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Review & Final Project Lesson Plan

Lesson plan for the last virtual field trip video lesson that reviews all the previous lessons and provides a final project for students to complete.

Review and Final Project

Lesson Plan

Review & Final Project Lesson Plan (PDF)


  • Submitted by: Vince Case and Steven Henley
  • Content Area: Science, grade 4 and  grade 5
  • Materials Needed: Outdoor access, plastic container, drawing paper, writing paper, pencil, markers, crayons, colored pencils, video camera (materials depend on what the student decides to do for the project)
  • Handouts Attached: Project Instructions
  • Standard Addressed: NGSS 5-LS2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy & Dynamics (see attached NGSS standards sheet for full information); 5-PS3-1: Energy; 5-ESS2-1: Earth’s Systems
  • Skill to be Maintained: Review of ecosystems, interconnected parts, energy and matter flow, observations
  • Essential Question: How do ecosystems function and how are all of its parts interconnected? How do matter and energy flow through an ecosystem?
  • Academic Vocabulary: Ecosystems, Interconnections, Energy, Matter

Basic Lesson Description and Procedure:

  1. Students watch the video from the SMNHC.
  2. Students review what we’ve learned so far in the first 7 videos – ecosystems, biotic and abiotic factors, parts of and interrelationships within ecosystems, scat, skulls, leaves, change over time, decomposers and soil structure.
  3. Students reconsider the essential concepts addressed throughout the 7 lessons – ecosystems, interconnected parts, energy, & matter.
  4. Students are introduced to the final project – they observe collection of parts of an ecosystem, they review these parts (abiotic, producers, consumers, decomposers), they see a model & exemplar of a potential project, they learn about what the project entails, and they are given questions to consider.
  5. Students are encouraged to be creative and have fun with their projects and asked to share their projects via social media or email.


See attached project directions

Lesson Conclusion/Potential Practice at Home

Students share their projects with their families and others they live with.


Just about any grade level can do this lesson and activity.

Final Project Description

Make a model of an ecosystem that demonstrates how matter and energy flow through the different parts of an ecosystem.

Standard alignment

This project is directly tied to the performance standard for NGSS 5-LS-2-1 – develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment (see standard below).


  1. Part I – Identify the parts of an ecosystem
    1. Parts = Abiotic, Producers, Consumers (or evidence), Decomposers (or dead things with decomposers on them)
    2. This can be done by collecting the parts outside, drawing the different parts, or if in video, by pointing out the parts verbally.
  2. Part II – Explain
    1. What do the living things need to survive?
    2. How is energy moving through the ecosystem?
    3. How is matter moving through the ecosystem?
  3. Part III – Describe
    1. What would happen to the ecosystem if you removed something?
    2. Do this for 3 different things.
  4. Be creative and have fun!
    1. In the lesson video, we created a diorama of an ecosystem and verbally explained how the ecosystem functions and how energy and matter move through an ecosystem, and described what happens when something gets removed.
    2. Students are to be creative and develop and design their own ecosystem model in a way that works for them. They can…
      1. Draw pictures of an ecosystem.
      2. Collect objects to represent different parts of an ecosystem.
      3. Create a video of them showing how an ecosystem works in a natural area.
      4. Complete the project inside if needed.
      5. Take photographs of items and design a collage.
      6. The options are endless and limited only by student imagination!
  5. Share projects with adult permission to our Facebook or Instagram pages or via email.