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.

Looking for lessons and activities related to plants? See Plant Lessons and Teaching Resources

Google Slides and Notes on Ecology

turtlePopulations and Communities

Google Slides and Notes on Populations

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

Use Netlogo App to Estimate Population Size – simulation showing how tadpole populations change in different sized ponds, using mark and recapture technique

Analyzing Graphs – Social Hierarchy and Stress – science journal article with graph showing stress levels in group members of baboon social groups.

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

Ecology Case Study – The Wolves of Isle Royale – population decline and reintroduction of wolves

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)

Interpreting a Food Web and Trophic Levels – shows a food web, identify types of consumers

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

Exploring Limiting Factors and Carrying Capacity – read ecology scenarios and identify density dependent and density independent factors

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

Symbiosis and Energy Use – examine several graphs and determine the type of relationship indicated (commensalism, parasitism, mutualism)

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

Population Change over Time – rabbit and wolf simulator, you can modify parameters such as food levels, environment, and metabolic rate

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

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

earthBiomes and Ecosystems

Google Slides and Notes on Biomes

Google Slides and Notes on Niche Partitioning

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

Investigating Algae Blooms – analyze and color a map showing regions of algae blooms, determine causes

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

Exploring the Stages of Secondary Succession – arrange cards in order to show the sequence of events that occur after a fire

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

Analyze Data and Create a Climate Graph – chart showing rainfall and temperatures of different regions

Exploring Range of Tolerance in Steelhead Trout – analyze a graph showing temperature and number of trout

Investigation – What Organisms Are Found in Pond Water? – students examine pond water under a microscope and use field guides to identify organisms

Predator Prey Simulation at – change variables on numbers and types of predators

Ecosystem in a Jar – design a habitat for snails and water plants and observe changes in carbon dioxide levels with bromothymol blue

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

Investigating the Effects of Oil Spills on Birds – use real feathers to show how oil and soap can injure birds

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

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

Environmental Action Group Discussion – a simulation where students allocate resources to various causes

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

Investigation – What Factors Affect the Heart Rate of Daphnia – expose a living organism to ethanol to determine how it affects the heart rate

The Desperate Dozen – How limited resources in medicine should be allocated.