Ecology Chat 1: Introduction to Ecology Lab Stations

Rated 4.84 out of 5, based on 94 reviews
94 Ratings
Amy Brown Science
Grade Levels
8th - 11th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
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55 pages
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Amy Brown Science


These 9 "Ecology Chat!" lab stations will ensure that your students have mastered the basic ecological principles and concepts in your introductory ecology unit. Students will work together to solve a problem, complete a task, and /or carry out a small experiment at each of the 9 stations. I use the word “chat” to emphasize to my students that they are to work together and have a productive discussion at each lab station in order to maximize their understanding and mastery of the concepts being covered.

What is included in this resource?

  • 16 Pages of Student Worksheets
  • 9 Ecology Chat Lab Station Instruction Cards
  • 4 Pages of Food Chain Cards
  • 6-Page Teacher Guide
  • 15-Page Teacher Answer Key
  • 5 Additional Lab Station Diagrams

What is the purpose of this activity?

This chat activity covers the topics found in an introductory ecology unit. Students will create a foldable graphic organizer to learn the levels of ecological organization and will practice their skills in reading and interpreting graphs. Students will carry out small experiments and will analyze and graph their data. Students will investigate a web site to learn about holes in the ozone layer and will use a deck of cards to create food chains and food webs. These lab stations will ensure that your students understand and master basic ecological concepts.

Do just a few lab stations or do them all! All materials are completely editable.


Love my chat activities? Check these out:


What are the benefits of this activity?

  • Group work is an important part of what we do in a science class, and it is a skill that will be needed throughout life. Lab station activities teach students how to work together to achieve a goal.
  • Lab Stations break down the information into smaller and more manageable units. This prevents students from becoming overwhelmed when faced with massive amounts of information.
  • These lab stations will ensure that your students have mastered the basic concepts of ecology.

What will the students be doing?

There are 9 lab stations. Students will rotate through the stations, completing the tasks at each station. Each station will highlight an ecology-related task to be completed by the group as well as a worksheet of analysis questions. There are 16 pages of student worksheets. Three lab stations have a one-page student worksheet. Five lab stations have a two-page student worksheet. One station has a three-page student worksheet.

Need to save paper? No problem! Place one copy of the student worksheet at each lab station and have students complete the work on their own notebook paper.

Concepts covered at each lab station:

Station 1: Levels of Ecological Organization

Station 2: Tolerance Curves

Station 3: Producers and Consumers

Station 4: Food Chains and Food Webs

Station 5: Ecology Acrostic Puzzles

Station 6: Biotic and Abiotic Factors

Station 7: The Greenhouse Effect

Station 8: Ozone Layer Web Quest

Station 9: Habitat and Niche

Please Note:

If your students do not have previous knowledge about the above concepts or the vocabulary used in a ecology unit, prior instruction will be needed before attempting these lab stations. These lab stations are not intended to be a “first day of instruction” lesson. These lab stations are designed for review, reinforcement, and to build upon the foundation of knowledge that your students already have. This resource does not include teaching materials such as textbook readings, informational text readings, or a teaching PowerPoint.

Click this link to view my Introduction to Ecology Teaching PowerPoint and Notes Set

Materials List:

  • Colored pencils or markers
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Microscope
  • Microscope slides
  • Coverslips
  • Droppers
  • Pond water samples
  • Paper toweling
  • Radish seeds (40 per student group)
  • Plastic petri dishes (2 per group)
  • Graduated cylinder
  • Tap water
  • 10% salt water solution
  • 2 glass jars or large beakers
  • Aluminum foil
  • Thermometer
  • Lab lamp
  • Computer (desktop or laptop)

The 6-page teacher guide includes:

  • Purpose of the activity.
  • Description of what students will be doing.
  • How to carry out your role as facilitator.
  • Materials List
  • Safety Precautions
  • Complete instructions for how to set up each lab station.
  • Tips and suggestions for successful completion of the activity.

This resource also includes a very detailed 15-Page Teacher Answer Key

Related products include:

Introduction to Ecology Complete Unit Bundle

Introduction to Ecology PowerPoint with Notes for Teacher and Student

Introduction to Ecology Quizzes

Introduction to Ecology Task Cards

Introduction to Ecology Homework / Study Guide

Introduction to Ecology Review PowerPoint Test Prep Questions and Answers

Introduction to Ecology Unit Test

Lab: The Effect of Abiotic Factors on Seed Germination

Ecology Webquest on Ultraviolet Radiation

Habitat and Niche Practice Problem Worksheet

Lab: Modeling the Greenhouse Effect

FREE Set of Six Ecology Crossword Puzzles

FREE! Backyard Ecology: An Ecological Assessment of Your Back Yard

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Total Pages
55 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 days
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