This section is for educators! Here you can find classroom resources such as NGSS standards followed, a presentation to show your class before playing TinySea, vocabulary words and definitions!
Objectives of TinySea
This game can be used to introduce children to the concept of food webs and the effect climate change has on marine systems. The game was designed to help children understand the effect different parameters have on the sustainability of marine ecosystems without the need to understand the complex mathematical models. By creating and managing an ecosystem, students learn to understand how different trophic levels work together.
Lessons on ecosystems and biomes often emphasize terrestrial biomes – Tiny Sea provides a unique opportunity to contrast the MS-LS2 learning your students have done with a new/invented ecosystem, applying the concepts of relationships, matter and energy, and resilience in ecosystems to an imaginary but relatable marine world.
NGSS Standards Followed
Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Prior to Playing the Game
Teachers should introduce the topic with a short lecture. Within this lecture, certain core species of marine ecosystems can be introduced, as well as the importance of relationships between organisms for ecosystem health. The importance of marine ecosystems for the health of human societies could also be touched on. Finally, these core concepts should be explained to students to provide them with the necessary information to successfully build an ecosystem. These core concepts are: food webs and trophic levels, energy transfer and loss, thermal sensitivity, and climate change.
The weather conditions prevailing in an area in general or over a long period. The long-term weather of a region or area.
Ecosystem: A biological community of interacting organisms and their environment.
Read more about ecosystems here.
This describes the changes in energy that occur between creatures in an ecosystem.
Read more about energy transfers here.
A hierarchical series of organisms each dependent on the next as a source of food, starting with primary producers and ending in the apex predators
A system of interlocking and interdependent food chains.
Read more about food chains and food webs here: Food Web vs Food Chain.
Check out this video to review food chains, food webs, the 10% rule, and more
A system that includes multiple trophic levels.
The role an organism plays in a community, including the physical and environmental conditions it requires and the interactions it has with other species.
Read more about niches and took a look inside the niche of a blue mussel here: Niche
(Temperature breadth). The ability of a creature to adapt to changes in its environment
The ability of an organism or an ecosystem to not be changed by some sort of stressor or disturbance.
The ability of an ecosystem to recover after a disturbance. Resistance refers to an ecosystem’s ability to resist change, while resilience refers to the ability to recover after a change occurs.
A material or space that is utilized by organisms
The speed at which a creature reproduces
The response of an organism to changing temperatures
Read more about thermal sensitivity
The position of an organism within a food web
The state of the atmosphere at a place and time as regards heat, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain.
A critical point in a system that leads to large scale (and often permanent) changes in the system when exceeded.
Watch a video about tipping points and some examples here.
Click here to download a printable version of the vocabulary list!