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Wetland Curriculum Resource
Unit 3. Ecology - Activities

2 : 4 :: Wetland Habitat)

Purpose: To observe a pond ecosystem in the classroom.

What You Need: aquarium :: living and non-living components of a pond :: 5 pails :: dip net

What You Do:

Educators: You may wish to visit a local pond on your own or with your class. The Field Study unit in this manual provides further information for identifying some of the species you collect. If you take your class with you to the pond you may wish to have them carry out some of the activities described in the Field Study unit.

  1. Visit a local pond with the pails and dip net to obtain the following:
    • Pail 1 - water
    • Pail 2 - submergent plants (pondweed, Canada waterweed), floating plants (duckweed), algae and water
    • Pail 3 - invertebrates (collect from different areas in the pond), including 10-15 snails
    • Pail 4 - bottom muck
    • Pail 5 - clean sand and gravel
  2. To set up the pond, first place clean sand and gravel in the aquarium. Add a thin layer of muck.
  3. Add the water slowly to lessen the amount of mixing that will occur. If more water is needed, regular tap water can be used, provided it has been left standing for 2 days.
  4. Allow the pond to settle before adding the plants and animals. You may need to wait 24 hours.
  5. Place in a well lit area, but away from direct sunlight. Keep conditions constant.
  6. Return plants and animals to their original pond after your study.


  1. Try to identify all the organisms in the ecosystem, and identify them as producers, consumers, and decomposers.
  2. List 5 non-living factors that can affect the organisms in the ecosystem.

Click here to see the answers to these questions.
Click here to see the list of activities for this unit.


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