Technology Enhanced Lesson Plan

Science and Technology : Ecosystems

Third grade – 1 hour and 15 minutes

VA SOL: 3.6 The student will investigate and understand that ecosystems support a diversity of plants and animals that share limited resources. Key concepts include

  1. aquatic ecosystems;
  2. terrestrial ecosystems


  • Students will understand what ecosystems are. 
  • Students will know key differences between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. 
  • Students will be able to identify the diverse plants and animals within aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, respectfully.


  • Pre-made story board
  • Laptops
  • Pre-made research resources list
  • Video
  • Projector


  • Informal assessment of class-wide discussions
  • Evaluation check sheet (attached below)

Introduction (25 mins):

  1. Students are gathered around the carpet and asked briefly what they think an ecosystem is. Discussion takes place. 
  2. Introduce objectives for the lesson.
  3. Introduce the video and play for the class. Afterwards, ask students how their perception of ecosystems has changed. Discussion takes place. 
  4. Begin discussion about aquatic vs terrestrial ecosystems. Ask students to recall what they learned in the video and begin constructing a list on the board of differences they note. Pose questions during discussion to further thinking. 
  5. Once completed, explain to students they will be conducting online group research in groups about what is present in each type of ecosystem. 
  6. Due to their age, resources for their respective ecosystem will be provided. Many will be image based. 
  7. Review what good research entails with students. As students research, provide support. Remind students to be taking notes as they will be using this information later. 
  8. Give time warning prior to transitioning to the next activity.

Main Activity (30 mins):

  1. Review what students found in their research. Update the list constructed during the introduction.
  2. Introduce StoryBoardThat to students. Remind them how to use this resource appropriately by modeling to the whole class.
  3. Explain to students they will be using StoryBoardThat to create a story board representing the differences they researched in Terrestrial and Aquatic ecosystems.
  4. Have a pre-made story board as an example for students, present to students.
  5. Allow students to work as groups, remind them to base their boards on the research they conducted as well as the list constructed as a class. Provide support as needed.

Conclusion (20 mins):

  1. Provide time warnings prior to transition. Gather students to present story boards. Allow students to present and explain their rationale in decision making. Encourage students to ask each other questions about their work.
  2. After each group present, begin a discussion. Ask questions similar to: How have your perceptions of ecosystems changed? What was most shocking to you? What do you want to learn next? What questions do you still have? etc.
  3. Wrap up the activity by reviewing objectives and giving an over view of what was learned and discussed.