotting processes that occur in nature.

  • Composting requires the following:

    • Biomass – organic matter in a system

    • Soil – source of microorganisms

    • Water – required for life

    • Air – source of oxygen

What is composting

What is composting?

  • During composting, microorganisms from the soil eat the biomass and break it down into its simplest parts. This produces compost which is a substance rich in nutrients and used by plants as fertilizer.

  • Gasses and heat are given off as the matter is decomposed, or broken down, by the microorganisms.

What is composting1

What is composting?

  • The microorganisms require water and oxygen to live and multiply. Through this process, the microorganisms give off gasses and heat.

  • Temperatures within compost piles can rise as high as 100 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • If the compost pile or bin is actively managed by turning and watering it regularly, the process of decomposing into finished compost can happen in as little as two to three weeks.

Unit 2

  • How is the energy returned to the environment through the decay of biomass?

  • How is matter decomposed?

  • How is energy transferred through the decay of biomass?

  • Which cycles return energy in living systems to the environment?

Compost bin1

Compost bin

  • How is the decay of biomass important in your lives?

  • How does the decay of biomass relate to a food chain or food web?

  • How is energy transferred in the environment?


Biomass Dead organisms leaves/grass woody materials (MATTER)


Finished Compost

Soil (Microorganisms

Gasses, Heat (Energy)

Unit 2

  • Recall – energy flow, matter, carbon cycle, heat

  • Summary – brief explanation of today

  • OUT: Free write how energy is returned to the environment through the decay of biomass. Use your vocabulary. HW: What eats what? Due Thursday

9 1 2010 virtual trashcan pg 20

9/1/2010 Virtual Trashcan Pg. 20

  • OBJ: The student will predict the amount of time it takes for items to be biodegraded through visual representation.

  • TEKS: 7.5B and 7.5C

  • Language Obj: visual graphics

In warm up

IN: Warm-up:

  • Food Web and Impact

    • In a Coniferous forest, small rodents, weasels, foxes, and a lynx are all effected by a wildfire. Describe how the wildfire impacts this ecosystem and food chain.

Virtual trashcan

Virtual trashcan

  • Individual analysis – decide which items are biodegradeable ad rank the items based on how long it takes them to break down in the environment.

  • Group analysis with lab partners

  • Class analysis

Virtual trashcan1

Virtual Trashcan

  • Cotton t-shirt = 5 months

  • Aluminum can = 200-500 yrs

  • Disposable diaper = 500- 600 yrs

  • Food = 3-4 weeks

  • Plastic water bottle = 450 yrs

  • Iron nail = 80-100 yrs

  • Wood = 10-15 yrs

  • Paper = 2- 5 months

  • Newspaper = 6 weeks

  • Styrofoam = never

  • Leaves = 1-3 months

  • Plastic utensils = 10,000 years

  • Batteries = unknown

  • Plastic bag = 20-30 years

  • Plastic cup = 250 years

Unit 2

  • Recall – biodegradable, matter, energy, compost

  • Summary – brief explanation of the day

  • OUT: HW due Thursday What eats What?

    Build your own food web beginning with decomposers and ending with a carnivore (consumer).

9 2 2010 food chains and webs pg 22

9/2/2010 Food Chains and Webs Pg. 22

  • IN: OBJ: The student will design a food web and understand symbiotic relationships by building post cards.

  • TEKS: 7.5B and 7.5C

  • Language Obj: Discussion and visual representation

In warm up symbiotic relationships

IN: Warm-up Symbiotic Relationships

  • Define through previous knowledge the following relationships:

    • Predator/prey

    • Parasite/host

    • Consumer/producer



  • Predator/Prey

  • Predator – hunts and kills other animals for food; consumer

    • Omnivore, carnivore

  • Prey – animal that is killed and eaten, consumer

    • Omnivore, carnivore, herbivore

  • Niche – the role an organism fills within its environment

  • Always competition for food and territory in the animal world and it is vital for the animal to find a niche within their environment

Symbiotic relationships

Symbiotic relationships

  • Symbiosis – close relationship between the individuals of two or more different species. Allows two species to share the same space and/or food supply.

  • Mutualism – both species benefit or help each other

  • Commensalism – one species benefits; the other is unaffected

  • Parasitism – one species benefits; the other is harmed



  • Mutualism – A honey bee and a flower. The honey bee gets to eat the pollen from the flower. The flower uses the bee to spread its pollen to another.

  • Commensalism – An animal using a plant for shelter. A bird benefits by building its nest in a tree. The tree is unaffected

  • Parasitism – An example would be a tick and a dog. The tick gets food from the dog without killing it. The dog is harmed by becoming weak from losing blood to the tick and possibly by getting an infected wound.

  • Energy is transferred between different organisms and cycles.



  • Biotic – living things

  • Abiotic – non living things

  • Ecosystem – interaction between all the living and nonliving things in an area.

  • Both living and nonliving factors in an environment affect the species that are present.

  • Food chain – a group of organisms in which one depends on another for food

  • An important component of a food chain is the flow of energy.

    • The grasshopper gets energy from eating the grass and this energy is transferred to the snake when the snake eats the grasshopper.

Food web

Food web

  • Food web – multiple food chains that overlap.

    • A hawk may eat fish, birds, and squirrels and each of the prey may have their own food chain.

    • Producer – green plant that makes its own food through the process of photosynthesis.

  • Consumer – animals that fee on producers and are herbivores.

  • Flesh eating consumers or carnivores are secondary consumers

  • Omnivores are carnivores and herbivores.

Video clip

Video clip

  • http://idahoptv.org/dialogue4kids/

  • http://www.vtaide.com/png/foodchains.htm

  • Trophic levels – consumers, producers, and decomposers

  • Activity: Symbiotic relationships Postcards

  • How do humans get the energy needed for survival?

  • How would removing one organism from a food chain or food web affect the energy flow within that system?

  • What happens to the energy in matter that is decaying or decomposing?

Unit 2

  • Recall – consumers , producers, herbivores, carnivores, food chain, food webs, mutualism, commensalism, parasitism

  • Summary – brief explanation of the day

  • OUT: Study for Quiz

    Conclusions for Compost bin:

    What happened to the temperature of the compost bin?

    What happened with the matter in the compost bin?

    What happened to the energy stored in the matter?

9 3 2010 quiz

9/3/2010 QUIZ

  • Illustrate and explain how matter and energy is transferred in a compost bin

  • Expectations – must have a drawing that show how matter and energy are transferred in a compost bin

  • An illustration of a food chain or web occurring in the compost bin must be included.

  • Label drawings

  • Written explanation of both drawings

  • Arrows showing the transfer of energy must be on the illustrations .

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