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.

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

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


Fabulous Fish Anatomy (4th to 12th grade)


Students will be introduced to external and internal characteristics of native fish.  This lesson will explore the body systems used by fish, as well as, physiological adaptations that allow fish to survive in their aquatic habitats.

Lesson Plan

Fabulous Fish Anatomy Lesson Plan 


Note - This lesson was designed to support the 4th grade "Hooked on Fishing" Program provided by the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.

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.

River Features and Function (9th to 12th grade)


Freshwater rivers are an amazing erosional force upon the land.  As they wind their way from the mountains to the oceans they create a unique ecosystem that supports a variety of life.  Students will be introduced to the key features and attributes to rivers that help to create complex, healthy habitats for the aquatic and terrestrial organisms.

Lesson Plan

River Features and Function Lesson Plan


River Features and Function Presentation

Fish Habitats (9th to 12th grade)


Students will be introduced to the 4Cs or four important aquatic abiotic (non-living, physical) factors that all native trout in Montana need to survive. The eggs, alevin, fry, juvenile, and adult fish need four primary habitats that protect them from predators and provide shelter and/or food. Access to these complex habitats throughout their life stages helps the fish to reproduce and survive.

Lesson Plan

Fish Habitats Lesson Plan


Fish Habitats Presentation

Aquatic Insect Guide (9th to 12th grade)


Students will be introduced to aquatic insects, a unique and diverse group of animals that serve as an important food source for freshwater fish.  Each order of insects have adaptations that allow them to survive in their respective habitats.  The insects also have a series of life cycle stages that they go through as they mature into their sexually mature adult stage.

Lesson Plan

Aquatic Insect Guide Lesson Plan


Aquatic Insect Guide Presentation