Lesson Plans and Worksheets
Browse by Subject
Biomagnification Teacher Resources
Find Biomagnification educational ideas and activities
Ecology scholars consider the processes of bioaccumulation and biomagnification in the environment. As an example, DDT bioaccumulates in the fatty tissue of animals, resulting in reproductive failure and nervous system damage. DDE accumulates at in increasing amounts in animals higher on the food chain in the process called biomagnification. A few slides in the middle of the presentation review food webs, a concept vital to understanding these unfortunate consequences of using pesticides.
In an ecology simulation, middle schoolers draw dots, representing chemicals, on green strips of paper, representing aquatic plants. After you hide the strips around the room, they pretend to be fish and collect plants as food. The total chemical dots are tabulated and transferred to orange strips, representing fish. Finally, after fish strips are hidden, students pretend to be eagles and collect fish as food. The total chemical dots are again tabulated and the effects of biomagnificaiton demonstrated. Extension and assessment activities are suggested within the plan.
Your biology class plays the role of epidemiologist when a mysterious illness breaks out in Kildare, USA. Using interviews with doctors, patients, and local citizens, maps, the results from different materials sampling, they work to discover the cause of the disease. There are financial costs to be considered. A solution is proposed.
Sixth graders explore the food chain by researching bald eagle diets. In this animal poisons instructional activity, 6th graders identify the chemicals that fish eat which are later consumed by bald eagles. Students utilize colored paper and coloring utensils to conduct an aquatic plant demonstration.
Pupils review the basic concepts of the food chain. In small groups, they research an organism and create a food web. In addition, they study biomagnifications and write a brief essay or make a poster informing others about the dangers of biomagnifications of pollutants.
Can insects act as sentinels for our environment? Prior to viewing the video, review different roles that insects are known to play and discuss the concepts of bioaccumulation and biomagnification. Show the video about how insects gather information about their surroundings and how scientists can analyze their DNA to learn from it. Finally, assign your class to use an energy pyramid to calculate bioaccumulation of a toxic material. This would be ideal enrichment for your environmental studies or ecology unit when covering food chains and trophic levels.
Beginning biologists place a drop of food coloring into water of differing temperatures to observe the effect on the diffusion rate. They remove the shells from raw eggs and then experiment with osmosis over the remaining membranes. Finally, they use dialysis tubing to simulate the movement of toxins over selectively permeable membranes. A lab sheet for students follows the teacher's notes. The three activities progress well, revealing more of the intended concepts with each step.
What are persistent organic pollutants, or POPs? Young chemists find out as they examine the use of cleaning products that contain materials that are harmful to the environment. This thorough investigation involves three different activities, one of which is an actual comparison of simple household materials to fancy, brand-name cleansers.
High schoolers investigate estuaries and the variations in physical factors from one estuary to another. For this estuaries lesson plan, students explore water depth, salinity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen in estuaries using an on line tutorial and make inferences about their relationships. High schoolers use an on line database to gather information about the estuaries and they analyze the data. Students complete an 88 question self test and 2 puzzles.
When your class is examining the fishing industry or sustainable practices, you can use this brief activity to demonstrate the global impact our food choices have. Overharvesting, overfishing, and bycatch are important topics to address when looking at how humans impact the environment. Note that this activity does not stand well alone; supplement it with material from the For Further Exploration tab, or with other outstanding resources available through Lesson Planet.