Ecosystems

Overview:

The student will make a picture on poster board in groups of three of different parts of the ecosystem. It will be done in a two day lesson for a third grade classroom.

Purpose:

The student will be able to identify the different trophic levels and make pictures of them as well. The TEKS that are used are:
3.5 Living Organisms Needs-food, water, light, air, waste disposal, environment.

  1. observe and describe habitats within the ecosystem.
  2. observe and identify organisms with similar needs that compete for resources.
  3. describe how orqanisms modify environment to meet their needs.

Materials:

Poster boards for each group
Crayons

Getting Ready:

Take the students outside and show them examples of and explain the ecosystem. Start by talking about how the sun gives energy and explain the cycle from there.

Motivate:

Give a demonstration of how the ecosystem works. Use models here that can be made from clay or stuffed animals or whatever resources you can find for visual aids. Make sure to include all the trophic levels.

Activity:

Put the students into groups of three. Have one student who does the drawings, one who collects the materials, and one who explains the groups results. The students will explain the flow of the ecosystem by using arrows. They can see your chart for an example, but must think of their own examples of each trophic level. Walk around the room and answer question and encourage the students as well. If they get stuck you can give them some books as reference materials from your classroom library. When the posters are completed each group will go to the front of the room and the designated speaker will explain their ecosystem.

Safety Tips:

N/A

Concept Discovery:

Be sure to give lots of examples so that the students are not limited in their choices for the different trophic levels.

Going Further:

Explain how each trophic level is important in the ecosystem and how destroying one level could interrupt the entire cycle.

Closure:

Ask the students questions about each level to ensure understanding and explain ideas again that evidently are not too clear. Maybe have another student put the ecosystem into their own words as well.

Assessment:

The students will be graded by completeness on their poster and delivery of the results. It will be a group grade worth ten points and each missing part will be one point off.

Connections:

This activity can be connected to mathematics because the students will need to make sure they have ten aspects of the ecosystem to receive an A. Language arts is used as the students will present their results to the class, and social studies can be used as the students can learn about how extinction of some species in the past caused problems within the ecosystem.


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