Shannon Hull

Links to Files Associated with This Lesson 

  1. Ecosystems Internet Hunt

Content Area Objectives Addressed: 

Students will be able to analyze and identify different biomes and the biotic and abiotic factors that make each biome unique.  They will create their own habitat.

Technology Objectives Addressed:

Students will use telecommunications (the internet) to investigate curriculum related information.  

Activity Description    

         What was the process that your students went through to complete this lesson?   

Students worked in centers

1.      reading/science

2.      computer

3.      art/science

a.       creating habitats using dioramas & triaramas

b.       filling in an ecosystems color sheet

 How did you monitor student progress?

            Moving from center to center.

Was there a template or an example that students were expected to follow?

Students had a worksheet to be filled out when using the computers.  They were

able to use their books to find information for the dioramas.

            How much time did you dedicate to this project?

            This was the culmination of a unit on ecosystems so everything done in the prior six weeks led up to this lesson.  I spent two evenings researching websites.  I spent a couple of hours one day after school making sure that we had access to these websites through our computers at school.  Students were told to bring shoeboxes for their habitats beginning two weeks prior to the lesson.

            How was the final product presented?

                        The dioramas were individually presented as an oral presentation the next two days.  The worksheets were completed and turned in. The students completed the ecosystem color sheet and wrote on the back at least two biotic and/or abiotic items missing from the sheet for this habitat.

Who was the audience for the final product?

                        The teacher and the remainder of the class.

Learning Issues

What prior knowledge was required on the part of the students in order for them to be successful in this project? (include curriculum and technology knowledge)


Students have been learning about ecosystems.  They are familiar with the terms ecosystem, biome, habitat, biotic, and abiotic.  They have experience using the Internet. 


Resource Management

            What was the student to computer ratio?

            Five students per computer


How did you schedule your students’ computer time?

            We used centers, allowing each student enough computer time to finish the worksheet before switching.


What was the location of the computers and other technology equipment used by students?              In the same room as the lesson.


How would you suggest beginning teachers obtain computer resources for their students? (Knowing some of your strategies would be valuable for our pre-service teachers.)

            Talk to parents and community members.  There may be computers out there that people don’t need but would be great for use in classrooms.  Also talk to parents and community members about their expertise.  They may be able to share their expertise through classroom volunteering or through an email connection to your class.


Rate the level of access for students to use computers/other technologies as they needed.

            Students are able to use computers in the computer lab with the computer person once a week for 30 minutes.  The computer lab is open 1 ½ days a week for classes to go in (as the teacher needs it – a teacher needs to sign up for the additional time).   With five computers in the classroom students are able to get on them quite often, but not all the time.


Rate the level of supervision required for students during the project, specifically for computer and other technology use

Not a lot of supervision was required because students were previously given experience using the Internet.  Without the prior experience the supervision would have had to be almost constant.


What hardware was required for your project?   Five computers

      What software was required for your project?  Windows/Netscape

           Anything else?  Science books, paper, shoeboxes, worksheets, ecosystem color sheet.


            What kind of assessment did you use for this project? (Include a copy if you can.)

                        A worksheet that I created by researching the Internet for sites.


What categories did you assess? (I.e.:  content, screen design, depth/breadth, etc.)

     Content on the worksheet.

     Content, design, depth of knowledge on the diorama.


How does the product that you submitted compare with other students’ products for this same project?

1.      The color sheet is about average in comparing to other students.

2.      The Internet sheet is about the same as other papers.  Students did very   well on this activity.

3.      The dioramas turned out very well.  I am submitting pictures of two dioramas.  One is in my opinion one of the best; the other is about average. 

            What did you like best about this project?

                        Students being actively involved in learning, creating their dioramas to show what they learned and looking at related information on the Internet.

                       What did the students like best about this project?

                        Making the dioramas (hands on activity).         

            Rank the level of student involvement in this project .

                        Level of involvement was high.


            Rank the level of student interest in this project –High

            Would you teach this lesson again?  Yes, although we did have one problem with the Internet sheet.  Although I checked the sites (and information) early that morning, by the time we started the information on one of the pages had been updated.  Therefore what I asked students to look for was not there.










Ecosystems Internet Hunt

Go to the following web addresses, then answer questions from the information you find there.


             Click on “the introduction of grizzly bears”.    Read this page, then click on “more”.  Read this page.

What plants and animals in this ecosystem might the bear eat? (list at least 4).

            _____________________                  ____________________

            _____________________                  ____________________


Are these plants and animals biotic or abiotic? __________________



Click on “showdown at Yellowstone”.  Read this page.  What

unwanted newcomers are destroying part of the ecosystem of Yellowstone Park?  (click on “the Varmints”).  List each unwanted newcomer and tell where each originated (or came from). 

            Unwanted newcomer                              Where from


            _____________________                  ____________________

            _____________________                  ____________________

            _____________________                  ____________________

            _____________________                  ____________________

            _____________________                  ____________________


Look at the picture on this same page.  Name two things in the picture that are abiotic.

            _____________________                  ____________________



Click on “Birds and Science”.  Choose a bird from the “Bird Species

Profiles List”.  Click on the name of a type of bird.  Write down the name of the kind of bird, then tell what its habitat is.


________________________________________________________________  ________________________________________________________________



Under Expedition Basecamps, click on “Nile Expedition”.  What river is  part of this ecosystem?   ___________________


Click on “Photos”.  What animal can be found in this ecosystem?


Click on the animal’s picture.  What is the animal eating?