Biomagnification Teacher Resources

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Students describe the effects of biological magnification on ecosystems. This lesson focuses on biomagnification as it relates to the ecosystems of the Great Lakes region in the mid-western United States.
Ecology scholars consider the processes of bioaccumulation and biomagnification in the environment. As an example, DDT bioaccumulates in the fatty tissue of animals, resulting in reproductive failure and nervous system damage. DDE accumulates at in increasing amounts in animals higher on the food chain in the process called biomagnification. A few slides in the middle of the presentation review food webs, a concept vital to understanding these unfortunate consequences of using pesticides.
In an ecology simulation, middle schoolers draw dots, representing chemicals, on green strips of paper, representing aquatic plants. After you hide the strips around the room, they pretend to be fish and collect plants as food. The total chemical dots are tabulated and transferred to orange strips, representing fish. Finally, after fish strips are hidden, high schoolers pretend to be eagles and collect fish as food. The total chemical dots are again tabulated and the effects of biomagnificaiton demonstrated. Extension and assessment activities are suggested within the plan.
Young scholars use real data to create an algebraic equation. They explain how the build up of small levels of contaminates can quickly become detrimental to species higher in the food chain.
High schoolers explore the dangers of eating high levels of mercury and how small amounts of mercury in water accumulate in greater quantities in organisms higher in the food chain. They list the health of effects of high levels of mercury on humans.
What a terrific way to explore the pond habitat! Learners discuss the animal and plant life found in the Long Island area. They also discuss vocabulary terms, identify pollution concerns, and resource conservation.
Your biology class plays the role of epidemiologist when a mysterious illness breaks out in Kildare, USA. Using interviews with doctors, patients, and local citizens, maps, the results from different materials sampling, they work to discover the cause of the disease. There are financial costs to be considered. A solution is proposed.
Sixth graders explore the food chain by researching bald eagle diets. In this animal poisons lesson, 6th graders identify the chemicals that fish eat which are later consumed by bald eagles. Students utilize colored paper and coloring utensils to conduct an aquatic plant demonstration.
Second graders examine how food chains interact with different plants and animals. They practice using new vocabulary. They also discover the role of pesticides in the environment.
Students review the basic concepts of the food chain. In small groups, they research an organism and create a food web. In addition, they study biomagnifications and write a brief essay or make a poster informing others about the dangers of biomagnifications of pollutants.
Can insects act as sentinels for our environment? Prior to viewing the video, review different roles that insects are known to play and discuss the concepts of bioaccumulation and biomagnification. Show the video about how insects gather information about their surroundings and how scientists can analyze their DNA to learn from it. Finally, assign your class to use an energy pyramid to calculate bioaccumulation of a toxic material. This would be ideal enrichment for your environmental studies or ecology unit when covering food chains and trophic levels.
What are persistent organic pollutants, or POPs? Young chemists find out as they examine the use of cleaning products that contain materials that are harmful to the environment. This thorough investigation involves three different activities, one of which is an actual comparison of simple household materials to fancy, brand-name cleansers. 
Students investigate estuaries and the variations in physical factors from one estuary to another. In this estuaries lesson plan, students explore water depth, salinity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen in estuaries using an on line tutorial and make inferences about their relationships. Students use an on line database to gather information about the estuaries and they analyze the data. Students complete an 88 question self test and 2 puzzles.
Middle schoolers explore the differnences between food producers in food webs and food consumers in food chains. Behavioral choices of primary and secondary consumers such as herbivores, vegetarians, carnivors, and omnivors are analyzed.
Students examine how physical factors in estuaries vary over time. They conduct Internet research, take an online quiz, analyze a database, and complete a worksheet.
Students retrieve and interpret data on the distribution of selected estuarine animals at various stages in their life history. They compare the distribution of selected species in two or more estuaries and draw inferences about the ecology of the estuaries.
Students investigate the social, economic and environmental consequences that might result from Arctic climate change. Students identify and discuss at least three consequences.
Students demonstrate how chemicals accumulate in fish fat. They study path ways of toxins in the fish's body and ways to prepare fish to avoid consuming the toxins. They examine U.S. and Canada regulations to protect the environment.
Students examine the impact of a major climate change in the Arctic Ocean on the rest of the world. They use the Internet to research the Arctic region and the wildlife that lives there.
Beginning biologists place a drop of food coloring into water of differing temperatures to observe the effect on the diffusion rate. They remove the shells from raw eggs and then experiment with osmosis over the remaining membranes. Finally, they use dialysis tubing to simulate the movement of toxins over selectively permeable membranes. A lab sheet for students follows the teacher's notes. The three activities progress well, revealing more of the intended concepts with each step.

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