Students explore biodiversity and identify the importance of biodiversity in maintaining ecosystems by watching and discussing an episode of Bill Nye the Science Guy.
Some media may contain mature content. Discretion is advised when viewing with students.
Before watching the video, students must have a general understanding of what an ecosystem is. Explain that an ecosystem is a collection of organisms interacting with each other and their environment. Make sure students understand that different species have evolved in certain ways to survive within their own specific ecosystems. For example, lions have evolved coloration that helps them blend into their surroundings to hunt for food. Students would also benefit from having an understanding of food chains and food webs. Students must understand that organisms feed on other organisms to obtain the energy needed to survive. Students must also understand that all food chains start with autotrophs, which are organisms that get their food through photosynthesis, herbivores (primary consumers), which gain energy from consuming those autotrophs, and carnivores (secondary consumers), which gain energy from consuming those herbivores. Finally, students must understand that many different food chains can exist within an ecosystem and that these food chains can overlap into what is known as a food web.