TeachersFirst's Ecology - Science Resources

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This curated list of resources will help you research information about ecology. Read the descriptions to find out whether a site sounds right for what you want to know. Some sites may be more challenging reading, while others may offer solid basic information. Be sure to try several sources.  

If you cannot find what you need here, you may want to try searching on TeachersFirst for specific keywords.

Browse through our entire tagged list of resources related to ecology

  

 

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World's Biomes - University of California

Grades
5 to 12
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Read about the conservation and preservation of the World's Biomes. Click on one of the six biomes to see a very readable summary about the characteristics and facts of that ...more
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Read about the conservation and preservation of the World's Biomes. Click on one of the six biomes to see a very readable summary about the characteristics and facts of that biome. This page is part of a larger site, The Museum of Paleontology, reviewed here.

tag(s): biomes (139), deserts (18), ecology (133), forests (34), oceans (165), tundra (20)

In the Classroom

Use this site as one of multiple sources for researching biomes or a particular biome. Show students how to take Cornell (two column) notes and summarize using this information. Use a tool like 43 Folders Cornell Notes, reviewed here, to help explain Cornell Notes to students. Pair weak readers with strong readers for this activity.

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Ecosystem Explorer - PBS LearningMedia

Grades
4 to 9
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Use this collection of videos, activities, and infographics to delve deep into the ecosystems of vultures, wolves, and sharks. Use the videos to introduce the ecosystems and discover...more
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Use this collection of videos, activities, and infographics to delve deep into the ecosystems of vultures, wolves, and sharks. Use the videos to introduce the ecosystems and discover the complicated relationship between animals and humans. Play through the interactives to discover more about the ecology and conservation of the worlds of these magnificent animals. The PBS series "EARTH A New Wild" inspired this resource. Click to Launch the interactive and choose one of the three worlds. Control the sound with the controls along the top. In each screen, view any of the materials including the interactives by clicking on the colored dots.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animal homes (62), animals (319), ecology (133), ecosystems (90), habitats (107)

In the Classroom

Use this as an introductory activity into ecology. Students can work together on the same animals or have a group work together at exploring all three. Identify some similarities or differences between the needs and environments of all three animals. Use an online tool such as Interactive Three-Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to help with the comparison. Identify some common issues with conservation, interaction with humans, and other issues facing these animals today. Extend the discussion with a student project, researching other organisms found within any of these three environments.

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EarthEcho Water Challenge - World Water Monitoring Challenge (WWMC)

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5 to 12
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Join others in over 50 countries around the world in the EarthEcho Water Challenge. The official kickoff for World Water Day is on March 22. However, the challenge continues through...more
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Join others in over 50 countries around the world in the EarthEcho Water Challenge. The official kickoff for World Water Day is on March 22. However, the challenge continues through December 31. Register to monitor any lake, stream, bay, or any other nearby body of water with safe access. Follow directions to test and monitor your water. There are test kits available for purchase. However, you can create your own. Share data by logging into the site. Visit the Resources page to find activity worksheets, handouts, guides, and lesson plans.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): earth day (104), environment (321), water (132)

In the Classroom

Sign up your classroom or science club to participate in the World Water Monitoring Challenge. Follow directions on the site for how to collect and submit data. Take advantage of lesson plans found on the site in both English and Spanish. Use the lessons and resources as part of an environmental or Earth Day unit. Challenge students to create a presentation using Prezi (reviewed here) sharing their findings.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Nature Works Everywhere - The Nature Conservancy

Grades
3 to 9
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Explore and understand nature through the use of these great videos, interactives, and lessons. Learn the science behind nature and why it is very important for every living thing on...more
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Explore and understand nature through the use of these great videos, interactives, and lessons. Learn the science behind nature and why it is very important for every living thing on this planet. Find overarching topics such as Water, Stuff (how nature creates the stuff that we use), and more! View featured educational games, scientist biographies, and featured videos on the homepage. Take a video tour of the site, find lesson plans, and read about scientists involved in the project through the tabs along the top.

tag(s): conservation (123), natural resources (58), scientists (69), water (132)

In the Classroom

Be sure to save (bookmark) this page on your blog, wiki, or class website for easy access. Provide a link on a classroom computer for ease of access during an ecology unit. Allow opportunity for students to look at the information on the site to find a topic of interest to them for further research. Or choose a project to do together as a class or school in connection with Earth Day. Create an awareness campaign for students to educate others in the community about the science behind nature, why it is important to conserve, and simple actions that everyone can do. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits (reviewed here. Connect the science learned in your class with the nature around your students lives.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Powering the Earth - CNN

Grades
7 to 12
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Use this beautiful Infographic to identify the energy consumption and carbon dioxide production of various countries over the years. Click on the names of the regions of the world to...more
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Use this beautiful Infographic to identify the energy consumption and carbon dioxide production of various countries over the years. Click on the names of the regions of the world to gain en even better perspective of the significance of the data. At the time of this review, the Infographic only included data through 2007.

tag(s): conservation (123), earth day (104), energy (210), environment (321), population (63), solar energy (40), sustainability (17)

In the Classroom

Use this at the start of an Ecology or Environmental unit to determine and notice trends and generate questions for research. Share the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. The Infographic is simple yet powerful and sure to begin the discussion of relevant information needed for understanding past and present energy use and questions that need to be asked and answered for our future. Assign cooperative learning groups different geographic areas to investigate. As an extra challenge, ask students to research more recent data to find out whether the trends in this site have continued. Challenge groups to create an online poster using a site such as Padlet (reviewed here). Share posters as part of Earth Day or other environmental events.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Earth Pulse: State of the Earth 2010 - National Geographic

Grades
5 to 12
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What exactly is the state of the Earth now (well, 2010)? Learn from topics such as "Crowding Our Planet," "Satisfying Our Demands," and "Straining Our Resources." Read about focus stories,...more
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What exactly is the state of the Earth now (well, 2010)? Learn from topics such as "Crowding Our Planet," "Satisfying Our Demands," and "Straining Our Resources." Read about focus stories, take an EarthPulse quiz, or view Vital Statistics. View impressive photos, read essays, and view a multitude of resources.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ecology (133), population (63), resources (105)

In the Classroom

Use photos for students to develop their own point of view essays or suggestions to make the planet better for the future. Use focus stories to ask questions about sustainability, resources, and population. Search other areas of the web for better understanding of issues and our involvement in them (even if they are far removed from where we live.) Create conventional or multimedia presentations of the material for discussions and engagement of others within or outside the school community. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Create an awareness plan to teach other classes or members of the community about local and global issues.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Annenberg Classroom - NPR/NY Times

Grades
6 to 12
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This collaborative website focuses on controversial contemporary issues, including juvenile justice, eco-topics, gun control, women's rights, voting rights, civil liberties in war,...more
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This collaborative website focuses on controversial contemporary issues, including juvenile justice, eco-topics, gun control, women's rights, voting rights, civil liberties in war, and affirmative action. Help students understand the role of the news media in a democracy. This website combines the radio broadcast resources of Justice Talking and written articles and features from the NY Times Learning Network. Lesson plans corresponding to each "hot topic" offer social studies, language arts, and science teachers opportunities to connect the real news with topics in their curricula. A glossary of words important to the democratic process and a link to the Constitution with a "what it says, what it means" feature allow students to understand authentic sources as well as historical references. "In Their Own Words" (accessible from the Site Guide) provides primary source documents and statements from each of the three branches of government, from the press, and from schools.

tag(s): civil rights (120), ecology (133), radio (27), women (98)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help students explore the branches of government in action as they address a "hot topic." Have groups of students listen to real broadcasts and analyze the issues as examples of the constitutional concepts you are studying. Make this link available from your teacher web page while studying the Constitution, the branches of government, and many other social studies topics. Use your interactive whiteboard or projection screen to share a video or audio clip to spark discussion on an issue or activate your lesson. Then, divide your class into teams and have a class debate about the issue. Have students prepare a pro/con wiki using links to the primary sources to support their position or create their own podcast commentaries with support for their opinions.

Comments

Too many resources to even summarize. I can't wait to share this resource. CONSTITUTION ON SEPT. 17. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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National Environmental Education Week - National Environmental Education Foundation

Grades
4 to 12
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Join Environmental Education Week which is held the week before Earth Day. Get involved in Education Week programs by registering your school and classrooms. Scroll down the page to...more
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Join Environmental Education Week which is held the week before Earth Day. Get involved in Education Week programs by registering your school and classrooms. Scroll down the page to find resources and activities for each day of EE Week. Find even more resources under the tabs on the top menu. Educational materials include videos, infographics, and links to more resources that might be of interest. Be sure to subscribe to their monthly newsletter. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animals (319), climate change (70), earth (224), earth day (104), ecology (133), environment (321), national parks (21), resources (105), water (132)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to plan great activities, lessons, and events for students leading up to Earth Day. For example, search the Weather + Climate page for videos and information about water shortages, drought, climate change, and resources. Use the articles and reports to pique student interest, use short videos in the classroom, and find great websites and programs linked from the page. Use these resources not only for a greater understanding of issues but to create awareness campaigns for change in the home, school, or community. Exchange pen and paper and ask students to keep a digital journal sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, replace pencil and paper and challenge your students to create a blog using. Partner with local groups (conservation or not) to create action plans and events, and provide opportunities for change in the community. Transform student learning by challenging them to create interactive brochures, magazines, or posters of information learned using Lucidpress, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Cool Earth - Mark Ellingham

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K to 12
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Cool Earth is an organization that works to protect the Rainforest from deforestation and prevent climate change. The site is a valuable resource for information about the Rainforest....more
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Cool Earth is an organization that works to protect the Rainforest from deforestation and prevent climate change. The site is a valuable resource for information about the Rainforest. There is a variety of ways for schools to participate. The site contains valuable information useful for research projects, short videos, galleries full of rainforest imagery, submit questions, and read blog entries written by visitors currently in the Amazon. Schools can register with Cool Earth to receive regular updates, news, and participate in site competitions. Classrooms looking for a service project may want to participate in the "cool school" project. Students raise money or find funding from local businesses to buy an acre of Rainforest. Cool Earth then provides a map marking the exact location of your plot of land for students to view. Cool Earth also explains ways to cut carbon emissions.

Be aware: this site also includes some items for sale. You may want to advise students to steer clear of these links.

tag(s): carbon (23), climate (93), ecology (133), environment (321), sustainability (17)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site by sharing photos or videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Include this site on a list of hotlinks for students to access when researching the Rainforest, climate change, sustainability, or carbon footprints. Save this site in your favorites on classroom computers for students to view rainforest maps, ask questions, or read magazine articles. Ask students to visit the site and create an interactive multimedia presentation from the information they learn there using Sway, reviewed here. Register your school with Cool Earth and take advantage of the free lesson plans and resources they offer. The ultimate experience would be to personalize student learning and sponsor a tree or organize a fundraiser to purchase an acre of land. Ask students to research their tree, or the biome biodiversity characteristic of their acre. Include a link to this site on your class web page for students to access both in and out of class.

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Planet Forward - The George Washington University

Grades
7 to 12
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Use Planet Forward for first rate and up-to-date news and information about the environment. View the vast amount of resources on this site including: "In the Spotlight," "Viewpoints,"...more
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Use Planet Forward for first rate and up-to-date news and information about the environment. View the vast amount of resources on this site including: "In the Spotlight," "Viewpoints," and "Blog articles" among others. Use quizzes about environmental issues, widgets to place in blogs or sites, and videos about issues. Use the "Classroom Resources" page for great ideas, discussions starters, and guides. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): earth (224), earth day (104), environment (321), oil (40), oil spill (19)

In the Classroom

Where do you start? There is so much information on this site that is continually updated and interesting! Use the "Facts, Myths, and What most Americans know about energy" page to initiate discussions and identify misconceptions for study. Create student groups in major environmental categories such as Air Pollution, Energy Use, and Consumer Issues to mine the site for information. Create blog posts about issues, and create students' own surveys to identify local misconceptions to compare to those discussed on the site. Encourage students to apply their findings and information locally by writing for a local or school newspaper or to be interviewed about student work. Students can create videos, wiki pages, or other multimedia products to produce content, dispel or challenge myths, and create understanding of issues. Conventional products such as display boards, posters, and other announcements can also be created. Have students create online posters using a tool such as DesignBold, reviewed here. Make every day Earth Day by tying class topics into ecology issues. Use the "Fast Facts about Energy" section to choose eye catching charts as a starter to engaging discussions in the classroom. Use the charts and ask students to brainstorm questions and make observations in groups prior to class discussions. Use the questions as a springboard for student research.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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EcoKids - Earth Day Canada

Grades
K to 8
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This clever, creative, and entertaining resource is a must for elementary science classroom! Kids from all over the world can learn oodles from this Canadian ecology site. Teachers...more
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This clever, creative, and entertaining resource is a must for elementary science classroom! Kids from all over the world can learn oodles from this Canadian ecology site. Teachers will find a trove of information and instructional materials as well. You will appreciate the Earth Day activities and information. There are also numerous educational interactives highlighting the food chain, bugs, animal adaptations, acid rain, transportation, and other topics. Students can participate in interactive stories; play and learn with more than 50 ecology-based on-line games and activities; learn about a variety of topics including wildlife, energy, and environment issues; and print out word games or coloring sheets.

Be aware: recently, this site started to offer certain features of the Teacher's Lounge to "members only." Membership is FREE, but does require an email address. The link for students does NOT require membership to access the interactives, information, or printables. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): acid rain (5), earth (224), earth day (104), ecology (133), transportation (46)

In the Classroom

There is SO much to look at and explore, so browse through the offerings, create a plan for your students based on their age and ability level, then mark the site as a favorite on classroom computers. Upper elementary students can use it as an independent learning center. Younger children may need help with some of the text, so consider using an interactive whiteboard or projector and exploring the activities as a class. Click on "Downloads" on the bottom left to find printables, including coloring sheets of Canadian wildlife and various ecology-related worksheets and lesson plans. Click on the 'games and activities' tab and use the interactive whiteboard or projector for whole class eco-minded fun. ESL and ELL teachers, don't miss the 'teacher' section for a cache of activities written for your ELL/ESL students. Interested students will use this one for hours, so some directions will be important for classroom use.
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A Student's Guide to Global Climate Change - US EPA

Grades
5 to 8
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Created by the Environmental Protection Agency, this visually appealing site is filled with interactive story books, climate animations, and cleverly designed animations for students....more
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Created by the Environmental Protection Agency, this visually appealing site is filled with interactive story books, climate animations, and cleverly designed animations for students. Links include Climate Change (What is It), Climate & Weather, Greenhouse Effect, What is the Climate System, Climate's Come a Long Way, The Climate Detectives, Games, Climate Animations, Climate Change Calculator, Stuff for Teachers, So What's the Big Deal, We CAN Make a Difference, and Can We Change the Climate. Use this site to supplement a unit on the Greenhouse Effect or as a springboard for Internet Earth Day activities. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): ecology (133), fossil fuels (18)

In the Classroom

Have cooperative learning groups research the many links and activities at this site. Challenge groups to create a multi-media presentation: blog entry, wiki, PowerPoint, web page, or video.
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Green City Smackdown - TELUS World of Science

Grades
4 to 8
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The Smackdown is a challenge that pits two cities sustainable practices against each other. By choosing two cities, selected from a list of several in Canada, the goal of the ...more
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The Smackdown is a challenge that pits two cities sustainable practices against each other. By choosing two cities, selected from a list of several in Canada, the goal of the Smackdown is to compare and contrast them to each other using statistics taken from population, labor, housing, water and waste, community, environment, and green mobility to see which community is more sustainable. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): canada (31), earth (224), earth day (104), ecology (133), environment (321), statistics (126), sustainability (17)

In the Classroom

Incorporate these comparisons into lessons based on going green, sustainability, and environmental characteristics. Allow students to predict the Smackdown outcome(s) by selecting cities of their choice and predicting the sustainability success by using deductive reasoning about the characteristics of each city. Have students compile statistics from their own towns and surrounding areas, or "create" an imaginary class town with relevant statistics, in order to conduct their own personal Smackdown. Students can present their Smackdowns via Power Point presentations using various statistical graphs created in Excel.
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