Ecology and Food Webs Lesson: Vocabulary and Activities

Grade Levels
9th - 11th, Homeschool
Formats Included
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26 pages
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This bundle of lessons, labs, and field activities are perfect for a high school course and will introduce your high school students to the basics of ecology and environmental science.

Topics included in this lesson are: biotic factors, abiotic factors, ecological organization (individual, population, community, ecosystem, biome, biosphere) producers, consumers, decomposers, habitat, niche, autotrophs and heterotrophs, food chains, food webs, tolerance, specialists v. generalists, fundamental niche, realized niche, principle of competitive exclusion, interspecific competition

▶️Want to use this lesson in Google Classroom(TM)?

Find a Google Drive version of this file here for assigning materials in a SNAP!

What's included?

  • Detailed teacher lesson plan including essential questions, standards, included resources, and materials list
  • Student Web-quest on basic ecological concepts with guided student notes
  • 13-slide PowerPoint or Google Slides presentation
  • Outdoor Habitat & Niche Survey
  • Math Extension Page: Interspecific Competition
  • Concept Map (guided & blank versions included)
  • 10-question multiple-choice quiz through Google Forms

➤My Environmental Science Series includes lessons for each sphere of the earth:

1. Hydrosphere Bundle (in digital/paperless or print versions)

2. Biosphere Bundle (in digital/paperless or print versions)

3. Atmosphere Bundle (in digital/paperless or print versions)

4. Geosphere/Lithosphere (in digital/paperless or print versions)

How do I use this lesson?

Students independently gain vocabulary and basic concepts through internet web-quests and videos. Then, in a teacher-guided lab activity, students are able to practice these concepts and see them come to life in real environments. The content delivery is a perfect lesson for substitutes because students can work independently, while the outdoor activity provides a great opportunity for hands-on whole class learning.

What curriculum could I use with this lesson?

This lesson is ideally geared towards high school students and would work well with a general level Environmental Science or Biology textbook. It addresses the following topics in AP Environmental Science (APES):

  • 1.1: Introduction to Ecosystems
  • 1.9: Trophic Levels
  • 1.11: Food Chains and Food Webs
  • 2.4: Ecological Tolerance
  • 3.1: Generalist and Specialist Species
Total Pages
26 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
3 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Use mathematical representations to support claims for the cycling of matter and flow of energy among organisms in an ecosystem. Emphasis is on using a mathematical model of stored energy in biomass to describe the transfer of energy from one trophic level to another and that matter and energy are conserved as matter cycles and energy flows through ecosystems. Emphasis is on atoms and molecules such as carbon, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen being conserved as they move through an ecosystem. Assessment is limited to proportional reasoning to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy.


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