This no-prep paper AND digital paperless product is all of the notes, labs, activities, practices, projects, and tests you need to teach an ecology unit in your biology class. Content covered includes introduction to ecology, organization of life, geochemical cycles, population growth patterns, human impact on the environment, ecological succession, and relationships and interactions of organisms. Links to video lectures are also included for each set of PowerPoint lecture notes. Everything is provided for two levels – CP and Honors. Not only that, but the student packets come in a paperless digital version that can be used in Google Drive™ and/or Microsoft OneDrive™. This is perfect for the teacher who is in a 1:1 classroom or for someone who is hoping to integrate more educational technology to move towards becoming a paperless classroom. Because it is all-inclusive, it is especially useful for new teachers, maternity leave, and flipped classrooms!
Note: This is Unit 7 in my Biology Curriculum Full Year Bundle. You can buy this unit for 20% off if you purchase as a part of my full year bundle.
What content is covered in this unit?
- Characteristics of life
- Ecological organization
- Dichotomous keys and classification of life
- Geochemical cycles: water, carbon, and nitrogen
- Population growth patterns and limiting factors
- Human impact on the environment
- Ecological succession – both primary and secondary
- Relationships between organisms: predation, competition, and symbiosis
What is included?
I strongly encourage you to download the preview for this product. It is 19 pages and will give you the best idea of what all is included – because there is so much in this! In short:
- 54 pages of teacher implementation notes + editable unit plans (both 50-minute and 90-minute pacing)
- Two packets (one 46-page PDF for CP and one 47-page PDF for Honors) that include:
- Access to ALL of the materials in the student packets in a digital paperless format that can be used in Google Drive™ and/or Microsoft OneDrive™12 fully animated PowerPoints of notes – over 150 slides – differentiated for CP and Honors
- Links to YouTube video lectures for each of the PowerPoint notes – perfect for absent students or flipped classrooms!
- Geochemical cycles quiz with answer key + editable version
- 8 cumulative unit tests with multiple choice, open response, answer sheets, and detailed answer keys. Test #1 covers introduction to ecology, geochemical cycles, and population growth patterns. Test #2 covers human impact, ecological succession, and relationships between organisms. (Both come in CP and Honors version, + 2 versions of each test with multiple choice rearranged to prevent cheating) + editable versions to customize for your classroom
What do you mean the tests are cumulative?
All tests I write are cumulative and include questions from topics I’ve previously taught on throughout the year, based on the order in which I teach them. Each unit test builds on the previous. This ecology unit is the 7th and final unit I teach in my biology class, after my Evolution Unit, Heredity Unit, Genetics Unit, Energy Flow Unit, Cells Unit, and Biology Basics Unit. All of the cumulative questions are at the end of the test, and I include editable versions of the tests so that you can easily take this section out, if you so desire.
What is so great about the digital student packets that are included?
- You can go PAPERLESS in your classroom if you want – no more dreaded mornings at the copy machine!
- You still get all of the organization of my packet strategy, just now in digital format too!
- Students will be able to access their packets ANYWHERE. No more, “I forgot my binder so I couldn’t do (fill in the blank)”
- Students can print their filled in packets or an extra blank copy easily from home
- You can now have a mixed classroom with some students paperless and others not. You can also start with just doing a few units digitally and others on paper. Whatever works best for you and your students. The point here is that you now have OPTIONS!
- You have increased flexibility for students to easily learn and be connected outside the walls of your classroom.
- A built in opportunity to help students grow in their digital literacy.
What Next Generation Science Standards are covered?
- HS-LS2-1: Use mathematical and/or computational representations (graphs, charts, histograms, and population changes gathered from simulations or historical data sets) to support explanations of factors that affect carrying capacity of ecosystems at different scales.
- HS-LS2-2: Use mathematical representations (finding the average, determining trends, and using graphical comparisons of multiple sets of data) to support and revise explanations based on evidence about factors affecting biodiversity and populations in ecosystems of different scales.
- HS-LS2-3: Construct and revise an explanation based on evidence for the cycling of matter and flow of energy in aerobic and anaerobic conditions.
- HS-LS2-4: Use mathematical representations to support claims for the cycling of matter and flow of energy among organisms in an ecosystem.
- HS-LS2-5: Develop a model (simulations and mathematical models) to illustrate the role of photosynthesis and cellular respiration in the cycling of carbon among the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.
- HS-LS2-6: Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
- HS-LS2-7: Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
- HS-LS2-8: Evaluate the evidence for the role of group behavior on individual and species’ chances to survive and reproduce.
- HS-LS4-6: Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity.
Note: If you aren’t sure how your state standards compare to the NGSS, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with a PDF or link to your state standards for Biology and I will be happy to review them for you prior to you making a purchase!
Why use a “packet” instead of an interactive notebook?
I started creating packets for my students four years ago, and I love them so much more than interactive notebooks. While interactive notebooks are great resources, I have found the packet strategy to be a more appropriate tool for using in the secondary classroom setting. I love using the packet for many reasons. I only have to make copies one time each unit instead of copying handouts every day. Even though it takes a while to copy the packets for each student, it saves so much time on the day to day. (Also the last few years I’ve recruited seniors to be my “Teacher’s Aide” and have trained them to copy all of my packets for me. I haven’t seen a copier in four years and it’s glorious!) Now you can go DIGITAL and PAPERLESS, never making any copies ever again!It puts responsibility back on the students to maintain their biology binder with their packet, while also aiding them in practicing organization skills. It has been incredibly effective for my lower level students. Even though it is a lot of papers at once, I can watch them put it in their binder and leave it there, rather than having to hang on to 100 individual papers passed out each day. It makes it so easy to be absent last minute. If you or your child gets sick, sub plans are a breeze. You don’t have to send your teacher neighbor to make copies for you – because your students have everything they need. You just have to tell the sub which pages the students need to work on. The structure is more suited to what students will be doing in college – and one of our goals as high school teachers should be to prepare our students for college. The packet helps students learn how to structure notes (I give students Cornell-style note outlines for each concept) which I have found helps provide scaffolding for them to be able to write notes all on their own in later high school years. Time saver in so many ways – no more time wasted regularly passing out handouts, or having to cut and paste things into a notebook. Students do a better job keeping up with returned graded work because every page is numbered so they can put graded assignments right back into the packet where it came from. You no longer need a filing cabinet – you can keep all of your curriculum and keys organized in binders!
What types of files are included?
When you download this product you will receive a zip file with 5 folders of files. Most of the documents in this product are secured PDF’s, meaning you can print them but not copy or edit the text. The paperless digital student packets will be accessed via a Google Drive™ link in a PDF file that students can type into but not change the essential content of. Editable versions are only included for the unit plans, quizzes, tests and some aspects of the activities for you to customize for your classroom. The PowerPoint lecture notes also have editable text. This is to protect the copyright and intellectual property of my own work, plus the work of many dedicated clip artists that are included in this product. If you have questions about this, please don’t hesitate to email me with them!
Why should I use this product in my classroom?
Designing curriculum for an entire unit that is engaging, activity-based, and standard-aligned can be exhausting. I’ve spent over 4 years creating this curriculum and have had amazing results. I had a 96% pass rate on the State standardized End-of-Course exam for Non-Honors students and a 100% pass rate for honors students. This was at a South Carolina Public School with over 50% of the students being below the poverty line. My average score on the EOC (all 200+ students combined that I taught over 2 years) was a 90%. I believe this success is due to multiple factors, but I attribute a lot of it to the packet curriculum I have designed, and the fact that all of my tests are cumulative. Honestly, I could go on and on about the packet as a resource and why I love it so much, but I think you will find as you use it that you will fall in love with it too. Last but not least, this product comes with links to video lectures for each set of notes. This resource + all of the detailed lesson plans makes this product perfect for teachers new to this subject, going on maternity leave for a long-term sub, or using a flipped classroom strategy.
Want this for a different unit?
I have made this product for every high school biology unit. You can also buy this product for:
Or get all of the units at a 20% discount if you buy the full year curriculum!
Looking for complementary resources?
My daily bell ringers and test review games are not included in this bundle, but you can find them for this unit by clicking below!
What if I have a question?
Email me at email@example.com I’d love to answer any questions you have!
How do I stay updated on new products, sales, blogposts, and freebies?
Follow me on TpT, join my email list, or follow me on Instagram. These are the three best ways to keep up with what’s happening at It’s Not Rocket Science!
- Use this item for your own classroom, students, or for your own personal use.
- Buy additional licenses for others to use this product at a discount by visiting your TpT “My Purchases” page.
- Review this product to recommend others buy it in blog posts, at professional development workshops, or other venues as long as credit is given to my store with a direct link to my store/product.
You may not:
- Upload this product to any unsecured website or server that other teachers can access for free.
- Give this product to others without the purchase of an additional license for them (this includes emailing, printing copies, or sharing through a website, cloud or other network.)
- Copy or modify any part of this document to offer others for free or for sale.
*Note: NGSS is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards were involved in the production of this product, and do not endorse it.