Summary of the #ASEchat held on Twitter on 04/02/13
Contributions from ASEchatters turned what could have been a dull and boring topic into a lively one with lots of practical ideas to use in the classroom.
The topic started with the concept of arrows on food chains – and @Viciascience asked if the direction of the arrow on a food chain was important to which the answer was a resounding YES. Many chatters went as far as to say that they would mark an answer wrong in which the arrow was pointing the right way. Several teachers pointed out that getting the arrow the wrong way round was a fairly common mistake. @Teachingofsci mischievously suggested that you could add a horse to a food web with an arrow pointing to a human to prompt discussion!
@teachingofsci intends using lego this year to show blocks being used the next level up. @MrsDrSarah referred to the ‘satsuma model’ in which you model plants as a bag of satsumas, passing one to a primary consumer, one to secondary consumer and squidging one to show energy loss. Post-It notes were also suggested to model, as was passing water or sand down a line.
Chatters pointed out links to nutrition and even sustainability that could be introduced with this topic. The topic moved onto pyramids of biomass/number and real life examples. Several chatters liked unusually shaped ‘pyramids’ such as aphids on an oak tree. The Minamata bay incident was discussed as being useful to share with students. A useful strategy suggested was making bar charts into pyramids of number to be used with SEN and lower attaining pupils.
@Mr_D_Cheng requested that we all get away from the common food chain of grass -> rabbit -> fox and others agreed. It was suggested that pupils construct their own from field work or real examples (e.g. Holly leaf miner). There were also a number of ways suggested to challenge more able students such as discussing island populations, making a closed ecosystem (with brine shrimp) and the introduction of carnivorous plants.
@teachingofsci: For recent news relevance, add ‘horse’ to a food chain pointing at ‘human’. #asechat
@viciascience How important is the direction of arrows in a food chain diagram. Would you mark down for arrow direction wrong? #ASEChat
@Lethandrel #asechat I introduce food chains as grass going INTO a rabbit, rabbit going INTO a fox etc before introducing energy etc
@teachingofsci @Lethandrel i plan to make lego models this year, show blocks being used for next level up. Ideal would be stop motion. #asechat
Mr_D_Cheng Get a few pupils to stand in line, add coloured water, get them to pour a bit out when move, heat, excrete. Shows energy loss #asechat
@debrichmond @cleverfiend I get students to draw up bar charts then cut out bars and stick as pyramids. Good for lower ability. #asechat
@SAPS_News @hrogerson there are some fascinating things going on inside pitcher plants – great video here from our US colleagues. #asechat
The Old Lady and the Fly http://t.co/XoBzfOXH
Simple food chain game: http://t.co/sjXn3Cmm
More complex food web game: http://t.co/oHxAjxGL
Why an understanding of food (chains) interdependence and recycling is important http://t.co/yPO6gWLl
It’s grass-rabbit-fox, but this is a great online game: http://t.co/QbUQWdxt
Take a virtual dive on the reef here http://t.co/a59I9jVl or explore via Google Earth and streetview http://t.co/rLWv3qyN
As usual the official ASE chat page can be found here
My downloaded copy of the Tweets (an archive of the conversation) can be downloaded here