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Birds, Mosquitoes, and Viruses
http://ecohealth.wisc.edu/index.php/teachers-guide-menu/teachers-using-menu/teachers-lesson-menu/130-teachers/topmenu4/181-teachers-lp-birds-article.html

Ecohealth

In this activity, students distinguish between directly and indirectly transmitted diseases and participate in a group game to simulate the spread of vector-borne diseases. They then research a particular pathogenic disease to learn how global warming and biodiversity loss can affect disease transmission.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 2 Performance Expectations, 7 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 6 Cross Cutting Concepts, 10 Science and Engineering Practices

Topics

Public Health
See more on this topic.

Grade Level

Middle (6-8)
See more at this grade level.

May be appropriate for high school students with some modifications.

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Human health and well-being will be affected to different degrees from the impacts from climate change
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7f

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:A) Human/environment interactions
Other materials addressing:
A) Human/environment interactions.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:E) Environmental Issues
Other materials addressing:
E) Environmental Issues.

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Start with a test game and make sure the anticipated learning actually takes place before launching into the game.
  • Continue reminding the students of the implications of the game sequences.
  • Have students read current articles on the spread of malaria, dengue fever, hantavirus, and West Nile virus in conjunction with this activity so they understand how the different diseases are spread.
  • Clarify the role of bacteria in our environment and our bodies. The "How Diseases Get Spread" article makes it sound like all bacteria are bad. Be sure to give examples of how many bacteria are essential in creating healthy soil, healthy digestion, and the processing of waste in ecological systems.

About the Science

  • Activity is based on a game to understand vector based diseases but explores the science behind the spread of three different diseases as a result of global warming.
  • Science behind the spread of the example diseases needs to be supported by more background material and an introduction to effects of global warming.
  • Climate change is only one of many factors that come into play with the spread of disease and potential pandemics, which should be stressed.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • The teacher needs to provide additional, up-to-date background materials and actively guide students through the research component of this activity.
  • Scaffolding for the game is well done, but the guiding questions for the research part need more substance.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Game directions need to be clarified very explicitly - otherwise this could end in chaos.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:

Middle School

Performance Expectations: 2

MS-LS2-2: Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.

MS-LS2-4: Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 7

MS-LS2.A1:Organisms, and populations of organisms, are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors.

MS-LS2.A3:Growth of organisms and population increases are limited by access to resources.

MS-LS2.A4:Similarly, predatory interactions may reduce the number of organisms or eliminate whole populations of organisms. Mutually beneficial interactions, in contrast, may become so interdependent that each organism requires the other for survival. Although the species involved in these competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial interactions vary across ecosystems, the patterns of interactions of organisms with their environments, both living and nonliving, are shared.

MS-LS2.C1:Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations.

MS-LS4.D1:Changes in biodiversity can influence humans’ resources, such as food, energy, and medicines, as well as ecosystem services that humans rely on—for example, water purification and recycling.

MS-ESS3.C1:Human activities have significantly altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species. But changes to Earth’s environments can have different impacts (negative and positive) for different living things.

MS-ESS3.D1:Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 6

Systems and System Models, Stability and Change, Patterns, Cause and effect

MS-C4.1: Systems may interact with other systems; they may have sub-systems and be a part of larger complex systems.

MS-C7.2: Small changes in one part of a system might cause large changes in another part.

MS-C7.3:Stability might be disturbed either by sudden events or gradual changes that accumulate over time.

MS-C1.3: Patterns can be used to identify cause and effect relationships.

MS-C1.4:Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.

MS-C2.2:Cause and effect relationships may be used to predict phenomena in natural or designed systems.

Science and Engineering Practices: 10

Developing and Using Models, Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions, Engaging in Argument from Evidence, Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information, Asking Questions and Defining Problems

MS-P2.3:Use and/or develop a model of simple systems with uncertain and less predictable factors.

MS-P4.1:Construct, analyze, and/or interpret graphical displays of data and/or large data sets to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.

MS-P4.2:Use graphical displays (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, and/or tables) of large data sets to identify temporal and spatial relationships.

MS-P4.3: Distinguish between causal and correlational relationships in data.

MS-P4.6:Consider limitations of data analysis (e.g., measurement error), and/or seek to improve precision and accuracy of data with better technological tools and methods (e.g., multiple trials).

MS-P6.1:Construct an explanation that includes qualitative or quantitative relationships between variables that predict(s) and/or describe(s) phenomena.

MS-P6.2:Construct an explanation using models or representations.

MS-P7.3:Construct, use, and/or present an oral and written argument supported by empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support or refute an explanation or a model for a phenomenon or a solution to a problem.

MS-P8.5:Communicate scientific and/or technical information (e.g. about a proposed object, tool, process, system) in writing and/or through oral presentations.

MS-P1.1:Ask questions that arise from careful observation of phenomena, models, or unexpected results, to clarify and/or seek additional information.


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