Making an ecosystem model is a favorite science fair project for many grade school students, with the wide variety of ecosystems on Earth offering something of interest to just about anybody. The visual aspects of such models make them excellent learning tools that are easy to grasp at a glance. A basic ecosystem project takes but a few materials to construct.
- Science textbook
- Fishing line
- A shoebox or other open-ended box
- Blank white paper
- Old magazines
- Index card
For a more interesting ecosystem project, finding actual objects when readily available, rather than their pictures. Incorporating them into the display is much more visually striking.
Read about ecosystems in the science book to learn different types. Choose an ecosystem for the project.
Look through the magazines to find pictures of objects relating to that ecosystem, for instance, seashells, fish and water for an ocean ecosystem. Cut out the objects selected with the scissors, staying as close to their outline as possible. Look for at least one page that can be used as the background for the model.
Glue the background picture, if selected, to the bottom of the box. If no picture was selected, use the pens and/or crayons to draw an appropriate background on the paper.
Cut short lengths of the fishing line with the scissors. Cut one string for each object selected. Turn the box onto its side, with the background picture facing up.
Look at the object cutouts and see how one relates to another. Arrange the cutouts in order and then draw on them with the pen small arrows that point at objects that relate to each other or draw arrows on the paper, then cut them out and glue them to the objects.
Write a brief explanation of the project on the index card. Glue the card to the top of the box, where it can be seen by those viewing the model.
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About the Author
Greg Fish has been writing professionally in Maine since 1987. He has reported and edited at "Lincoln News," "Advertiser Democrat" and the "Bar Harbor Times." Fish currently writes for the "Penobscot Times."
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