Human Impact on the Ecosystem Lesson Plan

Instructor: Adrianne Baron

Adrianne has taught high school and college biology and has a master's degree in cancer biology.

Humans impact all ecosystems in varying ways. Your students will have an involved learning experience as they watch an interesting video, create human ecosystem awareness posters, and take a quiz.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define ecosystem
  • Identify natural and human impacts on ecosystems
  • Describe ways to reduce human impacts on the ecosystems


2 hours

Curriculum Standards

  • HS-LS2-6

Evaluate 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 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.



  • Start the lesson by asking students to tell you what impact they think they have on animals in the sea or in another area of the world. Allow several students to answer.
  • Tell your students that they, along with other humans, play a huge role in the overall welfare of other organisms on the earth. Let your students know that they are going to learn about different impacts on ecosystems as they watch the Natural & Human Disturbances That Affect an Ecosystem video lesson.
  • Play the video for your students and pause it for periodic discussions.
  • Start the video from the beginning and pause it at 1:02 to ask and discuss the following:
    • What is an ecosystem?
    • What is a balanced ecosystem?
    • Give an example of a balanced ecosystem.
  • Continue playing the video for your students and pause it again at 2:59. Now, ask and discuss the following:
    • What is a natural disturbance?
    • What are some examples of natural disturbances?
    • How would each natural disturbance example affect the ecosystem?
  • Continue playing the video and pause it one last time at 4:12. Ask and discuss the following:
    • What is a human disturbance?
    • What are some examples of human disturbances?
    • How would each human disturbance example affect the ecosystem?
  • Play the remainder of the video for your students and answer any questions they may have at this point.

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