Ecosystem Teacher Resources
Find Ecosystem educational ideas and activities
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Fourth graders explain how in any particular environment, some kinds of plants and animals survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all. They research the ecosystem of which each animal or plant is natively a part.
Eager ecologists explore ecosystems through video and photographs of a Mangrove. They discuss the animals in this habitat and how they interact with each other after reading and discussing "The Sea, the Storm and the Mangrove Tangle." This website provides lesson plans and virtual expeditions to make this example of an ecosystem come alive!
Fifth graders participate in an outdoor activity to simulate deer and the resources available to them. In this ecosystem habitat lesson, 5th graders observe what is happening as the activity progresses. Students record conclusions about what happened during the activity. Students understand how resources can become more scarce.
Take a peek at one of the harshest ecosystems in the world. Can you guess where it is? It's actually in Wyoming at the base of the Bighorn Mountains! Adapting to this harsh environment has been difficult, and only a few species are able to grow because of the mix of salt in the soil.
Take a brief look at the Florida Everglades. What kinds of animal populations exist there? Use this video to help define introductory vocabulary for your unit on ecosystems, and click the links posted below the video to provide your middle or high school learners with additional resources.
Introduce ecology classes to biodiversity and interdependence in ecosystems with a PowerPoint presentation. Then, they get up-close and personal with the invertebrate world by collecting insects, classifying them, and graphing their data. Links to the slide show, instructions for insect sampling, and dichotomous keys for identification are all provided for your convenience. Expect to invest up to five class periods for this mini-unit.
Explore various ecosystems from around the world as your class discovers the interdependence of all living things. Using the provided sets of ecosystem cards, young scientists work in small groups building food webs to demonstrate the relationships between producers and consumers. To reinforce their understanding, consider allowing time for groups to share their work with the class. As an extension, remove an organism from each group's ecosystem and have them predict what changes they would expect to see.
Few children's books convey the message of conservation as well as Dr. Seuss' The Lorax. Read the story aloud, emphasizing the interconnectedness of plants and animals in an ecosystem and discussing different ways people can help the environment. Young conservationists then document their learning by writing a summary of the story and three ways they will help the Lorax protect the planet. Implement this lesson as part of an Earth Day celebration, or include it in a unit on ecosystems.
Eighth graders identify the basic elements of an ecosystem and their individual roles. In this life science lesson, 8th graders conduct a scavenger hunt in their local ecosystem. They collect evidence and explain how each component is interconnected with each other.
Students examine the value of ecosystems. They read and analyze an article, evaluate ecosystem services, research the benefits of biomonitors, and design a public service announcement.
Students distinguish between natural and man-made ecosystems. In this exploratory lesson students describe preventative measures to ecological problems.
Seventh graders create a closed ecosystem and place it where is it visible to others in the school. They label it with posters describing the interdependence of living things in the ecosystem. They discuss what might happen to the ecosystem should changes occur.
Students investigate endangered ecosystems. In this ecosystems lesson, students create a KWL chart on endangered ecosystem and research wildcats. Students read online field reports to identify why wildcats are important to the ecosystem. Students complete the KWL chart.
Students explore the concept of endangered ecosystems. In this ecosystem lesson, students are grouped into certain endangered species groups. Students research and learn about their ecosystems. Students wrap up with a discussion.
Learners identify and describe differences between two related ecosystems. They complete a Venn diagram to chart the exclusive and shared characteristics of two ecosystems.
Middle schoolers are able to list different ecosystems and describe their environment and organisms. They have an understanding about the function and balance of the ecosystems. Students are able to tell what type of ecosystem the St. Mary's River is.
Students identify animals in ecosystem depicted on 16th Century ceramic basin and classify them as herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores based on physical characteristics and prior knowledge, determine which life forms in ecosystem are producers, consumers, and decomposers, and create food web that shows transfer of matter within ecosystem.
Students research a variety of local and world ecosystems. Students will create a collage to represent the biotic and abiotic factors and interactions important to their given ecosystem.Students will understand that an ecosystem is composed of both biotic and abiotic components as well as the interactions between these components.
Students observe forest ecosystem, and investigate about a tree. They study the different types of soil and its porosity. Pupils distinguish the basic needs in a forest ecosystem, and examine the positive and negative affects that humans have on forest ecosystems.