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In this unit, students will learn to define specific ecological terms like species, habitat, community, autotrophs, heterotrophs, detritivores, saprotrophs, etc. Students will use this knowledge to create a food chain, food web and pyramid of energy. Students will learn how to explain the flow of energy through the food chain. Students will then move on to discuss the effects of greenhouse gases on global warming but will need to learn how the carbon cycle plays a role in maintaining the carbon content in the atmosphere. Students need to outline the precautionary principle and the consequences of global warming. Population is a sub-unit where students will learn how to draw and label a sigmoid population growth curve and explain how population is affected by natality, mortality, immigration and emigration. Students will also learn to outline the binomial system of nomenclature, list the 7 levels in the hierarchy of taxa, distinguish between the phyla of plants and animals and lastly to design a dichotomous key to identify organisms. Evolution will be the last sub-unit where students will learn that members of a species produce variation from sexual reproduction and explain how natural selection leads to evolution. Two examples must be stated for example, the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics.

Essential idea

The continued survival of living organisms including humans depends on sustainable communities.


  1. Species, communities and ecosystems
  2. Energy flow
  3. Carbon cycling
  4. Climate change

The detailed curriculum can be consulted here.

Learning resources

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