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What an incredible lesson plan 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 lesson plan and the completeness of the resources provided!
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 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.
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.
Students observe a local area for living organisms and their habitats. In this local ecosystems lesson, 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.
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 on acid rain, and it reinforces practice of lab skills and the scientific process.
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.
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.
This smart slide show outlines energy flow in ecosystems. It addresses the sun as the primary source of all energy, flows into explanations of photosynthesis and respiration, and explores trophic feeding levels and productivity. Appropriate for middle or high school ecology classes, it can be followed with photosynthesis or cellular respiration laboratory exercises.
Middle or high school environmental studies classes will learn much from this presentation on energy in ecosystems. It covers the foundational topics of trophic levels, food webs, and nutrient cycles using informational text and high-quality diagrams. Have viewers glean information by taking notes as you explain the concepts displayed on each slide.
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.