Purpose: Having experienced two field trips, i.e., exploring both wetlands and oceans
(Activity 1), students are now in a position to compare and contrast the biodiversity of
these two ecosystems using a graphic organizer (Venn diagram). Once students have
made this comparison/contrast, they will become aware of how another ecosystem
(estuaries), overlap between wetlands and oceans in both biotic and abiotic
characteristics. Note: This activity builds from Lesson 3.
Key concepts: ecosystems, biodiversity, wetlands, freshwater, oceans, compare
(similar), contrast (different), overlap, estuary, biotic, and abiotic characteristics.
Materials: Ecosystem books (wetlands and oceans), revisit Internet web-sites on
wetlands and oceans, Venn diagram, Smartboard, whiteboard, or butcher paper, markers,
- Ask students if they recall the meaning of the key concepts, many of which were introduced in Lesson 3: ecosystem, biodiversity, biotic, and abiotic.
- Use a Venn diagram (whole class on a Smartboard, whiteboard, or large piece of butcher paper) to compare and contrast the biotic characteristics (animals) of each ecosystem.
- Students can revisit the Internet and/or their Ecosystem books to facilitate their memory.
- They can also reflect on their observations of wetlands and oceans from the field trips at the Watsonville wetlands and Monterey Bay Aquarium (Lesson 4: Activity 1).
- Co-construct the Venn diagram together. Point out to the students that the overlapping circle between each ecosystem is an estuary. Co-construct the meaning of an estuary together and verify the meaning in a dictionary or website such as http://www.elkhornslough.org/education/teachers/teacher_resources.htm (for an Estuary Glossary).
- Have students complete their own Venn diagram (see 3rd-5th Students’ work L4).
- These can be showcased in the class for others to see (have fun)! Note: Lots of sharing and dialogue is required for this activity.