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Environmental Studies - 11th

Exploring Ecosystems: A Hands-On Activity

Title: Exploring Ecosystems: A Hands-On Activity

Compliance: Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Subject: Environmental Studies

Summary: Engage your eleventh-grade students in a fun and interactive activity that allows them to explore ecosystems and understand the interconnections between living organisms and their environment.

Topic: Ecosystems and Interactions

Learning Outcomes:

  • Know the components of an ecosystem and their roles
  • Understand the interdependence of living organisms within an ecosystem
  • Can analyze the impact of human activities on ecosystems


This activity will be conducted in groups of four to five students. Each group will be provided with the necessary materials and resources to carry out the activity.

Resources/Materials Required:

  • Large glass jars or clear plastic containers
  • Soil
  • Grass seeds
  • Small plants or flowers
  • Small rocks or pebbles
  • Water
  • Small plastic animals or insects
  • Markers and paper


  1. Divide the class into groups and provide each group with a large glass jar or clear plastic container.
  2. Ask the students to fill the jars with soil, leaving some space at the top.
  3. Have the students plant grass seeds and small plants or flowers in the soil.
  4. Encourage the students to add small rocks or pebbles to create a more realistic environment.
  5. Instruct the students to add water to the jars, ensuring that the soil is moist but not flooded.
  6. Provide each group with small plastic animals or insects and ask them to place them in their ecosystems.
  7. Ask the students to observe their ecosystems and make notes on the interactions between the living organisms and their environment.
  8. Have the students discuss the interdependence of the organisms within their ecosystems and how changes in one component can affect the entire system.
  9. Guide a class discussion on the impact of human activities on ecosystems, emphasizing the importance of conservation and sustainable practices.


  • Engage the students in a group discussion where they share their observations and insights about their ecosystems.
  • Ask the students to create a poster or presentation showcasing their ecosystems, highlighting the interconnections and the impact of human activities.
  • Conduct a quiz or a short assessment to evaluate the students' understanding of ecosystems and their interdependencies.

By the end of this activity, students will have a deeper understanding of ecosystems, their components, and the interconnections between living organisms and their environment. They will also be able to analyze the impact of human activities on ecosystems and recognize the importance of conservation.

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7 months ago
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

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