Windows into Wonderland

Hot Colors eTrip: Charting the Upper Limits Pre-Trip Lesson Plan 

Subjects

Science
Mathematics

Objectives

The students will:

  • Display understanding of characteristics of extreme environments and the adaptations of organisms living in extreme environments.

Materials

  • Graph Paper
  • Colored Pencils, markers, or crayons

Background

Eukaryotic cells contain a nucleus; prokaryotic cells have a nuclear region, but do not have a true nucleus.

Archaea and bacteria are the only known prokaryotes, but they outnumber all other known living organisms and can exist in environments considered extreme to humans.

The microorganisms using the habitat provided by the thermal features of Yellowstone are called "thermophiles." These thermophiles exist in temperatures that greatly exceed those tolerated by eukaryotes.

The temperature ranges for thermophilic prokaryotes are:
Bacteria 37-95°C (99-203°F)
Archaea 37-115°C (99-203°F)
(Use to make the bar graph in Procedure Step 3)

Fish 38°C (100°F)
Insects 50°C (122°F)
Vascular Plants 45°C (100°F)
Mosses 50°C (122°F)
Algae 60°C (140°F)
Fungi 62°C (144°F)
Cyanobacteria 74°C (163°F)
Chemosynthetic bacteria 95°C (203°F)
Archaea 115°C (239°F)
(Use to put reference arrows on the bar graph in Procedure Step 5)

Procedure

The instructor will:

  1. Ascertain that students understand the terms "prokaryote," "eukaryote" and "thermophile." The instructor will also ensure that students understand that thermophilic prokaryotes can exist in temperatures that far exceed those tolerated by eukaryotes.
  2. Provide the students with the temperature ranges for thermophilic prokaryotes.
  3. Instruct students to prepare a bar graph ranging from 37-117°C (99-239°F) and indicate the temperature ranges of thermophilic bacteria and archaea in different bars of color.
  4. Provide students with the upper temperature limits for various living organisms.
  5. Direct students to indicate the upper temperature limits for these organisms on the bar graph with a labeled arrow.

Assessments

Bar Graphs

Standards

National Science Standards

NS.5-8.1
NS.5-8.3

National Mathematics Stnadards
NM-DATA.6-8.1
NM-PROB.CONN.PK-12.2
NM-PROB.REP.PK-12.1
NM-PROB.REP.PK-12.3

National Technology Standards
NT.K-12.3

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