This lesson creates an amazing 3D ecological pyramid in the students interactive notebook. It also covers the "Rule of 10%" and how to calculate it in a chart.
I usually start the lesson by telling the students we're going to "do some origami". I have them cut out around the outside to create a box, then cut the one dotted line that goes almost into the middle. The students then fold on the 3 bold lines to create the pop-up pyramid. Then I have them fold the part that says "Ecology Pyramid" down on the thick line to make a little tab. They put a little glue on the back of that tab and put it into their notebooks.
The students LOVE that the pyramid can be made 3D, but still lay flat in their notebooks. When the students have study time it's the first page they go to. They never forget the Rule of 10% or how energy flows in a pyramid.
This file includes instructions on how to fold the pyramid, student led instructions on filling out the pyramid and calculating the Rule of 10%, definition and explanations for the Rule of 10%, review over trophic orders, heterotrophs/autotrophs/carnivores/herbivores, etc and pictures of examples my students have completed.
This activity is very visual, kinetic, and tactile. It is great for ELL/ESL students, resource, inclusion, regular level and with a little addition pre-AP or honors level.