Forest Ecosystem Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

With this lesson plan, your students are going to learn about forest ecosystems. They will build upon their knowledge with a short research and creative writing activity.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify the main kinds of forests
  • Explain the components of a forest ecosystem
  • Consolidate research and creative writing to explore forest ecosystems


45-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.


Use concrete words and phrases and sensory details to convey experiences and events precisely.


Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.



  • Being by asking students what they know about forests.
    • What defines a forest? What sorts of things live in forests?
    • Are there any forests near here? What are those forests like, or why aren't there any? What do forests need to survive?
  • Hand out printed copies of Forest Ecosystem Lesson for Kids. You will read this lesson aloud as a class, with one student reading aloud at a time. Switch readers with every paragraph.
  • Using this method, read the sections ''What Is a Forest?'' and ''What Are Ecosystems''. Pause here to discuss.
    • What is a forest? Is this definition simpler or more complex than you had expected?
    • What is an ecosystem? What sorts of ecosystems can you think of? What would you guess makes up a forest ecosystem?
  • As a class, read through the section ''The Forest Ecosystem''. Pause here to discuss.
    • What are the three main types of forests? What are the differences between these types of forests? What are the similarities? What sort of climate does each require to thrive?
    • What kind of forests do you think we would have in this part of the world- rainforest, deciduous, or coniferous? Why?
  • Continue reading the lesson as a class, and complete it. Discuss these last sections.
    • What are the five levels of a forest? What sorts of plants and animals do you expect to find in each? What role does each play in the overall health of the forest?
  • You may test student understanding with Lesson Quiz.

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