Rot it Right: The Cycling of Matter and Transfer of Energy

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This Immersion Unit provides a coherent series of lessons designed to guide students in developing deep conceptual understanding that is aligned with the National standards, key science concepts, and essential features of classroom inquiry (as defined by the National Science Education Standards). The goal of this unit is to provide students with an opportunity to explore the interdependency of living and nonliving factors in an ecological system. Students investigate the process of decomposition and examine the role that decomposers and other organisms play in the transfer of energy and matter. The Unit's overarching concepts are: Organisms need matter and energy to live. Science knowledge advances through inquiry. This unit was developed through the large Math and Science Partnership project called System-wide Change for All Learners and Educators (SCALE), involving a collaboration among Los Angeles School District educators, California State University science and education faculty, and UW-Madison SCALE staff.

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