Lesson One: Objectives
By the end of this lesson, students should be able to:
    • Define Ecosystem
    • Describe what makes a healthy or balanced Ecosystem
    • Describe and Arctic Ecosystem
    • Differentiate between an Arctic and an Antarctic Ecosystem



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Engage: Activate Prior Knowledge; Generate InterestEcosystem Chart.jpg

Have students create a diagram that shows their own ecosystem. (Do not define ecosystem at this time, let this serve as a way to activate prior knowledge)
Have students show the living and non-living parts of their ecosystem and how they depend on one another.




Have student groups explore different ecosystems (swamp, stream, mountain range, tundra, marine ecosystem, aquarium) using animations and/or images. Have student groups write a short description of the ecosystems and share their findings with the class. Probe students to think more in-depth by asking questions such as, If the (insert name of plant or animal) species was completely wiped out, what impact would that have on the (insert name of ecosystem)? What would happen if there were no water in the (insert name of ecosystem)?

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Link to the DE Animation: Swamp
Link to the DE Animation: Tundra
Link to the DE Animation: Marine
Link to the DE Animation: Stream
Link to an image of a pond ecosystem
Link to an image of a rotting log ecosystem
Link to an animation of an aquarium







Explore: Allowing Students to Experience Conten10-12-2012 2-18-58 PM.jpgt


Show the Ecosystems: Abiotic and Biotic Factors video segment to explore parts of an ecosystem. After viewing the video, students should begin a list in their science journals where they describe examples of relationships between organisms and between organisms and their environment.

Link to DE Video Segment: Ecosystems

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Link to a video about ecosystems on Youtube

Link to a video about ecosystems on Youtube









Explain: Firm Up Understanding; Allow Students to Explain What They Know10-12-2012 2-55-42 PM.jpg

Have students complete the Brief Constructed Response regarding the living and non-living parts of an ecosystem.

Link to the DE Brief Constructed Response





Explore: Allowing Students to Experience Content


Explain to the students that you will now be focusing on a specific ecosystem. The Arctic is a tundra ecosystem. Have students use the DE Fun-damental Exploring Ecosystems to find out more about the tundra ecosystems.
Choose "Explore" then "On Land" then "Cold" then "Dry" to get to the tundra.


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Link to the DE Exploration: Exploring Ecosystems


Students can also visit this website to learn about the Arctic Ecosystems.

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Elaborate: Allow Students to Apply What They Know

Have students create a photo slide show describing what they know about the Arctic Ecosystem. Be sure that they include information about how the living and non-living things interact in the Arctic Ecosystem. Students can use tools such as Photopeach Sliderocket and Animoto to create their slide shows.

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Link to an Arctic Animal Slide Show Example