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Ch 9: Ecology & Ecosystems Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Ecology & Ecosystems chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach the definitions, elements, causes and effects of ecology and ecosystems in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our curriculum as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Ecology & Ecosystems chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

Day Topics Key Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday The environment and ecosystems; food chains and trophic levels What makes an environment and an ecosystem, the meaning of ecology, how scientists study ecology using organisms, populations, communities, ecosystems and the biosphere, food chains, food webs, roles organisms play in an ecosystem, how energy flows in an ecosystem
Tuesday Predator/pray interactions and relationships Why animals look and act as they do, how animal appearances relate to predator/prey relationships, types of symbiosis in biology, how symbiotic relationships have a positive, negative or neutral effect on an individual species
Wednesday Carrying capacity; conservation biology; ecological succession Species' maximum growth capacities, how species group themselves, why migration occurs, habitat fragmentation and metapopulations, ecological succession from development to climax
Thursday How species alter ecological balance and the exploration of biomes The ecological impact of a species moving into a new environment, biomes in the desert, tropical rainforest, savanna, coral reefs, tundra, taiga, temperate grasslands and coastlines
Friday The nitrogen and carbon cycles Differentiate between nitrite and nitrate, explore how all nitrogen in the atmosphere becomes usable, examine the carbon cycle and how it functions on the global scale

12 Lessons in Chapter 9: Ecology & Ecosystems Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Environment, Levels of Ecology and Ecosystems

1. The Environment, Levels of Ecology and Ecosystems

Do you know the difference between an environment and an ecosystem? In this lesson, you'll find out what makes an environment, and what makes an ecosystem. You'll also learn what ecology is and some of the ways that scientists study ecology using organisms, populations, communities, ecosystems and even the entire biosphere.

Food Chains, Trophic Levels and Energy Flow in an Ecosystem

2. Food Chains, Trophic Levels and Energy Flow in an Ecosystem

In this lesson, you'll learn about food chains, food webs, and the different roles that organisms play in an ecosystem. You'll also learn about how energy flows through an ecosystem.

Predator/Prey Interactions, Camouflage, Mimicry & Warning Coloration

3. Predator/Prey Interactions, Camouflage, Mimicry & Warning Coloration

You probably know that skunks can be quite stinky, bees sting and monarch butterflies are pretty, but do you know why? This lesson will introduce you to the reasons why some animals look or act the way they do and how these things relate to the predator/prey relationship.

Symbiotic Relationships: Mutualism, Commensalism & Parasitism

4. Symbiotic Relationships: Mutualism, Commensalism & Parasitism

If your cat or dog has ever had fleas, you've witnessed symbiosis in action. In this lesson, learn the many types of symbiosis in biology, and how these relationships can have a positive, negative, or neutral effect on the individual species.

Carrying Capacity, Migration & Dispersion

5. Carrying Capacity, Migration & Dispersion

Have you ever wondered why some types of birds fly south in the winter or why some animals form territories? Watch this video to learn about a species' maximum growth capabilities, the way its members group themselves and why they might migrate to new locations every year.

Conservation Biology, Habitat Fragmentation, and Metapopulations

6. Conservation Biology, Habitat Fragmentation, and Metapopulations

It's becoming harder to conserve large, unbroken tracts of wilderness. Is there another way for conservation biologists to ensure the survival of a species? In this lesson, you'll learn about habitat fragmentation and metapopulations.

Ecological Succession: From Pioneer to Climax Communities

7. Ecological Succession: From Pioneer to Climax Communities

Just as people grow and change so, too, do ecosystems. Watch this lesson to learn about ecological succession from the beginning stages of development to a community's ultimate destination, or climax.

How Introduced and Invasive Species Alter Ecological Balance

8. How Introduced and Invasive Species Alter Ecological Balance

What happens to your block when a new neighbor moves in? Something changes, right? Now think about that on an ecological scale: what happens to an environment when a new SPECIES moves in?

Biomes: Desert, Tropical Rainforest, Savanna, Coral Reefs & More

9. Biomes: Desert, Tropical Rainforest, Savanna, Coral Reefs & More

Take a trip around the world and learn all about different biomes. Why can you only find certain plants and animals in specific places? What are the most fertile climates on Earth? Watch on to answer these and other questions.

Biomes: Tundra, Taiga, Temperate Grassland, and Coastlines

10. Biomes: Tundra, Taiga, Temperate Grassland, and Coastlines

Take a trip with us in this lesson, starting in the Pacific Ocean, traveling across California through the Central Valley and up to the peaks of the Sierra Nevada mountains. We'll learn how oceans, elevation, and people can determine which types of biomes are found in different areas and check out the Earth's most massive and oldest organisms.

The Nitrogen Cycle, Acid Rain and Fossil Fuels

11. The Nitrogen Cycle, Acid Rain and Fossil Fuels

Do you know the difference between nitrite and nitrate? Do you have any clue how all the nitrogen in the atmosphere becomes usable? If you can't answer these questions, then you need to watch this lesson on the nitrogen cycle.

The Carbon Cycle and Long-Term Carbon Storage

12. The Carbon Cycle and Long-Term Carbon Storage

All living organisms have a role in the carbon cycle. Do you know you understand how humans, animals and plants use carbon? This lesson will introduce you to the carbon cycle and explain how it functions on a global scale.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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