Free Printables and Unit Studies About Ecosystems

November 30, 2020

Jeannette Tuionetoa

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There are many types of ecosystems for your students to explore. These free ecosystems worksheets can help you learn about the different ecosystems in your homeschool.

Free Printables and Unit Studies About Ecosystems text with image collage of various pictures of different ecosystems outside

What is an ecosystem anyway?

An ecosystem is a community of organisms that interact together and their environment. Living things like humans interact with each other and they interact with other things like soil, air, and water.

Whether it be your backyard or an ocean, ecosystems contain a cycle of life and a community of interacting things. Yes, “things.”

Although we often think about animals when we talk about ecosystems they, in fact, are made up of many living things and non-living things – like air and water.

The major types of ecosystems are grasslands, forests, deserts, tundra, freshwater, and marine. It is good to note that the word “biome” also describes the terrestrial/land-based ecosystems.

Ecosystems Worksheets

Below you will find free printables and unit studies about ecosystems to help you with exploring them at home.

Printable Ecosystems Worksheets

Ecosystem Resources

Free and Frugal Unit Study Resources for Biomes text with illustrated image cut out of the Earth

Printable Ecosystems Worksheets

Biome Study text with two different images of outside, one with palm trees, the other picture with mountains.

Ecosystem Printables

Forests Ecosystems

The forest ecosystem consists of terrestrial environment full of trees growing in a closed canopy which includes a community of plants, animals, microbes and other living things.

Cool fact: Half of the world’s species live in tropical rainforests.

Grasslands Ecosystems

The grasslands ecosystem or biome of course is made up of large open spaces of grasses. They are maintained by the animals that graze on them and from fires.

Cool fact: Grasslands are a cross between forests and deserts. This is an interesting one but fire is essential for grassland existence. After fires, grasslands burst back to life even stronger than before.

Deserts Ecosystems

The desert ecosystem creates some of the most intense conditions with solar radiation, lashing winds, and very little moisture. Days are hugely hot and nights are very cold.

Fact: Many of the animals who live in deserts only get water from the foods that they eat.

Tundra Ecosystems

The tundra ecosystems are treeless regions of land in the Arctic and the ops of mountains. The climate is cold and windy and rainfall is scarce.

Cool fact: The tundra ground is often permanently frozen so trees cannot grow there.

Freshwater Ecosystems

The freshwater ecosystems share resources between different habitats. Freshwater ecosystems begin with the precipitation in the air then eventual rainfall to create lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams.

Cool fact: Freshwater ecosystems are all over the world and have some very rare species of animals like river dolphins, beavers, and platypuses.

Marine Ecosystems

The marine ecosystems are aquatic ecosystems where the water contains high salt content. They provide nearly half of the Earth’s oxygen.

Cool fact: The bottom of the ocean has thriving life-form communities. They contain methane and ammonia from something called hydrothermal vents where creatures like giant tube worms grow over 6 feet long.

In Conclusion

Each of these ecosystems can be broken down into even smaller ecosystems. You literally can create a whole science unit to fill up your year on ecosystems alone.

When the balance of ecosystems is disrupted the living things do not thrive and can even die. Some things like human pollution, deforestation, the development of land, and the removal of excess resources all can damage the ecosystems.

Some disruptions are also done by natural causes like new species in an area or natural disasters. Either way, it is important that we share the importance of ecosystems to our children in hopes they do their part in trying to conserve the systems as well.

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