Moss campion is a brightly-colored flowering plant that is adapted to live for a long time in harsh arctic and alpine tundra ecosystems. Because of this, and the fact that they live in a wide range of latitudes in the U.S., moss campion can give scientists insight into how changes in climate might impact plant species and their ability to adapt to such changes. After analyzing and interpreting moss campion growth and survival data, students will explain how latitude impacts and affects these hearty tundra plants.
Context for Use
What Students Will Do
- Analyze and interpret growth and survival data for moss campion across latitudes to look for patterns and relationships
- Construct conceptual models to explain how climate and environmental variation with latitude affects the growth and survival of moss campion differently
- Part 1 (30 minutes) Eliciting Students' Ideas
Students consider how different plants are adapted to different environments by looking at specific examples.
- Part 2 (50 minutes) Identifying Important Science Ideas
Students engage with an interactive reading to 1) identify similarities between the opening scenario prompt and the work of Dan Doak, Bill Morris, and Megan DeMarche related to long-term moss campion growth and survival, and 2) make predictions as it relates to the scientists' research question, "How is the growth and survival of moss campion affected by latitude?"
- Part 3 (40 minutes) Supporting On-Going Changes in Thinking
Students test their prediction about how latitude might affect moss campion growth and survival by analyzing growth and survival datasets over a range of latitudes in the United States.
- Part 4 (60 minutes) Explanatory Model Construction
Students reflect on evidence gathered during parts 1-3 and construct a final explanatory model for the question, "How is the growth and survival of moss campion affected by latitude?"