Student Resources Teacher Resources

Chewin' in the Chesapeake
Food Webs & the Chesapeake Bay

 Background


Most of you have visited Maryland's Chesapeake Bay at some time in your life. You may have toured the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, gone on a boat ride to Annapolis, taken a fishing or duck hunting trip on its tidewaters, walked along the beach at Sandy Point State Park near the Bay Bridge, or eaten crabs, oysters, or bluefish that make their home in the Bay.

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States, with more than eight million people living on or near its shores. It is a national treasure for recreation, food, and transportation.

Everyday decisions are made by politicians, by community members, and by people in the business world about technological changes and development that impact the Chesapeake Bay. In order to influence these decisions, as members of the Chesapeake Bay community, it is important that you understand how these decisons impact the Bay that you depend on.

This activity will guide you in developing a project that can be used to educate yourself and others on the impacts of technological change (human-caused stress) and development on the food webs in the Chesapeake Bay.

How does a human-caused stress placed on the environment
affect the life in a food web?

Task and Product

 STEP 1 Review the habitats presented on the Chesapeake Bay Program's "Habitat" site.
 STEP 2 Then select one of the habitats described on the webpage (except Forests), research it, and create a food web of organisms you would find in this habitat.
 STEP 3 On your food web, identify and label each organism with its role in the food web.
 STEP 4 Identify and label each relationship in your food web.
 STEP 5 Describe the effect of three abiotic factors on your food web.
 STEP 6 Technological changes provide stress on food webs. Choose one from a list of technological changes and describe the effect of it on your food web.
STEP 7 Create a product to present the findings of your research:.

Assessment

Your grade will be based on your final product. Click to view the scoring criteria for each:

Additionally, your teacher may choose to evaluate your graphic organizers and your brief constructed response.

Teacher note: To facilitate the collaborative nature of this project, consider creating a project-based wiki or using another collaborative Web 2.0 tool (VoiceThread, MindMeister, Groupsite.com, etc.) to use as a workspace. For further help/suggestions, see your Library Media Specialist or visit http://bcpslibraryinformationservices.pbworks.com/.

Question

Essential Question:
How does a human-caused stress placed on the environment affect the life in a food web?

Subsidiary Questions:

  • What biota live in your chosen habitat?
  • What role does each organism play in your web?
  • How is each organism in your web related to every other organism?
  • How will specific abiotic factors affect your food web?
  • What aspects of a specific technological change will affect individual organisms in your web and in which ways?
  • What type of chain reaction will this change cause in the web?

Gather, Sort, and Site

Gather information from a variety of sources.

Sort your findings using a graphic organizer, note cards, outline, word document, or other form for recording your research.

Cite your sources to avoid plagiarism.

Organize


Analyze your research notes to determine if you have adequate information to prepare your presentation.

  • Have you gathered sufficient details about your habitat and its food web, as well as the impact of your human-made stressor?
  • Are your details organized in the right categories (sub-questions) to make sense for your audience?
  • Are you ready to create your oral presentation and your visual?

How does a human-caused stress placed on the environment
affect the life in a food web?

Synthesize your findings by creating a first draft of your product.

  • What new insights have emerged about your topic?
  • Which facts are the most compelling and would have the greatest impact on your audience?
  • Which facts are unnecessary and/or repetitive and therefore should be left out?

Create your oral presentation and your product.

Evaluate your finished product. Use the Oral Report scoring tool and the appropriate visual scoring tool as checklists to make sure that your product is of good quality and that you are ready to present it.

Final Product Assessments

Teacher note: To facilitate the collaborative nature of this project, consider creating a project-based wiki or using another collaborative Web 2.0 tool (VoiceThread, MindMeister, Groupsite.com, etc.) to use as a workspace. For further help/suggestions, see your Library Media Specialist or visit http://bcpslibraryinformationservices.pbworks.com/

Conclusion

Presentation: Share the results of your work with your classmates. During the sharing phase, use this graphic organizer to record the most relevant and important information.

Reflection: You and your classmates have constructed local food webs that could be found in Chesapeake Bay habitats, and you have completed research on how human-caused stresses affect food webs of the Chesapeake Bay.

  • Explain how you are personally impacted by human-caused stresses to the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Explain what "Global Food Web" means.
  • Describe how you could personally help to assure the maintenance of local and global food webs.
  • Support your response with information from your research and the research of your classmates.

Scoring Tool for Brief Constructed Response