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Ecosystem and Food Chain Lesson Ideas 5 LS2 and MS LS2

I have been noticing that there are a BUNCH of standards for a variety of grade levels that have to do with ecosystems, food chains, environment and habitat.

Here are some ideas to make teaching about Ecosystems and Food Chains fun and engaging.

1.  Hand out cards with names of organisms on them and maybe pictures.  2. Students try to identify if they are a producer, consumer, secondary consumer or decomposer. 
3. Students take their card and tape it to their shirt with the animal and name showing.
4. One student or the teacher is the Sun. The Sun has a ball of yarn. Hanging on to the end of the string the sun hands the ball of yarn to
one of the producers.
5. The producer will hold on to their section of the string and hand it to a primary consumer that might consume the producer. This goes on and an elaborate web is made.
6. When you get to the end of the chain and have reached a tertiary consumer you can give the string to a decomposer and then back to a producer. The consumer at the top of a food chain eventually dies and is consumed by decomposers.
7. What happens if you lose a member of the ecosystem?  Have one of the students let go of their string.  How does that affect the rest of the ecosystem? 

Remember that the yarn is showing the flow of energy so it starts with the sun and goes towards the thing that consumes it.

Discuss the food web that you have created. Could it have gone a different way? What happened when we removed a key component of the ecosystem?

Next I have students read some informational text about ecosystems, abiotic and biotic factors, habitat related to whatever standards I am trying to hit. I like to do this in a CLOSE Reading Format followed by Interactive notebook Flaps.

 

Next I have students do some hands on sorting activities with task cards and sorting cards.

I may have them construct their own mini ecosystem.
(includes ecosystem sorting cards)

Other Related Resources include:

NGSS Ecosystem for Middle School 20% Savings
(includes ecosystem sorting cards)
(Includes ecosystem sorting cards with organisms native to Utah)
Thank you for reading my ideas on Ecosystem, Habitat, and Food Chains.  
Be sure to check out my store.

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I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!

 
Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit

Tina S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:05:39-06:00

Tina S

I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!   Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit
The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!

 
Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2

Richard S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:07:52-06:00

Richard S

The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!   Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2
As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.

 
Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4

Sharon M

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:24:44-06:00

Sharon M

As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.   Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4
Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.

 
Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning

Expedition Fourth

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:44:55-07:00

Expedition Fourth

Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.   Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning
My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.

 
Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer

Heidi J

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:45:49-07:00

Heidi J

My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.   Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer
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Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams