WHAT IS NATURE
LESSON 1

HOW NATURE WORKS

WHAT SHAPES AN ECOSYSTEM: FOOD CHAINS AND ENERGY FLOWS

Lessons and Activities
The natural cycle of life, how nature transfers energy from species to species to support that cycle,
and how Mother Nature is self-nourishing, self-maintaining, self-renewing, and self-sustaining.
For ages 10-14.

HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
  • Ecosystems are complex, and interconnected.
  • The importance of a healthy ecosystem.
  • How nutrients and energy are cycled through the ecosystem.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES
  • Identify the components of an ecosystem.
  • Learn how abiotic factors influence the living community of an ecosystem.
  • Identify the processes that bring energy into the food chain.
  • Understand how nutrient cycles keep an ecosystem healthy.
  • Understand the ways plants and animals convert energy and nutrients in the food chain.
  • Understand that healthy soil prevents diseases and toxins from entering the food chain.
  • Identify the components of a trophic pyramid.
  • Be able to categorize the animals that occupy each level of the trophic pyramid.
  • Draw a food chain that includes all the trophic levels that complete the nutrient cycle.
HELPFUL HINTS
  • Each lesson page includes a Glossary that can be accessed by clicking the button by the origami monkeys
  • Activities are accessed by clicking on the monkey holding a sign at the bottom of pages for which there are activities. Those pages are noted below.
HELPFUL RESOURCES WITHIN THIS WEBSITE

RESOURCES USED TO CREATE THIS LESSON

  • ​http://environment-ecology.com/what-is-nature/108-what-is-nature/
  • https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/why-does-all-life-use-the-same-20-amino-acids/3010824.article
  • https://brainworldmagazine.com/tuning-in-to-the-earths-natural-rhythm/
  • https://webs.wofford.edu/whisnantdm/Sixties/Environment/FourLaws.pdf
  • https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/approach-four-laws-ecology-dr-er-eng-engr-ronald-gomeseria-phd
  • https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/ecosystem/
  • https://www.nationalgeographic.org/topics/resource-library-abiotic-factor/?q=&page=1&per_page=25
  • https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology/ecology/intro-to-ecosystems/a/what-is-an-ecosystem
  • https://sciencing.com/ecological-niche-definition-types-importance-examples-13719219/
  • https://www.khanacademy.org/science/ap-biology/ecology-ap/community-ecology/a/niches-competition
  • https://opentextbc.ca/conceptsofbiologyopenstax/chapter/energy-flow-through-ecosystems/
  • https://www.khanacademy.org/science/high-school-biology/hs-ecology/trophic-levels/a/energy-flow-and-primary-productivity
  • https://biologydictionary.net/trophic-level/
  • https://www.soils.org/files/science-policy/sssa-marketing-2013.pdf
  • https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/energy-economics-in-ecosystems-13254442/
  • nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/food-chain/
  • https://www.khanacademy.org/science/high-school-biology/hs-ecology/trophic-levels/a/hs-trophic-levels-review
  • https://flexbooks.ck12.org/cbook/ck-12-middle-school-life-science-2.0/section/12.16/primary/lesson/producers-ms-ls
  • https://byjus.com/biology/ecosystem/#:~:text=The%20functions%20of%20the%20ecosystem,trophic%20levels%20in%20the%20ecosystem.
  • https://www.britannica.com/science/photosynthesis/Basic-products-of-photosynthesis
  • https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/consumers/
  • https://www.ck12.org/biology/consumers-and-decomposers/lesson/Consumers-and-Decomposers-MS-LS/
  • https://biologydictionary.net/difference-detritivores-decomposers/
  • https://sciencing.com/role-decomposers-play-food-chain-13124/
 

Lesson developed by Stephanie Young, Spring 2021

Copyright © New England Primate Conservancy 2021. You may freely use, copy and share these Learning Activities for educational purposes. 
For questions or comments, e-mail us at [email protected]