There are many projects to make ecology studies more interesting for high school students. Giving students hands-on experiences and projects they can do alone or in groups aids them in understanding how ecology affects them and the world around them. Plan ecology projects based on time and versatility of research options the classroom has to use.
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Types of Organisms
Have students work in groups of three or four on projects based on types of organisms in certain areas of the world. Instruct them to use characteristics of each type of organism, challenges faced by the organism, and the environmental characteristics that are necessary for them to live. Include in this assignment a research paper, posters and pictures, visuals such as videos if available, and a quiz for classmates to take upon completion of the project. Set up projects on a timescale, such as the research paper being due by a certain date, posters and videos by another date, and presentation as the final due date. Grading projects of this nature might be done on a per-section-completed basis.
Relationships Between Organisms
Consider projects that show relationships within ecosystems. Have students do research on parasitism, predator-prey, scavenging and so forth. Include with this research project posters and drawings showing different parasites, predators and scavengers. There are many relationships within an ecosystem. This project type may be done individually by students or on a larger scale as groups.
Assign projects concerning various cycles of an ecosystem and the environment. Water cycles are easily understood and present well for visual aids. Carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous cycles are equally important. Involve students in the various cycles by assigning projects that include research, discussion, questions about future changes and how various cycles affect them in their own lives.
Do a class project utilising research papers by each student and posters and pictures that depict various organisms and their environments. Make use of school hallway walls to produce a wall mural of different environments, past and present. It also may be fun to have a section depicting how they feel the ecology of their own region of the world might be in another 100 years or so, and what changes may take place to bring them to that new ecology.
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