7 Ideas to Teach Ecosystems and Food Webs

7 Ideas to Teach Ecosystems

Here are 7 of my favorite science teaching ideas for ecosystems, food chains, and food webs!

1. Ecosystems StudyJams

I adore these StudyJams video clips from Scholastic.  Check out the ones on Ecosystems, Food Chains, Food Webs, and Changes in Ecosystems.  They are short and sweet and have lots of applicable information.  I usually have the students watch the video clips twice and pause as we go through it because the information can be presented kind of fast.

2. Aquarium Habitat Project

This is a fun culminating project I made for my students last year for them to demonstrate their knowledge of ecosystems.  This project is free and editable.  It includes teacher tips, a letter to your students, tips, rubrics, and project pages for students.

Aquarium Habitat Design Project

Download for free on TpT

3. Ecosystems Task Cards

These are great task cards for assessment!  I like to tape them up around the classroom and allow students to work at their own pace to answer all 20 questions.

4. Biotic and Abiotic Lesson

In this activity students practice identifying interactions in ecosystems by looking at photographs.  This is a great whole group mini-lesson.  Download it for free on GoogleDrive.  (Some districts block access to GoogleDrive.  If it says you can’t view it, try at home.)

Biotic and Abiotic Lesson

Download this Biotic and Abiotic Lesson

5. Design an Ecosystem

My classes have done this with guppies, snails, and a green tree frog.  Observing real-life ecosystem organisms is an important part of studying ecosystems.  Discuss and record the abiotic and biotic interactions, food chains present, and needs of the organisms.

6. Real Life Food Chain or Food Web

This activity comes from Hands-On Science Vocabulary Instruction.  It helped a lot when introducing food chains vocabulary last year!  Make 9 signs with the sun, producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer, tertiary consumer, and energy arrows.  Each student gets a sign and they put themselves into a food chain holding up their sign.

Food Chains Vocabulary

Students sketch the food chain in their notebooks, then teach the new vocab using motions and chants and fill out the foldable.  Students go back to their food chain drawing and label the parts with the new terms.  Get the printables and find more fun vocabulary activities in my e-book, Hands-On Science Vocabulary Instruction.

7. Ecosystems Stations

This BIG Science Stations Unit includes 9 fun activities for ecosystems.  These stations are for sale in my TpT store.

Ecosystems Stations

I hope you found some great tools and resources to help you teach your students about ecosystems and food webs!


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