Free textbooks, virtual labs, interactives, and activities for building an ecology unit:
Here's a download of free Earth Day activities.
Textbooks: If you want to use a textbook to structure your unit, check out Environmental Science: Earth as a Living Planet, a 658-page download.
Here's a National Geographic text called Living in the Environment.
There's also CK-12's Intro to Ecology, with 35 sections covering ecosystems and related topics. Sections include reading, related videos and links, and online practice questions. You can easily create your own "Flexbook" with only the sections you want to cover. The Ecology chapter is part of CK-12's Life Science textbook.
HippoCampus Environmental Science Videos: Information on Earth's atmosphere, water, geology, and ecosystems.
Click the image below for an interactive worksheet on Earth Day:
Free PDF Books:
Here are some links to free resources for explaining and learning about various ecology topics through interactives, labs, assignments and activities.
Levels of Organization:
- Energy Flow in Ecosystems: Shows how energy flows through a food chain between producers, consumers and decomposers. Includes a short quiz.
Symbiosis and Other Interactions:
This video on symbiosis is part of a TED-Ed lesson that includes questions and additional information.
- Water Cycle: Interactive
- Carbon Cycle: Interactive
- Nitrogen Cycle: Visualize the flow of nitrogen in the environment.
How Plants Affect the Atmosphere: Video, reading, and discussion questions.
Photosynthesis and Respiration
- Interactive Google Doc:
- Six Virtual Biomes: Description of plant and animal life in the major biomes and ecosystems.
Habitats and Ecosystems:
- DK Find Out: Interactive illustrations on plants and animals in different habitats.
- Backyard Biodiversity: Kids search for animal life in microhabitats close to home. Involves observation, classification, and species mapping. Includes links to several citizen science projects.
- Endangered Species Assignment: Using earthsendangered.com, create a graphic organizer comparing 4 endangered species from an area of the world.
Environmental Problems and Solutions
- Reduce/Reuse/Recycle: Visit the interactive Recycle City to complete a webquest and play a game in which you improve a city by starting recycling programs.
- Will There Be Enough Fresh Water? Interactive module with five activities exploring the distribution and use of fresh water. Check out the other High Adventure Science modules covering clean air and Earth's climate.