Exploring Ecosystems

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We are currently Exploring Ecosystems.

Trip to the Museum

We started with a trip to the Royal BC Museum a couple of weeks ago when the admission was by donation. I have a post in process about that visit, but I will summarize here. We took all five kids, ages 5-13. Each child has different sensory needs and learns at a different level and by different means (not that this is news to you), so it made the museum visit very challenging and fast paced. We spent almost 2 hours, had a great time, and got out just before closing. It was a great experience all around.

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Videos to Watch

We watched a video series called Biologically Speaking: Ecosystems and the Cycles of Nature from Discovery Education (You do need a subscription for this.)

 We watched some good videos on YouTube about ecosystems, including the following:

What is an Ecosystem?

Ecosystems Song

Keywords to search on YouTube: ecosystem, biomes, abiotic and biotic, habitats

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Vocabulary and Spelling

I made a list of vocabulary words that I wanted to cover (based on the teacher’s guide that came with the videos from Discovery Education). Then I created a PDF download, of those vocabulary words, in architect’s font (all caps), for my kid/s with dysgraphia (don’t worry, I made a list in lower case for you too).

Download the list of ecosystem vocabulary words here –> View on Store

(the graphic below is NOT the download linked to above)

ecosystemsvocab

Then I took those words and hoped on over to Spelling City (we have a subscription). I created a spelling list using the vocabulary words and definitions that I wanted us to use. You should be able to see my Ecosystems Vocabulary List without a subscription. Then I selected the worksheets that I wanted to use. I saved them as a PDF, to a file called ecosystems, for the twins who will do this unit in a few years. I also printed out copies for myself and the big boys who are working through this time.

Please note: There are also online games at Spelling City that your child could use in place of each of the worksheets that I printed.

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Biome and Habitat Resources

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Use the Canadian Geographic Kids website to learn more Animal Facts about Canadian animals and their habitats.

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Explore the Creature Feature and click on the animals at National Geographic to learn more about them and their habitats.

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The Animal Fact Guide has a large collection of resources about a variety of different animals and their habitats.

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There is an excellent selection of Biome/Habitat resources on Enchanted Learning (we have a subscription) that we will be using as we continue our studies this week. 

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I also purchased a good resource called Elementary Biome & Habitat Packet from Teachers Pay Teachers. It was on the pricey side, but full of resources and ideas that I can make use of.

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Online Games to Play

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Use the activities on Humans and Animal Habitats to learn more about habitats around the world and the animals that live in them.

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Shepherd’s Software Animal Games has some excellent games for learning about ecosystems, biomes, habitats and much more.

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Forest Layers is an interesting and interactive exploration of the forest and its layers.

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The Great Habitat Match Up is a simple online Magic School Bus activity.

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Who Lives Here? This is a matching game where you match which animals live in each tree. This game includes information about the animals and you work through several different trees.

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You are challenged with Designing a Habitat for a Black Footed Ferret in this game. What will make the perfect habitat for this animal?

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Find a new home for Froggy and learn all about his habitat in the process.

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Virtual Field Trips

1) Take a virtual field trip and visit 3 different ecosystems (desert, rain forest, arctic) with the following video on YouTube.

2) Visit the African Safari and learn all about the ecosystem there with the following YouTube video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj0eqK4I9MU

3) Welcome to the Deep Sea. Enter the deep sea through a critter cam.

Please Note: You can search on YouTube, Google, or Pinterest to find other excellent virtual field trips that you can take. 

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Build an Ecosystem

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PS – I will be adding more resources to this post as I find them. 

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