Select Page

middle school

Organisms and Ecosystems
Resource screenshot

Effect of Environment on New Life Form Gizmo

Using the scientific method, control the environmental conditions for a fictional alien organism in order to learn how the organism responds to changes in conditions. Sunlight, water, and temperature can be varied to determine their effects on the shape of the aliens. “Effect on Environment on New Life Form” comes from Get access to the gizmo for 5 minutes without an account, or create a free account for unlimited access. Shockwave required.
Resource screenshot

Nowhere to Hide

This tool called “Nowhere to Hide” comes to us from Science NetLinks. Inspired by the famous peppered moth story in Manchester, students see how pollution can affect a population of organisms. Flash required.
 BBC Schools Science Clips - Habitats

BBC Schools Science Clips - Habitats

This learning tool, “Habitats” is brought to us by BBC through their Science Clips program. Students look at a picture of an ecosystem and attempt to pick all the living organisms in the picture. Students need to identify not just the obvious mammals, but also foliage and insects. Students then attempt to identify each living thing, along with constructing a food chain. Flash required.
Journey to Deep Sea Vents

Journey to Deep Sea Vents

“Journey to Deep Sea Vents” comes to us from the American Museum of Natural History and is part of their Earth: Our World in Motion web site. Students learn about the different levels of the ocean and how they differ, along with how life differs in these levels. After exploring the different layers students learn about the bottom of the ocean by looking at a picture with many different living organisms. Students then attempt to identify all the living things in the picture. Flash required.
Journey North Citizen Science

Journey North Citizen Science

Help students learn about migration! This learning tool called “Journey North” from Annenberg Learner provides tons of data about migrations. Students can read about the migration of a variety of animals including monarch butterflies, hummingbirds, gray whales and many more! Works on Mac, PC, tablets, etc
Resource screenshot

BBC Schools Science Clips - Plants and Animals in Their Local Environment

This learning tool “Plants and Animals in Their Local Environment” comes to use from the BBC through their Science Clips program. Students look at a picture of an ecosystem and attempt to pick all the living things. Students then attempt to identify the living organisms, as well as constructing a food chain. Flash required.
Fun With Food Webs

Fun With Food Webs

This interactive comes to us from Harcourt School Publishers. In Fun With Food Webs students attempt to complete three different food webs, each from a different ecosystem. Flash required.
Extreme Environments Great Salt Lake Ecology

Extreme Environments: Great Salt Lake Ecology

This great educational site “The Great Salt Lake Ecology” comes from The Genetics Science Learning Center from the University of Utah. There are a variety of interactive explorations that delve into both living and non-living factors in the ecosystem. In particular “Great Salt Lake Food Web” does a fantastic job of showing how producers and consumers play a part in the food chain. “Meet the Microenviorments” clearly shows the variety of the different regions of the area surrounding the lake.
NGSS logo


Organization for Matter & Energy Flow in Organisms (LS1.C)

  • Plants, algae, and many microorganisms use the energy from light to make sugars (food) from carbon dioxide & water through the process called photosynthesis. (MS-LS1-6)
  • Within organisms, food is broken down by chemical reactions to form new molecules, support growth, or to release energy. (MS-LS1-7)

Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems (LS2.A)

  • Organisms and their populations are dependent on environmental interactions with both living things and nonliving factors. (MS-LS2-1)
  • In all ecosystems, all organisms compete with each other for limited resources. (MS-LS2-1)

Cycle of Matter & Energy Transfer in Ecosystems (LS2.B)

  • Food Webs are models that demonstrate how matter & energy is transferred between producers, consumers, and decomposers, as these three groups interact. (MS-LS2-3)
  • Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics vary over time. (MS-LS2-3)

Energy in Chemical Processes & Everyday Life (PS3.D)

  • Cellular respiration in plants & animals involve chemical reactions with oxygen that releases stored energy. (MS-LS1-7)

About NGSS

Next Generation Science Standards is a multi-state effort to create new education standards that are “rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education.”


Our team from Temple University has developed this resource for all K-12 students and teachers of science. These vetted learning tools align to the NGSS. Find one we should include? Just fill out the form.

Temple University College of Science and Technology logo
Next Generation Science Standards NGSS logo



Many of these science resources require Java and Flash. Click below to download.

Temple University College of Science and Technology logo
Temple University College of Science and Technology logo