Information for Teachers
This investigation is linked to the following Grade 5 Next Generation Science Standards.
PS3.D: Energy in Chemical Processes and Everyday Life
The energy released [from] food was once energy from the sun that was captured by plants in the chemical process that forms plant matter (from air and water). (5-PS3-1)
LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms
Food provides animals with the materials they need for body repair and growth and the energy they need to maintain body warmth and for motion. (secondary to 5-PS3-1)
LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
The food of almost any kind of animal can be traced back to plants. Organisms are related in food webs in which some animals eat plants for food and other animals eat the animals that eat plants. Some organisms, such as fungi and bacteria, break down dead organisms (both plants or plants parts and animals) and therefore operate as “decomposers.” Decomposition eventually restores (recycles) some materials back to the soil. Organisms can survive only in environments in which their particular needs are met. A healthy ecosystem is one in which multiple species of different types are each able to meet their needs in a relatively stable web of life. Newly introduced species can damage the balance of an ecosystem. (5-LS2-1)
LS2.B: Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems
Matter cycles between the air and soil and among plants, animals, and microbes as these organisms live and die. Organisms obtain gases, and water, from the environment, and release waste matter (gas, liquid, or solid) back into the environment. (5-LS2-1)
ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems
Human activities in agriculture, industry, and everyday life have had major effects on the land, vegetation, streams, ocean, air, and even outer space. But individuals and communities are doing things to help protect Earth’s resources.
How to search the internet
1 Keep your request short
Fewer words will give a more accurate search.
2 Choose exactly what you want
For example: Arctic Circle Climate
3 Use quotes
Double quotes around a set of words tell the search engine to consider those exact words in that exact order without any change. For example: “Arctic Circle Climate”
4 Use the plus sign (+)
If you add a plus sign (+) between words, the internet will search for all the words. For example: migrate+birds+whales+mammal
5 Use the minus sign (–) to say what you don’t want
Use a minus sign (–) to show words you do not want to appear in your results. For example: if you search for burrowing animals and do not want mammals in your search, –mammals will exclude mammals. Note that you need to put a space before the minus sign for the word to be excluded.
6 Be very clear about what you don’t want
Ask questions and define problems
After reading Yellowstone, you may have many questions about the plants and animals in the park or the different ecosystems.
List your questions
- Compare your list with questions that others have.
- Choose a question you would like to investigate.
- You can work alone, with a partner, or in a small group.
You may want to choose one or more of these questions to investigate
Q1. How is Yellowstone similar to other national parks? How is it different?
Q2. Yellowstone is situated on a supervolcano. What is a supervolcano? How does the supervolcano shape the park, and the plants and animals that live there?
Q3. What challenges does Yellowstone face in the future? What is being done to ensure that this amazing national park survives these challenges?
Q4. What is happening to some of the animals found in Yellowstone, such as beavers, wolves, bison, and elk, in other parts of the United States?Go to Part 2 Investigate →
You may want to use websites to help with your investigations.
The Yellowstone National Park website contains information about many aspects of the park.
Yellowstone+national+parkGo to Part 3 Record data →
Find a way of recording your information that will allow you to see any patterns in the data.
You could make a Data Chart for an aspect of the park or an animal or plant that lives there to show what happens throughout the year.
Data Chart for how bears live all year round in YellowstoneDownload Chart
Go to Part 4 Organize, analyze, and interpret data →
Organize, analyze, and interpret data
1. Look over the information you have gathered and the patterns you have found.
How does the weather affect the animals or plants throughout the year?
How have the animals or plants adapted so that they can survive and thrive in this often-harsh climate?
2. Search for other patterns.
3. Makes notes about what you find.Go to Part 5 Present and share →
Present and share
Look over all of the information that you have gathered in your investigation.
What are the most important ideas about your topic?
Make a chart showing the most important ideas.Download Chart
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