Picture of The Earth

Cycles of Life – An Ecosystem Balance Activity

Understanding Ecosystems

With this group activity (it can also be an individual activity) your students have the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the Earth's ecosystems and life cycle balance. Discussing the ecological impact of three scenarios and explaining how they affect various ecosystems really solidifies their understanding of the concepts. These three scenarios are:

  1. The effect of an imbalanced carbon cycle on an ecosystem.
  2. Effects of an imbalance in the water cycle.
  3. How an imbalance in the nitrogen cycle affects an ecosystem.

Encourage your students to explain (to one another, verbally) the processes that are mentioned in the activity before writing anything down. By teaching each other in this way they'll quickly find any points they don't fully understand. Also, you'll likely get some interesting discussions going on in your groups; take these as an opportunity to involve the whole class. 

Using the group generated discussions is a great way to encourage engagement from your students. It's almost always more interesting to discuss a topic brought up by your peers than one selected by the instructor! These ecosystem discussions can also make a great segue into reviewing how the carbon cycle, water cycle and nitrogen cycle work. 

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Happy Teaching!

Free Resource Downloads

Here are the free resources for this activity in both Word and PDF formats.

Click here to download the Group Activity in Word format. And here for PDF.

Click here to download the Group Activity Key in Word format. And here for PDF.

If you like our free resources check out our complete class solution. We've created every document you need for every day of class. It's an amazing resource for any biology teacher, and don't forget, we do accept purchase orders. You can be 100% ready for next year with no out-of-pocket expense!

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