Ecosystems Lesson 2 Overview


Students use a simulation of a meadow ecosystem to view changes in the organic mass of populations of producers, herbivores, and carnivores from different initial population. They then compare their findings with different real ecosystems to highlight an important common pattern: the organic matter pyramid. In most terrestrial ecosystems, there is more organic matter in producers than in herbivores and more organic matter in herbivores than in carnivores. They will use carbon-transforming processes to explain this pattern in Lesson 3.

Guiding Question

What are the patterns in organic matter pools in ecosystems?

Activities in this Lesson

  • Activity 2.1: Predictions and Planning for the Meadow Simulation (30 min)
  • Activity 2.2: The Meadow Simulation (50 min)
  • Activity 2.3: Evidence-Based Arguments for the Meadow Simulation (40 min)
  • Activity 2.4: Organic Carbon Pools in Other Ecosystems (20 min)

Unit Map

Ecosystems Unit Map