Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Cross Section Analysis

Instructional Level: Middle School - Earth Science

Lesson Plan Standards: 

NGSS: MS-LS1-5, MS-LS2-1
CCSS: 6.SF.B.4, WHST.6-8.9
MD E-Lit: 1A, 3A, 3B

Lesson Plan: 

Dendroclimatology

Driving Question(s):

How can the subject of dendroclimatology be used to reveal historical changes in a climate?

Exploration

Using skills learned from the Calibration and Measurement Practice and the ImageJ application students will use ImageJ to measure the rings of a cherry tree cross section.

Cherry tree cross section, Shelby Sawyers.  Northwest Middle School, Carroll County Public Schools, Maryland.

Objectives: 

Students will:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to calibrate and prepare the ImageJ application for measurement.
  2. Demonstrate the proper use of technology to collect data on a cherry tree cross section.

Lesson Materials: 

Computers or computer workstations

Calibrating ImageJ software worksheet

Cherry Cross Section image

Cross Section Measuring Instructions

Procedures: 

Preparation:

  1. ​​Download the Cherry Cross Section image to computer desktop or folder for students to access.

Explore:

  1. Hand out the Calibrating ImageJ software worksheet from the previous lesson.
  2. Open the ImageJ program and calibrate for the Cherry Cross Section image.
  3. Hand out the instruction sheet labeled Cross Section Measuring Instructions to collect data on the Cherry Cross Section image.
    • Students should make sure the software is calibrated before collecting data.
    • Students should save their data on their drive before closing the program at the end of class.
    • Collecting data may take more than one class period depending on length of class.

Explain:

  1. Use tree-ring measurement data to explain years of good and poor growth.  What years were best and why?

Evaluate:

  1. Formative assessment: Compare the data and explanations of the students and/or student groups and discuss tree growth analysis.  Develop consensus on class data and explanations.
  2.  

References: 

ImageJ website, http://rsb.info.nih.gov/ij/index.html

 

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS): 

MS-LS1-5

Standards: MS. Growth, Development, and Reproduction of Organisms

Performance Expectations: Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.

Dimension

Name and NGSS code/citation

Specific Connections to Classroom Activity

Science & Engineering Practices

Planning and carrying out investigations

Obtaining, Evaluating and communicating information

Students support their findings using data

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns, Cause & Effect, Stability and Change

Scale, Proportion and Quantity

Students support their findings using data

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms

MS-LS1.B Genetic factors as well as local conditions affect the growth of the adult plant

Inferring effect of varying amounts of water on tree growth

MS-LS2-1

Standards: MS: Matter & Energy in Organisms and Ecosystems, MS. Growth, Development, and Reproduction of Organisms

Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem

Dimension

Name and NGSS code/citation

Specific Connections to Classroom Activity

Science & Engineering Practices

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Constructing Explanations

Engaging in argument from evidence

Students support their findings using data

Crosscutting Concepts

Cause and Effect

Students support their findings using data

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems

Inferring effect of varying amounts of water on tree growth

Common Core State Standards (CCSS): 

WHST.6-8.9

Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

6.SF.B.4

Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context.

Environmental Literacy Goals (E-Lit): 

1A

Environmental Issue Investigation