Worksheets and lesson ideas to challenge students aged 11 to 16 to think hard about ecological definitions (GCSE and Key Stage 3)
Where to start?
This ecosystem in a bottle is a useful framework to begin thinking about ecosystems.
Key ecological terms – using the Frayer model
Teaching ecological terms using the Frayer model. This activity is based on the Frayer model to teach vocabulary. You could use this activity at the beginning of any unit on ecology, either to introduce these words or to activate prior knowledge. It can be quite useful to ask students to write down what they think the word means first, before providing them with the definition. Avoid asking students to come up with their own definition. (PDF)
Checking to see if students understand ecological terms
Video clip to assess whether students understand key ecological terms. Students watch the linked video of the Lion King. They identify and list in their books examples to explain the following terms: species, population, community, habitat, ecosystem, niche, abiotic factor, biotic factor, competition. You can adapt this activity to assess a variety of ecological terms.
Key ecological terms – a pond ecosystem
GCSE activity and worksheet on defining key words used in ecology. A picture of a pond is used to support student understanding of key ecological terms. The activity can be used to assess prior knowledge or to strengthen understanding of terms by asking students to relate a definition to an example. (PDF)
- What is meant by interdependence and how is it different to cooperation?
- How is a population different to a community?
- What is needed to create a self-sustaining ecosystem in a bottle?