Form and Function Unit Test – Wednesday

Next Wednesday, students will be writing their unit test for the Form and Function unit. This test will be similar to the past ones from the ecology unit in length and format. Students are allowed to use three of their notes (if they have them) on the test: their sketchnote from the first half of the unit, the table listing all of the methods to strengthen and support structures, and the table of different bridge types.

Here is a rundown of the test and the concepts (and associated textbook pages) that students should know before writing:


Part A (Knowledge and Understanding)

  • Multiple Choice (7 questions)
  • Matching (13 questions)

Part B (Communication)

  • Paragraph answers (3 questions)
  • Diagram answer (1 question)


1) Types of Structures

  • Terminology: structure, solid, framed, shell
  • Example Question: Provide an example of a solid, a frame and a shell structure.
  • Example Question: Describe two advantages of using a shell structure rather than a solid structure?
  • TEXT: Classifying Structures (Source: Nelson Perspectives 7: 10.3)

 2) Forces acting on and within Structures

  • Terminology: force, magnitude, direction, point of application, tension, compression, torsion, shear, net force/movement
  • Example Question: Direction is one component of a force. List and explain the other two ways of describing a force.
  • Example Question: Billy is on a chain link swing. He is twisting the swing back and forth. Name and describe THREE internal forces (stresses) that are acting on the swing in this scenario?
  • TEXT: Forces and Loads (Source: Nelson Perspectives 7: 10.2)
  • TEXT: External and Internal Forces (Source: Nelson Perspectives 7: 10.4)
  • WEBLINK: Forces Lab (Source:

3) Types of Loads

  • Terminology: load, static load, live load, dead load, dynamic load
  • Example Question: Name two examples of dead static loads, two examples of live static loads, and one example of a dynamic load present in this scenario.
  • WEBLINK: Loads Lab (Source:

 4) Stability, Balance and Centre of Gravity

  • Terminology: stability, balance, centre of gravity/mass
  • Example Question: Explain why you would want to keep your stance as wide as possible and try to crouch as low as possible in a tug of war.
  • Example Question: In each of the following shapes, draw an “x” to show the centre of gravity. Explain your reasoning.

 5) Methods of Strengthen and Supporting Structures

  • Terminology: beam, I-beam, corrugation, rebar, cantilever, tie, strut, gusset, arch, dome, truss
  • Example Question: How can you strengthen a beam without adding any support structures? Explain HOW your method strengthens the beam.
  • Example Question: What is the difference between a tie and a strut? In you answer, include a description of the internal forces acting within each structure.
  • TEXT: Making Structures Stronger: The Beam (Source: Nelson Perspectives 7: 11.2)
  • TEXT: Making Structures Stronger: Trusses, Arches, and Domes (Source: Nelson Perspectives 7: 11.4)
  • WEBLINK: Shapes Lab (Source:

Today we completed a little “refresher” on some of the topics from before Christmas and on Monday, we will be completing a more in-depth review involving questions pertaining to the above topics.

My classroom will be open Monday at lunch for anyone who requires clarification on any of the above topics.

Thanks and happy studying! You got this!

Food Web Test (Friday)

In grade 7 science, we have completed the Interactions within Ecosystems unit. Students will be writing a test on the content of the second half of the unit (Food Webs) on Friday.

On Thursday, we will complete a series of review questions using a Jeopardy style game but there is still lots of studying that the students should be doing at their homes over the week in preparation for this test.

Like the previous mid-unit test, there are several terms students should be aware of and  should be able to identify and explain each term. On Tuesday, we will be making terminology cards to help students remember the various terms and definitions involved in this portion of the unit.  The following text pages and links will also be extremely helpful to reinforce the concepts from class:

Here is a rundown of the test and the concepts that students should know before writing:


Part A (Knowledge and Understanding)

  • Multiple Choice (14 questions)
  • Matching (9 questions)

Part B (Communication)

  • Paragraph answers (3 questions) – students will have the choice to write their answer or record themselves stating their answer orally

Part C (Making Connections/Applications)

  • Food web analysis (4 question)
  • Graphical analysis (1 question)


1) Classifying organisms in a food chain or web

  • Terminology: producer, consumer (primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary), decomposer, detritivore, scavenger, carnivore, herbivore, omnivore
  • Example Question: In the food web, identify the secondary consumer and explain your choice.
  • Example Question: Which organisms in the food web can classified as more than one order of consumer?

2) Energy transfer in food chains and webs

  • Terminology: food chain, energy pyramid (pyramid of numbers)
  • Example Question: How much energy is passed onto the next organism in the food chain? What happens to the other energy?
  • Example Question: If grass creates 2300 kJ of energy, how much energy does the rabbit receive when it eats the grass? Explain.

3) Interactions within food webs

  • Terminology: equilibrium, carrying capacity
  • Example Question: Using the food web, explain three things that would happen if the grasshoppers were removed from the ecosystem.

  • Example Question: Come up with a scenario that could result in the following graph:


Students will have the entire 50-minute block to write the test. Those looking for even  more clarification/resources can check out Goal #3 of the Ecosystems workspace.

Mid-Unit Ecology Test

In grade 7 science, we have made it to the halfway point in our unit on Interactions within Ecosystems. Students will be writing a test on Tuesday, October 23. Although it is still over a week away, I want to give plenty of warning ahead of time so that students can be adequately prepared.

Last week, students completed an online practice quiz on many of the topics. If students want to complete this online practice again they can do so by clicking HERE (game code is 516823).

Next Tuesday, students will be writing a mock test (which I will mark and get back to them the following class) so they can see what a science test looks like and get a sense of what they know (and what they don’t know) heading into the next weekend. Friday (7-09)/Monday (7-10) in class, we will be also be completing an additional review but there is still lots of studying that the students can be doing at their homes in preparation for this test.

There are several terms to know for this test. Students should be able to identify and explain each term listed below. Students have been adding notes into their science notebooks which include much of the required information (they can use these notebooks on the test too!) but I also want to direct students to the following text and online links that will be helpful in review:

Here is a rundown of the test and the concepts that students should know before writing:


Part A (Knowledge and Understanding)

  • True or False (7 questions)
  • Multiple Choice (8 questions)
  • Matching (5 questions)

Part B (Communication)

  • Paragraph answers (3 questions)

Part C (Making Connections/Applications)

  • Determining population amount (1 question)
  • Graphical analysis (1 question)


1) Identifying abiotic and biotic factors in an ecosystem

  • Terminology: biology, ecology, ecosystem, abiotic, biotic
  • Concept: Identify items as abiotic or biotic and justify the choice
  • Example Question: Give two examples of biotic factors and two examples of abiotic factors seen in the picture. Explain your choices.

2) Organization of living things

  • Terminology: organism, species, population, community, ecosystem, habitat
  • Concept: Know how an ecosystem is organized


  • Example Question: Explain why a pond could be considered an ecosystem. List some of the different populations found at the pond.

3) Limiting factors in ecosystems

  • Terminology: Immigration, Emigration, Predator, Prey, Competition, Mutualism, Carrying Capacity, Limiting Factor
  • Concept: Calculating population rate
  • Concept: Identify, list and explain several different abiotic (e.g. amount of sunlight) and biotic (e.g. competition) factors that limit the growth of a population
  • Example Question: The amount of rabbits (prey) in an area increases. What do you think will happen to the population of foxes (predator) in the same area? Explain.
  • Example Question: The population of mice in a barn is 40. Over the winter 3 mice immigrate, 4 die, 3 are born, and 1 emigrate, what is the new population?
  • Example Question: Choose which graph best represents each scenario… explain your choices.
    • Scenario 1 = There were 3 cold springs in a row
    • Scenario 2 = There were 3 hot summers in a row


Students will have the entire 50-minute block to write the test and can use their science notebooks while writing.

Looking for more clarification? Check out the Ecosystems page on the blog.