Life Systems – Focusing on Animals
(plants only as related to animal needs)

Grade 7 – Interactions Within Ecosystems

  1. Introduction to the study of ecology
  2. Investigation of the complex interactions between all types of organisms and their environment
  3. Learn that plants and animals are not only dependent on each other but also on non-living parts of the environment.
  4. Learn that groups of ecosystems make up biomes, which in turn are components of the biosphere.

Tech. – 1) Examine the effects of natural factors such as climate changes.
2) Impact of technological changes on the environment.

Overall Expectations:

  1. Understand the interactions of animals, along with plants, fungi and microorganisms, in an ecosystem.
  2. Investigate interactions in an ecosystem, and identify factors that affect the balance among the components of an ecosystem (e.g. population, parasites).
  3. Understand the effects of human activities and technological innovations, as well as the effects of changes that take place naturally, on the sustainability of ecosystems.

Key Words of Science Curriculum:
* Sustainable Development *


1.  Monarch rearing in classroom, planting milkweed at zoo and releasing butterflies at zoo.  (Timing of caterpillar/plants crucial, would have to work with zoo for set days to visit.)  – GREAT press on this one, preserving local endangered species, fighting climate change, restoring natural flora and fauna, working with local schools and students in education, working with community to strengthen ties and loyalties to the zoo.

1.  Design an enclosure, field, aquarium or terrarium, at the zoo, that maintains a sustainable ecosystem.

  1. Arts and Language expectations…

– Hang in gift shop winners of zoo review of projects (Mike looks over and decides)
2.  Research a technological advance that has harmed an ecosystem and research a technological advance that has benefited or repaired an ecosystem from previous human impact.  Create an advertisement campaign that promotes the advance.  Create a political campaign that denigrates the later.

  1. Arts and Language expectations…

Science/Social Studies/Language
1.  Research a biome or ecological habitat in peril (listed in peril by WWF, UNEP, or other reputable organization).  Create a campaign to save the endangered space or ecosystem in peril.  Include advertisement, informational pamphlets, letters to gov’t. with alternative actions and projects and local education or involvement action plans to promote alternative or sustainable practices with the resources.

  1. Social Studies and Language expectations…

(ex. of resource, NatGeoKids – homework help – animal guide – conservation atlas –
Global 200/Ecoregions Map)

2.  Local government and local endangered spaces presentation.  Research a local ecological habitat that is disappearing, endangered or has been recently destroyed.  Come up with an action plan to preserve, protect or restore the habitat.   In groups of 3 or 4, create a 15 min. presentation of one action plan or a combination of each individual action plan.  (Extension – contact local government and/or local environmental organization and present a favourite class action plan to them.)

  1. Social Studies and Language expectations…

BZP – flood plains, manure/farmers field, black walnut grove

  1. Creek spawning, silting, bank erosion/tree protection
  2. Chestnut tree planting in the flood plain (American Chestnut fungus issue)


DATA COLLECTION – Ecology (Gr.7)
Choose an enclosure with more than one species of animal.
(Copying and altering permitted and encouraged to suit your needs.)

Scientist’s Name and Date:

Types of Animal and Origins:

Describe enclosure and animal interactions with each other or with other objects in the pen.:

(Research one of the species to determine ecological factors necessary for health and productivity in the wild.)

What needs are being met, by the zoo, to allow for health and productivity in captivity?: