Unit 1: Understanding Life Systems - The Diversity of Living Things

Because all living things (including humans) are connected, maintaining biodiversity is critical to the health of the planet. Students will learn that biodiversity includes diversity among individuals, species, and ecosystems. Through observations of a specific habitat and the classification of organisms, students will have a first-hand opportunity to appreciate the diversity of living things while recognizing the roles and interactions of individual species within the whole. Care must be taken to ensure that all students, including students with special education needs, have comparable opportunities to explore the natural world.

When assessing human impacts on species and ecosystems, especially at a local level, students must be given opportunities to look at a variety of points of view. They should consider how and why the perspectives of developers, people concerned about the environment, and residents of the local community might be similar or different. Through thoughtful consideration of various viewpoints and biases, students not only can look for ways in which people might come to agreement on how to minimize the negative impact of their actions, but also will be able to make more informed decisions about their own positions and about action they can take. In preparation for working outside the school, it is important that students be able to identify and demonstrate an understanding of practices that ensure their personal safety and the safety of others. This includes making the teacher aware of any potential personal dangers of being outside (e.g., allergic reactions to bee stings), knowing why it is important to wear clothing and footwear appropriate for the conditions, and staying within the area of study.

Summative Task: Diversity of Living Things


  1. Animal Images and Agree or Disagree Chart
  2. Kingdoms, Vertebrates, Invertebtrates
  3. Arthopod Project and Graphic Organizer
  4. Biodiversity PPT(PDF) and Organizer

Online Unit: Biodiversity

Ecosystem Resources