Before the lesson, write the word ecosystem on the board. Have students work in small groups to create definitions of the word system. Allow groups to share their definitions. Then, use them to create a class definition and write it on the board below the word.
Creating the Notebook Page:
Guide students through the following steps to complete the right-hand page in their notebooks.
1. Add a Table of Contents entry for the Ecosystems pages.
2. Cut out the title and glue it to the top of the page.
3. Cut out the accordion piece. Fold on the dashed lines, alternating direction so that the largest section is on top. Apply glue to the back of the smallest section and attach it to the page below the title.
4. Write the name of an ecosystem, such as Forest, on the line in the top section. Complete the definition on each flap (Organism: a single plant or animal; Population: more than one of the same plant or animal; Community: all of the living things in the same area; Ecosystem: all of the living and nonliving things in the same area). Then, draw a picture to illustrate each term.
5. Cut out the sun flap. Apply glue to the back of the top section and attach it below the accordion fold. Under the flap, describe the importance of the sun to an ecosystem.
6. Draw arrows to the left and right of the sun flap to show the sun's role in an ecosystem. For example, draw an arrow to a green plant to show photosynthesis at work, or an arrow to a water source the sun's role in the water cycle.
7. Cut out the An ecosystem consists piece and glue it below the sun flap.
8. Discuss the two main parts of an ecosystem and complete the blanks (living things; nonliving things). Continue the vertical line straight down the page to create a T-chart.
9. Cut out eight labels. Glue each label in the correct column on the T-Chart.