Ecosystem Teacher Resources
Find Ecosystem educational ideas and activities
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Designing a Real Life Ecosystem!
Students research abiotic and biotic factors concerning the concept of an ecosystem. Record and analyze data collected. Write a lab report in proper and scientific format with thinking and analytical skills. Work as a cooperative team.
Exploring Ecosystems Using GIS
What an incredible instructional activity for integrating technology with ecology and geography! Discuss what a preserve is, and then use National Geographic's fabulous FieldScope tool to virtually explore the Barataria Preserve in New Orleans. A printable guide walks them through the use of the program as they learn about the ecosystem represented. Enough can't be said about this well-written instructional activity and the completeness of the resources provided!
Sorting the Gulf Ecosystem
A dazzling drawing of the coastal and marine ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico is the centerpiece of this lesson. Display it for your class to view, and have them identify which organisms are plants, invertebrates, fish, birds, reptiles, mammals, or amphibians. Using the Gulf as an example, your life science learners gain experience classifying living organisms. The activity would be a concise way to sum up a unit on different types of animals. You will find everything you need to implement this lesson as well as links to other related lessons.
Coral Reefs: Ecosystems Full of Life
Coral reefs contain some of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. Introduce reef residents to youngsters with a three-minute video. While the content is educational, it is not particularly engaging or clear. You may choose to skip the video, but still have your class play the coral reef card matching game that comes with the lesson. A beautifully colored illustration is also included, along with an identification key. Include this lesson in your biodiversity, marine biology, or ecosystems unit.
Biodiversity in a Wetland Ecosystem
Online activities make learning about wetland biodiversity interactive! First, ecologists navigate through National Geographic's 56-page "GeoStory" about US wetland ecosystems. They use the FieldScope tool to investigate the Barataria Preserve in Louisiana and predict where assigned species might make their homes. Vocabulary, background information, links to websites, and templates for handouts make this a comprehensive resource to use in your life science class.
Investigating Local Ecosystems
Students observe a local area for living organisms and their habitats. In this local ecosystems lesson plan, students complete an online field journal. Students share their findings and sort them into categories. Students visit a website to gather information about their ecosystem.
Urban Ecosystems 2: Why are There Cities? A Historical Perspective
Second in a series of five lessons, this lesson encourages preteens to consider cities as urban ecosystems. First, they keep a food diary for a few days. They visit the Natrional Agricultural Statistics Service website for current data on food production. They take a virtual tour of ancient Mesopotamia and discuss how the improvement of food production is related to the development of cities. Standing alone, this lesson does not stand out. Check out the other lessons in the series though. You may find the mini-unit valuable. for upper elementary world history.
Energy Flow in a Wetland Ecosystem
How is energy transferred within an ecosystem? What would happen to a food web if one of the organisms was removed? Elementary or middle school ecologists examine these questions and more in a comprehensive 5E learning cycle lesson. Through stories, games, a card sort, and a writing assignment, young scientists learn the essential components of food webs in a fun and interesting way. Although most of the links within the lesson are no longer active, many of the necessary resources are included in the appendix. In order to build learner anticipation and reduce your preparation time, each student could be assigned one of the animals in the food web game to research, then create a card for the game; cards could be made a day or two before teaching the lesson. Depending on the age of your learners, you may wish to adjust the writing prompt at the end to address some higher-level thinking concepts.
Food Webs and Making Miniature Ecosystems
Young scholars model a food web and create a miniature ecosystem. In this animal interactions lesson, students engage in a role playing game which simulates a food web. Young scholars then build miniature ecosystems using pop bottles, snails, plants and soil.
Models as Tools for Ecosystem Management
Fifth graders explore the concept of environmental management. In this ecosystem lesson, 5th graders discover how models help scientists learn more about managing ecosystems. Students create their own model, make observations and discuss their findings.
Reading comprehension and note-taking skills are practiced as young ecologists embark on this journey. Explorers visit a website where they will read about three ecosystems that are in danger. They use interactive programs to build a food web and create a caterpillar. Finally, they participate in a field study of a local ecosystem. This all-inclusive lesson plan appeals to all learning styles and can be used as an interdisciplinary unit.
Endangered Ecosystems Grades 6-9
Students research endangered ecosystems. They complete a variety of online activities regarding these ecosystems and the animals that live in them. They culminate the unit with their own project that traces activity in the ecosystem in which they live.
Modeling changes to Ecosystems Part 1
Students record changes in an ecosystem. In this science lesson students make a hypothesis about changes in a terrarium. They record their observations. The students conduct an experiment to test their hypothesis.
Students explore the characteristics of an ecosystem, gather animal specimens relevant to their investigation, and record data gathered on the interactions between the temperature, climate, and life cycles of the organisms in the area.
Ecosystems-The Essential Connection
Students develop their abilities to solve problems both in school and in a variety of situations similar to that they have encountered in life. They define the term ecosystem in nature by comparing them to familiar organizational structures. Pupils identify some common ecosystems from which we obtain different agricultural products.
Ecosystem In A Bottle
Ecosystem activities show how everyone and everything is interconnected. The smallest change can make a big impact.
Managing the Everglades Ecosystem
High schoolers explore the Everglades ecosystem using the Internet. To develop a picture about conservation of resources in the context of the Everglades. Explore relationships between species and habitats. Develop an idea of how human beings have altered the equilibrium in the Everglades.
Making an Ecosystem: Aquarium Lesson
Middle schoolers explore aquariums and terrariums. In this ecosystem lesson, students begin to understand the interdependent relationship between animals and different environments. Middle schoolers create their own ecosystem using live animals.
Examining the Effects of Pollution on Ecosystems
Learners examine the different types of tests used to measure the environmental effects of hazardous waste. They work together to determine the impact of pollution on different ecosystems. They read a case study and answer questions to end the instructional activity.
Using Environmental Models to Determine the Effect of Acid Rain on an Ecosystem
Demonstrate to your middle school science learners how chalk breaks down in a weak acid. Discuss what affects acidic rain might have on ecosystems. Lab groups then choose one of two questions: "How does acid precipitation affect an aquatic ecosystem?" or "How does acid precipitation affect terrestrial ecosystems?" They work together to design and perform an experiment to answer their question. This is a stellar lesson plan on acid rain, and it reinforces practice of lab skills and the scientific process.