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Fresh vs. Salty

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Portable Document Format
Average Rating
4.4 out of 5 stars from 5 ratings.
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Description This activity can be used in the classroom to introduce students to the difference between saltwater and freshwater organisms. Students gain experience in planning experiments, utilize their problem solving skills, and work cooperatively. The students are faced with a problem...it is the year 2025, the earth has stopped spinning, the sun shines constantly, and all the water is running from lakes and streams to the oceans. As "environmental scientists," how will they save the freshwater organisms? Upom completion of this activity, students will be able to realize the importance of niches in an ecosystem and learn about the physiology that allows freshwater organisms to survive in freshwater and saltwater organisms to survive in salt water.
Type of Resource Laboratory or Hands-On Activity, Lesson Plan
Format Portable Document Format - PDF
Ashley Becker, Northern Cheyenne Tribal Schools
Development Date July 25, 2007
Grade/Age Levels Middle School (Grades 6-8)
High School lower division (Grades 9-10)
High School upper division (Grades 11-12)
National Science
Educational Standards
Environmental quality (9-12), Natural and human-induced hazards (9-12), Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges (9-12), The cell (9-12)
Learning Time 2-3 hours
Language English
Type of Review Reviewed By LifeSciTRC Board
Review Date July 29, 2010
Suggested Use

This resource has promise for engaging students in the kind of science required by NGSS science practices.  I like the fact that students are designing their own experiment but I think the guiding question needs to be more explicitly stated.  

Rachel Beattie, Lincoln-Way East High School

It appears one would need some prep time to set up the lab but the activity is a good one.

Jerry Cronin, Shash Bitoo Olta

This resource will be used shortly in my classroom.  It does not cost money, and the students are asked to devise their own protocol within parameters that are reasonable.  This is great as an introduction lab as well in order to let students know what kinds of investigations they will be doing throughout the year.

Meghan Wilson, Hartford High School

This resource is excellent for high school Biology students. I would use it as a final assessment in a unit on diffusion and osmosis. The student worksheet does a great job walking students through the steps of designing their experiment to solve the problem. I like that it presents a hypothetical scenario that students must solve, as a way of connecting what they've learned about osmosis and diffusion to real-world application in order to demonstrate the relevance of the concepts.
Leslie Worton, Edison High School


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