Ecosystem Teacher Resources
Find Ecosystem educational ideas and activities
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Students explore the basic species interdependency within an ecosystem. They explore how one species can affect several others. They discuss the importance of biodiversity in an ecosystem.
Eighth graders engage in a lesson about ecosystems with the intention of looking at how it is organized. They cover the biotic and abiotic factors of an ecosystem while looking at the seven types of terrestrial biomes. Students write definitions for key terms.
Students classify and label biotic and a-biotic factors in ecosystems. They define population and make predictions about population size in a given area. They describe the a-biotic factors' importance and impact on the other elements of the ecosystem.
Ecosystem Dynamics in the Salt Marsh
Students investigate interrelationships among organisms. In this salt water instructional activity, students create a model of a salt water ecosystem. They maintain and track changes in population, plant growth, and water quality.
Two Way Causality in Ecosystems
Students complete various activities in order to explain that ecosystems are complex and that animal behavior (mainly that of a predator) is not necessarily intentional or bad.
Young scholars study ecosystems and the biodiversity within. In this ecosystems lesson students complete a lab activity and assess the biodiversity in their own community.
Ecosystems and Climate
Learners examine climatic effects on ecosystems. They plant tomatoes and observe the differences in plant growth with differences in light. They create picture collages of plants, animals, and insects found in each climate of the U.S.
Aquatic Ecosystem Exploration
Students visit a local stream, pond, creek, or river and collect macroinvertebrates. They sort macroinvertebrates and identify each species using a dichotomous key. Students decide on trophic levels and construct a possible food web for their ecosystem.
Students engage in a lesson that is about the concepts related to the careful balance of an ecosystem. They identify the beneficial and harmful relationships that can exist with diverse populations in an ecosystem. The lesson includes information that should be used by the teacher.
Fifth graders examine ecosystems through a variety of activities including an Internet hunt, work at centers, and building a diorama on a specific habitat.
Discovering Rainforest Locations
How many rainforests are there, where are they, and do global factors effect their locations? These are great questions that have great answers. Children in grades four through eight use several different maps to determine why rainforests occur where they do and what environmental factors cause them to grow. They examine biodiversity, soil, temperature, and precipitation maps to draw conclusions about rainforest ecosystems, then they mark all of the world's rainforests on a blank map. The instructional activity will lend itself well to a deep discussion on the environment, biodiversity, and habitat. Tip: This is a great research topic!
New! “THE LORAX” by Dr. Seuss
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.
Exploring the Web of Life
Students develop a classroom definition of and explore ideas related to ecosystems. They create a food web using pictures and yarn.
Learning About Decay Demonstrations
Young scholars explore decay in ecosystems by investigating a rotting log and/orcreating a decomposition chamber. They make predictions and answer questions about the changes involved.
How Does Your Ecosystem Grow?
Students consider that under certain conditions in nature tend to remain the same or move toward a balance. They observe populations and determine the functions (e.g., de-composers, producers, consumers) they serve in an ecosystem. They investigate energy flow in ecosystems. They investigate factors (e.g., resources, light, water) that affect the number of organisms an ecosystem can support.
Ecosystems Scavenger Hunt
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.
Young scholars create a sustainable, self-contained ecosystem in a ten-gallon aquarium.
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.
How Much Is an Ecosystem Worth?
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.
Learners distinguish between natural and man-made ecosystems. For this exploratory lesson students describe preventative measures to ecological problems.