Schoolyard Ecology

Thinking about the flow of matter and energy with students is one of the key ways of exploring ecosystems. In these lessons, students construct their own understanding of ecosystems through investigations in their schoolyard, developing ideas about ecological processes and functions.

Who Eats What?

Grades: 
6-8
3-5
Topic(s): 
Biodiversity
Nutrients & Energy

Students' central challenge is to determine the food web of a local site. By investigating a familiar area, such as their schoolyard or a neighborhood park, students see their everyday environment as an ecosystem of which they are part. After exploring outdoor study plots, students design investigations to answer thier questions about animal feeding behaviors.  This unit develops students' communication and application skills through assessment activities.  Students set up outdoor study stations to teach others about food web clues, and create an exhibition to share their findings.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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