Ecosystems are interconnected communities. All living things, including plants and animals, depend upon one another for survival. Science has proven that if one part of the ecosystem is missing or damaged, it can have far reaching ramifications. Ecosystems represent the simplistic, yet beautiful, concept of how we are all interconnected.
Activities to Facilitate Learning About Ecosystems
Lessons plans that focus on the web of life can provide enjoyable learning. A chain reaction of dominoes falling one after another is a great activity for demonstrating the cause and effect relationship in an ecosystem. Also, mapping a large area and recording the data is an idea for incorporating field study into the unit. If the weather proves too difficult for outside endeavors, try making a food chain mobile. Starting an ecosystem in a bottle is a great way to see how plants and animals interconnect. Or, create an aquatic environment. Use plants, snails and fish to populate your mini habitat. Any of these projects could easily be expanded to provide a basis for a science fair entry.
Our Fragile Environment
There are many conditions that affect fragile environments. An overabundance of predators, changes in the weather, or a drought can damage the ecosystem. Humans are a primary source of destruction to the environment. Sometimes man's behavior has inadvertently caused the extinction of plants and animals. Vast climatic fluctuations can also be a factor in altering the ecosystem. By studying the ecosystems and the environment, your students should become aware of the growing need to preserve our planet.
Ecosystem Activities and Lesson Plans:
Pond Ecology is a several unit study. The fundamentals are covered as well as reconstructing a pond habitat. The hydrologic cycle is also examined.
Ecosystems and Diamante Poetry combines literature with science. After learning about ecosystems, students create their own poetry as explanations.
What Goes Around, Comes Around has children create their own ecosystem in a jar. The lesson models the cycles of matter.