7.3 What Do I Have in Common with Planet Earth?
This module explores aspects of the human system (the body) and Earth systems (large-scale changes on Earth) in a manner that enables students to ultimately determine that these two seemingly unrelated entities have important things in common, especially that both are dynamic (changing) systems through which matter cycles and energy flows. The module deepens students’ understanding of several key concepts that they have investigated in 6th and 7th grades. They especially focus on molecular aspects of how food provides organisms with energy and building blocks for growth and repair; the chemical reactions and energy transformations that occur during photosynthesis and cellular respiration; the biological processes that support these processes; the interdependence of organisms and organisms and their environment; and the changing around us (including plate tectonics). The module culminates in students being able to answer the Driving Question with a complete, evidence-based explanation that draws connections among Earth and human systems as dynamic and always interrelated, a big idea that informs future learning.