More Teaching Material

Ecology Lessons

These lessons were designed for grades K-12.
Creation of these lessons was supported by the Flathead Lake Biological Station.

Connecting with Monitoring Montana Waters


Have you ever wondered what's happening in Montana's streams? Take a closer look at stream data from across Montana and the United States to learn more about these important river ecosystems.

Accessing Data

Accessing Public Stream Data



Detecting AIS with eDNA


In this lesson, students will be introduced to how scientists detect and monitor Aquatic Invasive Species by comparing visual AIS detection with the processes of eDNA sampling, Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), and DNA Sequencing.


Lesson Plan

Detecting AIS with eDNA Lesson Plan


Detecting AIS with eDNA Presentation

Additional Material

Search and Find Locations

DNA Strips


*Teachers, if you are interested in obtaining the answer key for the Search and Find activity or DNA strip identification, please contact us at


Discovering Data


The resources below will walk you through how to access public stream data from the Montana State University Extension Water Quality Program website and the National Water Quality Monitoring Council's Water Quality Portal. Additionally, you can find instructions on how to access lake, weather, and tributary data collected by Flathead Lake Biological Station scientists.

Public Stream Data

Accessing Public Stream Data


Accessing Flathead Lake Biological Station Data

Food Web Dynamics (Kindergarten to 5th grade)


Students are introduced to what all plants and animals have in common and what they both need to survive.  During this activity they will build a lake food chain and food web, as well as, learn how all organisms in the lake ecosystem are interconnected.

Lesson Plan

Food Web Dynamics_Kto5 lesson plan


Food Web Dynamics_Kto5 presentation

Food Web Dynamics (6th to 12th grade)


Students build a lake food web, learn how all organisms in the lake ecosystem are interconnected, and explain the roles phytoplankton and zooplankton play in the lake ecosystem as primary producers and consumers.

Lesson Plan

Food Web Dynamics_6to12 Lesson Plan


Note- This lesson was designed for students to complete (in class) prior to attending a Lake Ecology field trip at the Bio Station.

Water Cycle Unit (5th to 8th grade)


Students will be introduced to the water cycle from both a local and global perspective, as well as, participate in hands-on inquiry stations, an online water cycle exploration activity, and a teacher-led presentation that will aid vocabulary acquisition and use.  Students demonstrate their understanding of the water cycle by building a 3-D model that represents how the water cycles through a specific biome found on Earth.

Unit Summary

Water Cycle Unit Summary


Pre and Post-Unit Quizzes

Water Cycle Vocabulary Quizzes


Unit Lessons

Lesson #1: Water Cycle Inquiry: Explore the processes of the water cycle with five hands-on activities.

Water Cycle Inquiry Stations Lesson Plan


Lesson #2: Water Cycle Vocabulary Foldable: Learn the unit vocabulary by creating and using the foldable flashcards.

Water Cycle Vocabulary Foldable Lesson Plan

Water Cycle Vocabulary Foldable Presentation


Lesson #3: Water Cycle Around the World: Find and record evidence of the water cycle around the world using Google MyMaps. 

Water Cycle Around the World Lesson Plan


Lesson #4: Four Seasons of the Water Cycle: Learn about how the Earth's tilt and rotation around the sun create uneven heating of the Earth's surface.  The uneven heating impacts the global water cycle and the distribution of biomes on Earth.

Four Seasons of the Water Cycle Lesson Plan

Four Seasons of the Water Cycle Presentation


Lesson #5: Water Cycle 3-D Model: Demonstrate your understanding by designing and building a functional 3-D model of a water cycle that represents a specific biome on Earth.

Water Cycle Model Lesson Plan