Lesson #8:






  • What are the effects of fire on a forest ecosystem? Write down as many effects as you can think of.

SLD If students are having trouble coming up with ideas, remind them to think of the potential damages of forest fires. Who is affected? Can they think of any positive benefits of forest fires?


Forest Fire


Gold Mining

Land Clearing for Building Construction

  • Read the Disaster cards and fill in the table.

EL Ensure students know what each disaster is. You may choose to add visual aids to the first column. Ensure they know what it means to regain balance.

SLD You may choose to complete a row as an example.



Nuclear Power and Accidents


Invasive Species (Human Caused)


2. Sort the cards into two piles: natural

disasters and human made disasters. Compare the two piles. What are the similarities and differences?

3. What is the biggest difference between

natural disasters and human-made disasters?

Explain / Elaborate

  • What problem was she trying to address? What solutions were effective?
  • Why do we do these things if they have such long-term negative effects?
  • Is there anything we can do to decrease the negative impact on ecosystems?

Explain / Elaborate

  • Is there any evidence of human (or natural) disturbances in your “Observe an Ecosystem” Project? Record these on the Lesson 8 section of your project packet.


  • Look up what happened on Angel Island in the 1960’s. Deer were brought to Angel Island in 1915 and then hunted by the Army. The Army left in 1960 and the deer had no predators. What happened to their population? How were they eventually controlled?

Exit Card

  • Choose a natural disaster and human-made disaster. Compare and contrast them in terms of their short-term and long-term effects on an ecosystem.

SLD Encourage students to make a Venn diagram to help them organize their thoughts.


  • Do you think there is a “balance” in the plot that you are observing for your Ecosystem Observation project? Are there any missing elements that make it out of balance? Or is there any specific disturbance that would bring it out of balance?
Ecology Lesson 8 Teacher Slideshow - Google Slides