As we have been working our way through a unit on ecology, I have found the tropical aquarium and frog terrarium in my classroom incredibly helpful. For concepts like populations, communities, the carbon dioxide – oxygen cycle, and nitrogen cycle, students are presented with concrete examples from classroom pets they have observed all year.
To wrap up the unit, I wanted students to consider and observe the two very important cycles to the preservation of life — the carbon dioxide – oxygen cycle and the nitrogen cycle. To do this, I divided students into groups and asked them to design a closed ecosystem in which the needs of all organisms are met. You can check out the assignment pack I gave them, as well as some images of their ecosystems below: