Personal tools

Ecosystem Explorations

Ecosystem Explorations is an in-depth exploration of ecosystems designed to be done in-class before the Ecology Field Experience at the SMNHC.

Magnifying glass looking at an ant, with river, tree, raptor flying.

Section 1: Understanding Ecosystems

  1. Ecosystem Explorations Journal (PDF) Learn about the importance of journals in science, make your own, and practice scientific ways of using it.
  2. Ecosystem Discovery (PDF) Draw the components of an ecosystem, and create a class mural of a New Mexico ecosystem.
  3. Energy Game (PDF) Learn about the flow of energy between producers, consumers,and decomposers in an ecosystem by playing a freeze tag game.
  4. Message in a Bottle (PDF) Construct a model of an ecosystem in a plastic bottle.
  5. New Mexico Life Zones (PDF) Learn about New Mexico mountain life zones, and how precipitation, temperature, and species change amongst them.
  6. Natural Change (PDF) Play a card game to learn about natural changes that can occur in an ecosystem.
  7. Where Does Lunch Come From (PDF) Figure out what natural resources all components of a lunch come from. Act out poems about resource development all the way to the end products.

Section 2: Field Experience

  1. Goal Setting (PDF) Prepare for your outdoor experience by brainstorming goals for it individually and as a class.
  2. Field Trip Checklist (PDF) A checklist including choosing a site, teacher and student preparation, and what to do before, during, and after the field program.

All activities are linked to New Mexico State Science Standards and Benchmarks. Files are accessible and printable for educational use.