Waterman, BS 218                                           Southeast Missouri State University


Class Project: Investigating Zea’s Wild Roots

Day 1: You will be working with members of a group to explore relationships in the ecosystems to which the case refers. You and your group will discuss the case today and work to generate a set of questions for group members to explore. Use the provided folders with information about corn growth, corn diseases, etc. to aid your discussion.

Day 2: Next time we will meet in the computer lab. There you will work alone or with other members of your group to further your understanding of the case. An instructor will be available to help you with using the internet. Before you leave, be sure you are clear about the ecological relationships you plan to investigate. One way to think about this is to define relationships within a particular plant disease. Here are some selected resources to get you started.

Day 3: Each of you will individually prepare a 1-2 page, typed summary of the relationships you have been investigating. Please bring 10 copies of this summary to class. You will be giving one to each member of your group to prepare for class discussion. You should be able to explain relationships between organisms and the environment using the specific organisms you have been investigating as examples.

 Part 1: Questions to consider about Zea's Wild Roots

 1.  What is this case about?


 2.  What ecosystems are mentioned?  What are the members of these ecosystems?


 3.  Make a diagram showing the relationships among the members of these ecosystems.






Instructor Note: Consider a brief, whole class discussion to insure basic understanding of ecosystems and types of relationships.

Part 2: Know/ Need to Know Chart

Use the Know/Need to Know Chart  below to organize your discussion of the case.

To get started, it may be helpful to discuss the questions like these below with others in your group:

What do you already know about this ecosystem? 

Do any of you have experience growing corn? 

Have any of you had a plant that got spots or mildew on it?  What did you do? 

What do you know about how molds grow? 

Anyone allergic to mold spores? 











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 Part 3: Planning Your Next Steps

 4.  Which of the questions listed in the "Need to Know" will your group investigate? (Note: focus on the basics of how the members of the ecosystem operate.)



 5.  What specific interactions are you interested in investigating individually (and writing about in your briefing paper)?





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