We will explore 20 ecological activities that can be carried out in a classroom or homeschool setting. From simple experiments to outdoor explorations, creative projects, and interactive games, these activities will teach students about energy conservation, waste reduction, water conservation, and sustainable living. By participating in these activities, students will become advocates for the environment; playing an active role in creating a better future for themselves and the planet.
1. Arctic Climate Activity
By studying polar bears’ adaptations to the Arctic climate, students will learn how animals adapt and survive in extreme environments. This is an ideal activity in children’s stations as they can build models, answer open-ended questions, draw, and graph.
Learn More: National Wildlife Federation
2. Environment Cleanup
Hosting a coastal/community-level cleanup with students can help raise awareness of the impact of pollution on marine life and wildlife. Children will learn about the importance of reducing waste and recycling. The primary outcome is that students will develop a sense of environmental responsibility.
Learn More: Ocean Conservancy
3. Research Environmental Science Careers
Researching environmental science career paths can help students explore the diverse range of available opportunities. They can discover roles in conservation, renewable energy, sustainability, public health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and more.
Learn More: Environmental Science
4. Recycling Game
An interactive recycling game can teach students the importance of reducing waste and recycling. It provides a fun way for students to learn about different types of waste and how to properly dispose of them and reinforce the importance of environmental responsibility.
Learn More: Environmental Protection Agency
5. Living Things Lesson
Learning about the river otter can help students understand animal behavior, physical activity levels, and characteristics of living things. Students can explore their habitat, diet, and adaptations to survive in the wild.
Learn More: Aquarium of the Bay
6. Flower Reproductions Labs
These 4 lab activities, related to flower reproduction, can help students understand the different parts of a flower using detailed descriptions, how they contribute to reproduction and their significance in the ecosystem. Activities include the dissection of flowers, observing pollinators, construction of 3D models, and pollen germination.
Learn More: Cornell University
7. Fun Ecosystem Video
This video highlights the essential components of an ecosystem and explains how living organisms play a crucial role in maintaining balance within it. It emphasizes the concept of a niche and how each organism’s unique characteristics enable it to contribute to the greater ecosystem.
Learn More: Peekaboo Kidz
8. All About Composting
This printable provides an introduction to composting; including its benefits, how to get started, the different types of materials that can be composted, and how to maintain a healthy compost pile.
Learn More: Teacher Vision
9. Minecraft Ecology
This game and worksheet combo explore biodiversity through five threatened species biomes. The impact of human activity on these biomes and the importance of biodiversity are highlighted.
Learn More: Minecraft Education
10. Virtual Field Trip
A virtual field trip through the Amazon rainforest offers an opportunity for students to learn about relationships between living organisms and their environment and explore diverse plant and animal life in the Amazon.
Learn More: National Geographic Education
11. Digital Food Chains
Students will use laptops to create eight forest food chains by dragging and dropping plants and animals into the appropriate sequences. This interactive activity promotes an increase in children’s understanding of the interconnectedness of different species in a forest ecosystem. It highlights the importance of each species in maintaining the food chain.
Learn More: Teachers Pay Teachers
12. Explore 4 Habitats
In this video, students will explore the diverse habitats around the world; including tundra, grasslands, forests, and water. They will learn about the unique characteristics of each habitat, the plants and animals that live there, and the environmental factors that shape the ecosystem and the world’s biodiversity.
Learn More: Harmony Square
13. Ecology Song
In this video, a teacher uses music to teach about ecology. The song covers a variety of ecology topics- making learning fun and engaging while promoting the retention of information during study periods or even outdoor playtime.
Learn More: ParrMr
14. Role-Playing Activity
Change sedentary time into physical activities! In a role-playing lesson about beavers and ecosystem management, students take on different roles to explore the impact of beavers on their ecosystems. They’ll learn about the positive and negative effects of beaver activity on their habitat.
Learn More: Science Journal for Kids
15. Biotic vs. Abiotic Factors
In this scavenger hunt, students will learn to define and identify abiotic and biotic factors in their community. A good proportion of time will be spent exploring the great outdoors to examine their environment’s physical and biological components and how they interact with each other.
Learn More: University of Houston
16. Impacts on Moose Populations
Students will play a game that demonstrates how populations change in response to the availability of resources such as food, water, shelter, and the environmental factors impacting population growth and decline. They can continue with future studies to learn about conversation and health promotion programs for wildlife.
Learn More: Alaska.gov
17. DIY Terrarium
Creating a DIY terrarium allows students to explore the workings of an ecosystem in a closed environment and learn about the relationships between different organisms and the importance of maintaining a delicate balance within an ecosystem.
Learn More: Generation Genius
18. Migratory Birds Lesson
Students will construct a model that illustrates the effects of various factors on the population of Kirtland’s warbler. This hands-on activity helps students understand the causes of population decline and emphasizes conservation initiatives to safeguard endangered species.
Learn More: National Zoo
19. Pollinators in Garden Habitats
Students will conduct a species census in a garden habitat; observing the interactions between species, especially pollinators. Through data collection and systemic review, they can identify species, study their relationships, and the factors affecting them, as they track and discover patterns in biodiversity linked to changes in the garden habitat.
Learn More: Nature.org
20. Let’s Get Recycling
Physical activities are so much fun! Students will collect and sort different household recycled items to display on a poster. This hands-on approach will help students understand the importance of recycling, how to sort items properly, and the different types of materials that can be recycled.
Learn More: Education