This module is designed to address English Language Arts standards as students read a literary nonfiction text about the causes of and solutions to the issue of fish depletion in the oceans. However, the module intentionally incorporates Science and Social Studies practices and themes to support potential interdisciplinary connections to this compelling content. These intentional connections are described below.
Big ideas and guiding questions are informed by the New York State Common Core K–8 Social Studies Framework:
Unifying Themes (pages 6–7)
- Theme 3: Time, Continuity, and Change: History as a formal study that applies research methods. Reading, reconstructing, and interpreting events, analyzing causes and consequences of events and developments, considering competing interpretations of events.
- Theme 4: Geography, Humans, and the Environment: Relationship between human populations and the physical world (people, places, and environments), impact of human activities on the environment, and interactions between regions, locations, places, people, and environments.
Social Studies Practices: Gathering, Using, and Interpreting Evidence, Grades 5–8:
- Descriptor 2: Identify, describe, and evaluate evidence about events from diverse sources (including written documents, works of art, photographs, charts and graphs, artifacts, oral traditions, and other primary and secondary sources)
- Descriptor 3: Analyze evidence in terms of content, authorship, point of view, purpose, and format; identify bias; explain the role of bias and audience in presenting arguments or evidence
Key Idea 3: Individual Organisms and Species Change Over Time
- 3.1b Changes in environmental conditions can affect the survival of individual organisms with a particular trait. Small differences between parents and offspring can accumulate in successive generations so that descendants are very different from their ancestors. Individual organisms with certain traits are more likely to survive and have offspring than individuals without those traits.
- 3.1c Human activities such as selective breeding and advances in genetic engineering may affect the variations of species.
- 3.2a In all environments, organisms with similar needs may compete with one another for resources.
- 3.2b Extinction of a species occurs when the environment changes and the adaptive characteristics of a species are insufficient to permit its survival. Extinction of species is common. Fossils are evidence that a great variety of species existed in the past.
Key Idea 7: Human Decisions and Activities have had a Profound Impact on the Physical and Living Environment
- 7.2a In ecosystems, balance is the result of interactions between community members and their environment.
- 7.2b The environment may be altered through the activities of organisms. Alterations are sometimes abrupt. Some species may replace others over time, resulting in long-term gradual changes (ecological succession).
- 7.2c Overpopulation by any species impacts the environment due to the increased use of resources. Human activities can bring about environmental degradation through resource acquisition, urban growth, land-use decisions, waste disposal, etc.
- 7.2d Since the Industrial Revolution, human activities have resulted in major pollution of air, water, and soil. Pollution has cumulative ecological effects such as acid rain, global warming, or ozone depletion. The survival of living things on our planet depends on the conservation and protection of Earths resources.