Ecology Teaching Resources

Ecology is a large theme, and often not given full coverage in a biology class due to time constraints.  Below are some basic lessons on ecology and environmental science.

Populations and Data

Estimating Population Size – use bags filled with “animals” to mark and recapture and estimate the population size in the bag

Case Study – Loggerhead Turtles and Population Models – explore the number of eggs hatched and survivorship

Modeling Survivorship Curves with Bubbles – simulate survival patterns with this fun bubble activity

Predator Prey Graph – graph data on deer and wolf populations (growth curves)

Lesson of the Kaibab – Graph deer population after a catastrophic population decline

Random Sampling – estimate a population of “sunflowers”

Random Sampling with Dandelions – estimate the number of weeds on your school grounds using string and counting the number of plants within a plotted area

Interpreting Ecological Data – graphs and data tables

Demography Lab – collect cemetery data, construct survivorship curve

Rabbit and Wolf Simulation – collect data, growth curves, analyze how reproductive rates of predator and prey affect growth curves

Predator and Prey Simulation with Notecards – use notecards to demonstrate how predator and prey numbers change over time

Forest Food Web Label  – image; label producers, consumers, carnivores

Prairie Food Web Label II – another image to identify producers, consumers

earthBiomes and Communities

Analyzing Data – Explore Features of Biomes – Use a map and graphs to determine features of biomes

Build an Ecosystem – use bags, water BTB, oxygen data

Succession in an Ecosystem – graphic shows how species are replaced as a pond dries up.

Create a Biome Concept Map – research biomes to create graphic organizer

Biomes Concept Map Fill In – concept map is already created, students fill in words

Research Biomes Project – create a presentation, travel brochure or similar artifact to showcase your biome

Examine an Ecosystem – observation of jar/pond water

Ecosystem (Biomes) Venn Diagram – compare two biomes and complete diagram

Biomes at MoBot – web lesson, research site, fill out table and answer questions

Color a Biome Map –  color North American Biomes by reading instructions on their locations

Owl Pellets – dissect owl pellets, reconstruct skeletons

turtleEnvironmental Issues

Investigating Algae Blooms and Dinoflagellates – discover how rainfall and temperature affect aquatic ecosystems

Sea Turtles and Sex Determination – investigate how temperature affects the sex of hatching turtles

Case Study – The Wolves of Isle Royale – explores how inbreeding can affect populations

Can Sport Hunting Control Predator Populations – examine data on cougar attacks in states that allow hunting and those that do no allow hunting

Data Analysis – Invasion of the Jumping Worms – data shows how an invasive species can affect soil quality

Ecology Project – create a presentation about an environmental issue

Case Study – How Human Activities Affect Water Quality – examine a map showing various areas of a river affected by pollution

Designer Dogs – Examines the cost associated with breeding designer dogs (such as Puggles); students to consider alternatives to buying pets.

Exotic Pets – a set of activities over wild and exotic animals  and the risks of owning them

Endangered Species Project – create a publication (website or prezi) that explores a species that is threatened

Investigate the Causes Endangered Species – using, create a graphic organizer that compares 4 different threatened animals from an area of the planet

Food for Thought – model the amount of food resources each country has using Hershey kisses

Zebra Mussels – read an article about exotic (invasive) species, answer questions

Human Population Graph – use data to graph growth and analyze

Environmental Action – as a group, allocate resources to different “causes”

Ecology Listmania – an introductory discussion where students list ideas or issues related to the environment