This is an activity I use in my classroom to introduce students to the idea of classifying parts of an ecosystem as living and nonliving or biotic and abiotic. I also use it as a review before quizzing or testing the students on this information. I provided 12 cards with pictures and descriptions.
Cut out the activity cards and place in a Ziploc bag. For extended use of cards, print on cardstock or glue on construction paper and laminate the cards.
Have a student pass out a Ziploc bags to groups of 2-4 students. Instruct students to group pictures in 2 or 3 groups. Most groups will classify the living and the nonliving together. Have each group share how they classified their cards. When they use the terms living and nonliving, I then introduce the terms biotic and abiotic.
Before a quiz or test, hand cards to students and have them place them in 2 groups – one biotic, one abiotic. Make sure to use those vocabulary terms and have the students repeat those terms as they share their work.
Introduce students to the root words “bio” (meaning life) and “a” (meaning not) and explain those roots create the definitions of biotic and abiotic. Also, have students make a list of biotic and abiotic factors in various ecosystems.