“What is an ecosystem?” I began. “It is an environment where things live together and depend on each other for survival.”
We live on earth. We breath oxygen, receive energy from the Sun through plants and animals, are weighed down by gravity, etc. Our planet is a perfect ecosystem for us to live. We could not live on Mars because it does not have the same environment. But humans are not the only living creatures that exist on the earth. There are plants, animals and microscopic creatures, too. How are these life forms connected?
To demonstrate interdependency on earth, I gave each student a card with a plant or animal written on it. This was their new identity for the game. Together, we created a Food Web to connect all the plants and animals together into one ecosystem. Then, I removed the Sun and I told all the plants to be removed. Then I told all the animals to be removed who eat the plants. We discovered that without the Sun, nothing would live. We also discovered that without Bees nothing would live because plants wouldn’t be pollinated to produce new seeds.
It was a very enlightening (and fun!) day!