This resource accompanies our Rethink 5th Grade Science course. It includes ideas for use, ways to support exceptional children, ways to extend learning, digital resources and tools, tips for supporting English Language Learners and students with visual and hearing impairments. There are also ideas for offline learning.
In this two-part inquiry-based activity, students will practice using the scientific method while learning about decomposition, exploring how some types of garbage will decompose while others will not. Students can then go on to design their own experiment to test different variables affecting the rate of decomposition.
In this activity, students will use color-coded cards to represent different types of organisms in an ecosystem and model food chains to show the relationships between organisms. Students will also analyze simple scenarios and discuss consequences of change in the ecosystem.
Students learn how decomposers play an important part in the cycling of matter through an ecosystem by breaking down matter and returning it to the soil. They will set up a classroom composting bin.
In this lesson, students learn about ecosystem functions and the types of organisms found in ecosystems. Students complete a diagram of photosynthesis and use calculations to follow the flow of energy through producers, consumers, and decomposers. Students read to learn about the cycling of matter and create their own diagrams of the processes.
Students explore the interconnected relationships between plants and animals in an ecosystem. They will decorate wooden blocks with plants and animals and then stack them to simulate an ecosystem (producers on the bottom). They will then take turns removing blocks from the ecosystem, giving a possible reason for that particular organism's removal from the ecosystem until the ecosystem becomes so unstable that it collapses.
- Department of the Interior, US Geological Survey
- Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation
- Date Added:
In this series of lessons, students will learn about ecosystems. In the first lesson, students will explore the different types of ecosystems and the structures and functions that are inherent in each one. In the second lesson, students will examine challenges to ecosystems, both man-made and natural issues. In the third lesson, students will learn about food webs and trophic levels. In the final lesson, students will apply their knowledge to construct a board game to teach others about ecosystems.
This 5th-grade Science Unit on Ecosystems helps students compare the characteristics of several common ecosystems, including estuaries and salt marshes, oceans, lakes and ponds, forests, and grasslands) and it helps students classify the organisms within an ecosystem according to the function they serve: producers, consumers, or decomposers (biotic factors).
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Science created this resource as part of an online workshop series, but you are welcome to use or modify it for your classroom. It includes a video and written directions for creating nature journals and tips for incorporating them into your classroom. For information on taking any the Nature Neighborhood online workshops for CEUs or EE credit, visit: https://naturalsciences.org/learn/educators/online-workshops.
In this lesson, students will work together to construct a decomposition column. They will observe activity in the column and predict how changing elements may vary column activity. Students will use tools to measure and record data. Students will describe column activity in words and/or pictures to share with others.
- Material Type:
- Lesson Plan
- Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College
- LaRae Mikkelson
- Date Added:
This resource provides a lesson plan over 3 class periods centered around food chains and food webs in an ecosystem. Students will participate in a variety of digital and non-digital activities to master content such as parts of food chains and food webs, types of producers and consumers, and the interdependency of organisms in an ecosystem.
In this lesson, students are introduced to the idea that trees create their own food energy. By acting out the flow of energy, students learn about producers, consumers, decomposers, and how they interact. As a conclusion, students draw their own comic strip about the adventures of Zippy the Energy who lives in a forest.
In this lesson, students will design and use a simple model to test cause and effect relationships or interactions concerning the functioning of a marine food web, ranking their hypothetical ecosystems according to their stability when faced with a natural or man-made disturbance.
Attached is a 5 E lesson plan to use over 8-10 class periods. Students will research the interactions of plants and animals in different ecosystems.
Graphic organizer to guide students research is also attached.
After students complete research they will form ecosystem based groups to learn more about current threats and conservation efforts needed to preserve the ecosystem. They will create a "Spread the Word" media project to share publicly school wide.
You can also do some sort of conservation service learning activity to help students take their knowledge into the community. For instance, we do Adopt-a-Stream through our city. We clean and test the water in the stream across form our school twice a year.