Ecosystem Teacher Resources
Find Ecosystem educational ideas and activities
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GPS Ecosystem (Ecotone) Scavenger Hunt
Students describe the characteristics of an ecotone. In this ecotone lesson plan, students pick out their area and describe the visual appearance, conditions, ecosystem, biodiversity, predators, prey, and trees in their ecotone. They create a diagram and complete worksheets.
Energy Flow Through Ecosystems
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.
Vocabulary: Types of Ecosystems
Pupils practice using vocabulary words from life science. They will investigate the ecosystem and the terms that are associated with it. In addition, they will complete a fill-in-the-blank exam using the vocabulary words.
Monitoring Life In The Rocky Intertidal Ecosystem
Students investigate marine life by researching aquatic organisms on the Internet. In this oceanography lesson, students monitor algae and animals of the ocean by identifying their population and habitat on data sheet ID cards. Students discuss why it is important to monitor life in the oceanic ecosystem.
Students study the diversity of marine life and their habitats. In this aquatic ecosystems lesson students complete a lab activity and experiment.
Observing a Stream Ecosystem
Students use their five senses to explore a river ecosystem. They experience how their senses provide them with additional information about the environment through the use of teacher made stream boxes.
New! Food Webs
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.
Mountain Lions in Arizona Lesson 2: The Lion as Predator - Feast of Plenty
Middle and high schoolers examine the basics of a mountain lion's diet by examining food chains and food webs. Learners are each assigned one of the lion's prey species and they must construct a food chain for this animal. They see how a small change in one part of the ecosystem can lead to a dramatic change for all species. Fabulous!
Oil and Bird Populations
Display a stunning drawing of the Gulf of Mexico's ecosystems. Learners examine the picture to determine what birds live there and what foods they rely on. Then show a poignant five-minute film that examines the impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (BP) oil spill on specific species of birds in the gulf. Hold classroom discussions about how scientists are working to help the affected bird populations. Though the lesson is simple, it can fuel a relevant discussion of how human activities affect the environment. You could follow or precede the lesson with the classic activity of dipping bird feathers in oil and showing how difficult it is to remove. Other related resource links provide the opportunity to extend this lesson as well.
Eighth graders identify beneficial and harmful relationships between population ecosystems. They list a-biotic features, biotic features, and what sorts of populations might live in their backyard. They study how populations interact with each other while each is trying to survive.
Multi-Media for Ecosystems
Fifth graders create an ecosystem website. In this ecosystems lesson, 5th graders create an imaginary country and create an ecosystem for it. Students link ecosystem webpages to their own and add sound to the page. Students present to the class the part of the web page they created.
Stanley Park and Aquarium Field Trip
Students explore the beauty of British Columbia by participating in a class field trip. For this ecosystem observation lesson, students investigate the Vancouver Aquarium and Stanley Park, one of the largest parks in North America. Students identify the separate ecosystems, beach and forest, before completing a worksheet based on the positive and negative impact of human beings.
Food Chain/Food Web
Learners explore ecosystems. In this ecology lesson plan, students read an article explaining ecosystems. Learners create a visual organizer with index cards using components of various ecosystems.
Point- vs. Non-point Pollution
Young scholars differentiate between point and non-point pollution and determine how the different types of pollution are harmful to aquatic ecosystems. They complete a series of tests on a sample of "polluted" water and a sample of "pure" water.
Urban Ecosystems 4: Metabolism of Urban Ecosystems
Cities are compared to living, breathing, metabolizing organisms. Fourth in a five-part series of lessons, this one focuses on the flow of materials through a city. Links to interesting websites and images make your delivery of information more interesting. Poetry about waste brings an interdisciplinary aspect to the lesson plan, which concludes by having collaborative groups prepare presentations to the class about what they learned.
Students examine the relationships between plants, animals, and the environment in ecosystems. They sort animal cards, collect natural materials from the schoolyard, and record an ecosystem web in the form of a poster.
What Makes an Ecosystem?
Students inquire about Earth science by participating in a flash card activity. In this ecosystem lesson plan, students discuss what the elements in an ecosystem consist of and examine flash cards which contain images of plants and animals. Students practice studying and memorizing the information of each plant and animal by quizzing other students with the cards.
Zebra Mussels and the Lake Erie Ecosystem
Eleventh graders examine the effects of the zebra mussel or other non-native species on Ohio's ecosystems. The zebra mussel is a non-native species that has both positive and negative impacts on Ohio's waterways.
Adopt An Ecosystem
Tenth graders choose an ecosystem to observe the interaction of living organisms with biotic and abiotic factors in that ecosystem. They keep journals of observations and reflections in order to have a resource for further investigations in future lessons.
How Much Is An Ecosystem Worth?
Students explain and discuss the importance of ecosystems. They analyze the natural resources in the environment. They also suggest actions that would protect ecosystems.