Lesson Plan: Disruption to Ecosystems Science

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to deduce the impact of a change in a population on a food web and describe why toxins build up through a food chain.


Students will be able to

  • understand how the removal of one organism from a food chain or a food web can impact other organisms,
  • recall that toxins such as mercury and DDT can build up in individuals in a food chain or web,
  • describe the effects of toxins being present in an ecosystem, including poisoning and death,
  • understand that if toxins build up in a food chain, the consumers are most likely to be affected.


Students should already be familiar with

  • basic structures of food chains and webs.


Students will not cover

  • the role of decomposers,
  • pyramids of numbers or biomass.

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