Build Your Own Ocean Ecosystem

This Build Your Own Ocean Ecosystem lesson plan also includes:

Hold the sea in the palm of your hand! Amateur oceanographers work together to create models of an ocean ecosystem in the sixth and final installment in a series. Raise awareness of global ocean health issues through guided research, then construct an observable habitat in a Mason jar. Finally, learners watch as organisms play out their symbiotic roles and make note of what they see.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Provide guidelines for the research portion of the lesson, as well as a location for groups to record their observations
  • Ask learners to identify what role each component of the model ecosystem plays
  • If food web concepts have already been discussed in previous classes, ensure individuals are using proper terms
Classroom Considerations

  • Ecosystem models require living components that need to be purchased from a pet store in advance of the activity
  • Plan time for groups to research factors that are affecting ocean health
  • If computers with Internet access are not available within the classroom or lab, schedule time in the computer lab
Pros

  • Building a model ecosystem gets tactile learners deeply involved in the discovery process
  • Discussion and models provide ample opportunities for formative checks
Cons

  • Printable materials are not included within the teacher's guide