Interactions in an ecosystem is one of the most interesting topics in Biology.  I personally love discussing this with kids since they already have a natural interest in the organic world around them.  It is something they can visualize and even experience in real life unlike some of the other concepts I teach.

In this Ecosystems Interactive Notebook Pages,  I prepared several activities which will enhance my students’  knowledge about interactions in an ecosystem.  Particularly,  this INB  (interactive notebook) deals with topics like biotic and abiotic factors,  biodiversity,  earth’s biomes,  natural selection,  organism relationships,  primary and secondary succession,  energy pyramids,  food chains and food webs,  levels of organization,  dichotomous key,  and impacts of several factors in the environment.  This INB is actually included in a bundle that has all 8 of my best-selling interactive notebooks.  Click here and enjoy the savings of over 35% by purchasing the bundle.

The first few activities are all about biotic and abiotic factors.  It includes two flippables and an accordion pull out.  For the first flip activity,  I let my students draw a picture of a neighborhood park.  Inside the flips,  they are going to write the biotic and abiotic factors that can be seen on their drawings.  The second activity is an accordion pull-out.   I let them draw several abiotic factors to have a better understanding on each of them.  The last activity is all about biotic factors,  I let them define it and give examples of it inside a flippable.

biotic and abiotic factors for INB's in science

I have also made a flippable template for Biodiversity.  This answers four questions:  “What is biodiversity?”,  “Which has the most biodiversity?”,  “Is there more biodiversity on Earth near the equator or at the poles?”,  and “How does biodiversity contribute to life?”.  Answers on these questions will be written inside each flips.

biodiversity for interactive notebooks

One of my students’ favorite activities is the Earth Biomes Interactive Pull Out.  I have included two versions:  colored and black & white.  I find it more engaging to use the colored ones since students enjoy looking and describing them which then leads to a better discussions.  For each biome the students are tasked to give description and samples of plants and animals that live within it.  For the unmentioned biomes I’ve included blank panels in case you want to add some others not covered.

When we discuss natural selection I use another flippable.  The flippable describes Charles Darwin, defines natural selection,  selective breeding,  and adaptation.  It’s a simple activity yet allows students understand,  remember,  and appreciate the concepts better.

Biomes interactive notebook activity

I created another exciting set of activities for organism relationships.  First off I use the organism relationships wheel which allows my students to define the terms parasite,  host,  niche,  ecosystems,  predator,  prey,  consumer,  producer,  decomposer,  abiotic and biotic inside it.  Another is a card sort activity that includes 12 cards that has a pair of organisms on each.  Students will group these cards and insert them in their proper slots,  which can be “Predator/ Prey”,  “Consumer/ Producer”,  or “Host/ Parasite” slot.  The third one is another flippable for the definition and examples of the terms predator,  prey,  parasite,  host,  producer and consumer.

organism relationships - predator/prey, consumer, producer, decomposer, abiotic, biotic, parasite/host, niche

For primary and secondary succession I prepared an activity that will test their understanding and creativity at the same time.  On each subject students are asked to define the terms primary and secondary succession.  They will then draw each of the six stages in story strips.  Each drawing must have a short explanation to describe what happens in each stage.

Another stimulating activity is the Energy Pyramid Model.  In this model,  my students were asked to label each of the three phases of the pyramid.  The first phase is the role of the organisms in each level,  second are examples of each,  and the third is the transformation of energy as it goes from one energy level to the next.

Primary and Secondary Sucessions and Energy Pyramid Templates

In food chain and food webs, there is variety of activities that I prepared to practice students’ mastery.  The first is the flippable that simply defines a food web and food chain and explains what that the arrows represent the energy flow on each.

The second one is a food chain pull out where the students will be asked if each organism is a producer or a consumer.  They will then state where the energy of each organism came from.  This is available in two versions,  colored and black & white.  There is also a Venn diagram to compare and contrast food chains and food webs.  The last activity for this set is the Food Web Flip Book,  consisting of four pages and is available in black and white and colored versions.  This includes saltwater,  freshwater,  and forest web which will ask the students to show the energy transformation arrows by using the guide on each page.  Also,  there is a Human Impact in Ecosystems Page to discuss the possible effect when an organism is removed in each ecosystem due to human activities.

Food Webs and Food Chains INB activity

There is also an accordion pull out meant for the levels of organization (organism,  population,  community,  and ecosystem).  Students will define and draw (or print and cut pictures) of each level to show their specific features and differences with each other.

To explain the mechanics of a dichotomous key,  I have made a flippable for it which contains four questions.  The questions range from simple definition to the proper use of this key.

dichotomous key and organization of life INB templates

The last activity is a flip book meant to differentiate short from a long-term environmental impact.  Students were given six factors to group.  In this two-paged flip book,  students are also asked to differentiate the two.

Human Impact on the Ecosystem INB template

If you want a copy of this INB for Interactions in an Ecosystem click here.  It is also included in my INB Bundle here where you will save over 35%

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