We've been working on ecosystems in my classroom. LOVE the energy that the students have when they are learning about the different places. Every year I have them create a diorama to "showcase" their special choice. This year I decided to make it a formal project, and added clip art to help them with their thinking.
They were first allowed to choose an ecosystem from 4 choices (Ocean, Arctic, Forest, and Rainforest). I gave them a piece of construction paper that had been precut and they decorated their background. I put some options on the board as ideas, but being the copy cheapskate that I am, I didn't print them off for them. :)
I did print out the specific ecosystem animal and grid sheets so they could focus on details for their dioramas. The sheets are filled with animals on the top, and the grid on the bottom portion.
Students filled in the grid and then glued it onto the back of their diorama. They had to identify producers, consumers, prey, predator, living, and nonliving parts of the ecosystem. It was then easy for me to use the included rubric to give a grade - did they really understand the concepts?
I loved all the unique ecosystems that they created. I also loved that I didn't get a headache, and that the project didn't take forever to accomplish. :) Little things people!
Check it out! Hope you had a great day!