Ecology Lab: Exploring an Ecosystem

Ecology Lab:  Exploring an Ecosystem
Ecology Lab:  Exploring an Ecosystem
Ecology Lab:  Exploring an Ecosystem
Ecology Lab:  Exploring an Ecosystem
Ecology Lab:  Exploring an Ecosystem
Ecology Lab:  Exploring an Ecosystem
Ecology Lab:  Exploring an Ecosystem
Ecology Lab:  Exploring an Ecosystem
Grade Levels
Product Rating
8 Ratings
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5 MB|15 pages
Product Description
Most of our students pay very little attention to their environment. They may frequent a public park or live on a lake or pond, but rarely do they notice the complex web of interactions that are taking place right before their eyes. For these reasons, I find this activity to be very worthwhile and worth the time it takes to complete. Furthermore, a group of 4 or 5 students will have to work very closely together to complete this project. The benefits of group work and the reinforcement of social skills are certainly life lessons that will be utilized long after the subject matter is forgotten. In this activity your students will be closely examining an outdoor ecosystem. They will study and analyze the physical features of the ecosystem, the living organisms within the ecosystem, and the interactions between these two components.


PLEASE NOTE: This lab activity is included in a money-saving bundle: Ecosystems Complete Unit Bundle. Click this link to view the bundle.


What is included in this product??
• Editable lab handouts that are ready to be printed and passed out to your students.
• Two versions of lab handouts: (a) Paper saving version (3-pages) where students write on their own paper, or (b) a 7-page handout that provides room for student work.
• Complete and detailed instructions.
• 8-Page Teacher Guide containing tips, tricks, and suggestions.
• Complete Answer Key.

I use this lab when teaching my unit on Ecosystems. It is the perfect activity to use with my PowerPoint and Notes on Ecosystems.

• The student will survey an ecosystem to map out the physical characteristics of the land and to identify the living organisms that inhabit the ecosystem.
• The student will describe and analyze the various relationships that exist within the ecosystem.

Materials List:
• One outdoor ecosystem
• Poster board
• Colored markers
• 4 Stakes
• String
• Meter stick
• Magnifying glass

This lab project is very easy to set up and very easy to clean up. No fancy materials are required, and yet, I find this to be one of the best labs that I use with my biology students. Students will carry out a very detailed study of a 5m x 5m outdoor ecosystem. Students will identify the living organisms in their ecosystem and answer a detailed set of 29 questions designed to prompt students to make good observations. Students will make food chains and food webs using the organisms in their ecosystem. Students look for abiotic factors, biotic factors, evidence of competition, camouflage, predator/prey relationships, limiting factors, etc.

This lab is appropriate for students in grades 8 - 12. The experiment and collection of data is easily completed by students in these grades. The differentiation in ability levels comes in the analysis questions. For younger students, it may be necessary to omit some of the analysis questions. Student handouts are completely editable to meet your needs.

Related Products Include:

Ecosystems and the Biosphere: Energy Flow and the Recycling of Matter PowerPoint with Notes for Teacher and Student

Food Chains and Food Webs Activity

Ecosystems Task Cards

Ecosystems Homework Bundle of 5 Assignments

Ecosystems - Energy Flow and the Recycling of Matter Quiz Bundle

Ecosystems Crossword Puzzle

Energy Flow and the Recycling of Matter Review Questions and Answers

Ecosystems Unit Test

Introduction to Ecology Complete Unit Bundle

Population Ecology Complete Unit Bundle

Community Ecology Complete Unit Bundle

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Total Pages
15 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 hours
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