Ecosystems Reading Passages - Questions - Annotations

Grade Levels
4th - 8th
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29 pages
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Ecosystems Worksheets - Reading Comprehension Passages, Questions, and Annotations

This resource is designed for an Ecosystems unit. It contains 5 Engaging, Non-Fiction Reading Comprehension Passages with Directions for Student Annotations! Reading Comprehension Questions also included!

Questions & Answer Keys for Each of the 5 Reading Passages!


Aligned with Ecosystems Interactive Notebook (Not required to use this resource, but recommended)

Quick overview of topics covered in this resource include:

1.) The Levels of Organization and Components of an Ecosystem

-Overview of the definition of ecosystem, how it is made up of living and non-living things to help sustain life (biotic and abiotic)

-Types of biotic factors – producers, decomposers, consumers

-Abiotic factors that are important for survival (sunlight, temperature, water)

-The levels of organization within an ecosystem (ecosystem, community, population, habitat, niche, and single organism or life form) definition of each level

Keywords: biotic factors, abiotic factors, producers, consumers, decomposers, ecosystem, community, population, habitat, niche, organism

2.) The Food Chain: Moving Through the Ecosystem

-Overview of how energy (or food/nutrients) moves and flows through the ecosystem, getting passed from life form to life form.

-Describes the primary consumer (herbivores) (rabbit, goose, squirrel etc.) eats plants/autotrophs

-Description of how energy flows down to the secondary consumer (consumes the primary consumer)

-Describes how the energy flows to the Tertiary Consumer (consumes the secondary consumer) (hawk, who eats the owl, who ate the rabbit)

-Describes how energy flows to the decomposer (worms that consume the tertiary consumer / living organisms)

Keywords: food chain, primary consumer, secondary consumer, tertiary consumer, decomposer

3.) The Producers and Consumers of an Ecosystem

-Overview of what producers are (plants – can make their own food by using sunlight as energy)

-Overview of autotrophs (self-feeders/producers)

-Examples of autotrophs (algae, all green plants, bacteria)

-Overview of what consumers are (heterotrophs- unable to make their own food, consume energy)

-Types of heterotrophs in detail – omnivores, carnivores, herbivores, scavengers, and predators

Keywords: producers, consumers, autotrophs, heterotrophs

4.) Changes In Our Ecosystems: Human Activities and Natural Events

-Description of how different events such as natural occurrences or human activity can impact our ecosystems.

-Provides specific examples of each natural event (hurricane, drought, tsunami, earthquake, etc.) and how it impacts our ecosystems

-Provides specific examples of human activities (logging, hunting/poaching, irrigation, construction, pollution) and how it impacts our ecosystems

5.) Soil and the Ecosystem

-Overview of what is found in soil. How soil is essential to sustain life

-Overview of the different types of layers found in soil

-detailed description of topsoil, subsoil, parent rock, minerals, and bedrock

Keywords: soil, humus, minerals, top soil, subsoil, parent rock, minerals, bedrock

You may also enjoy:

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Earth Science Curriculum

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Earth Science Interactive Notebooks

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Rocks, Minerals, and Gems Interactive Notebook

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All rights reserved by author. Permission to copy for single classroom use only. Electronic distribution limited to single classroom use only. (unless you purchase the multiple license)


Total Pages
29 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.
Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.
Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.


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