Plants and Animals in the Environment
Within an ecosystem, there are interactions between the biotic factors and between the biotic and abiotic factors. Animals depend on trees and plants. Trees and. Any change in the climate of an area can affect the plants and animals living there, as well as the makeup of the entire ecosystem. What do you think the difference between the arid desert and xeric shrubland Within an ecosystem, plants and animals relate to each other in different ways.
For example, some North American animals and plants are moving farther north or to higher elevations to find suitable places to live. Climate change also alters the life cycles of plants and animals.
For example, as temperatures get warmer, many plants are starting to grow and bloom earlier in the spring and survive longer into the fall.
Some animals are waking from hibernation sooner or migrating at different times, too. Disappearing Habitats As the Earth gets warmer, plants and animals that need to live in cold places, like on mountaintops or in the Arctic, might not have a suitable place to live.
If the Earth keeps getting warmer, up to one—fourth of all the plants and animals on Earth could become extinct within years. Every plant and animal plays a role in the ecosystem for example, as a source of food, a predator, a pollinator, a source of shelterso losing one species can affect many others.
What can people do about it? Just like people, plants and animals will have to adapt to climate change. Many types of birds in North America are already migrating further north as the temperature warms.
Ask them to choose an animal they saw in their area and write a mini-report about it. To get students thinking more about how energy works in ecosystems, have them write down how different animals, plants, and even fungi they encounter or learn about might be connected.
Plants, Animals, and Ecosystems
Perhaps they observed a cat hunting mice, a robin harvesting twigs for a nest, or a hummingbird feasting on nectar. You could even ask them to imagine a day in the life of one of the animals they saw. What do they eat? Where do those plants or animals get their energy? What kinds of predators do they need to watch out for?
Once you have started these journals, students can continue using them over several days or even weeks to track the gradual changes from one season to another, monitor the progress of a garden or potted plant, and describe dramatic weather events.
Weaving Energy and Food Webs in the Classroom Getting students to think about the natural environment that surrounds them is a great first step in helping them understand how ecosystems work. This simple activity from Project Learning Tree introduces kids to food webs and food chains using the example of a forest ecosystem with many different species of plants and animals. You can also get your class onto its feet by turning this activity into a game: Once your students have had a chance to try the activity on paper, assign each of them and yourself a species from the forest ecosystem and give them a matching species name tag.
Then, gather all your students in a circle. Start the game by throwing the ball of yarn to one student and explaining how your species is connected to theirs. He or she, in turn, chooses someone else in the circle. After explaining how their species is connected to the species represented by the student they chose, toss them the ball of yarn.
Continue until every student is linked into your classroom ecosystem. Once all the students are part of the ecosystem web, you can ask questions to explore how changes in habitat and predators affect the web. For example, you might ask: If a farmer kills all of the wolves in the area to protect their livestock, how would it affect the ecosystem?
Ecosystems for Kids - Science Games and Videos
Have the student representing the wolf let go of their string to show that the wolves are no longer part of the web. This exercise further demonstrates how connected the ecosystem really is.
Want to integrate a comprehensive unit on ecosystems this year? Building an Ecosystem in a Bottle Ecosystems are more than food chains or food webs. In addition, some of the most important members of ecosystems are microscopic, invisible within the dirt.
One of the best ways for kids to learn about these key elements of ecosystems is through building a self-sustaining ecosystem in a bottle. There are many different ways to build bottle ecosystems. The simplest ones are basically closed terrariumsconsisting of plants, either land-based or aquatic, and a bit of rich soil, compost, or pond water. Others, built from soda bottlescombine aquatic and land-based life forms.