Begin by discussing the main question posed at the beginning of the section, “What is your environment and how is it related to ecology?” Answering this question will help set the context for the study of ecology and environmental issues.
Distinguish between the terms biotic and abiotic. Continue to use these terms throughout the unit.
Assign the What Do You Think? on page 2 as a writing prompt. This prompt will give the students an opportunity to express their preconceptions about the study of ecology as a career. Save their responses to compare to their answers after students complete this unit.
You can use Activity 1-1: Map Your Environment either as a pre-test for this unit in class or as a homework assignment for this section.
Use What Do You Think? on page 3 as a starting point in the discussion of the global context of environmental issues. Ask students to think of other cultures besides those given that would include very different biotic and abiotic factors from those of their own culture.
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Name something that was once alive but has now been dead for thousands (or even millions) of years. Explain why you think it would be considered a biotic factor or an abiotic factor now? Explain.
What Do You Think?
Would you consider a career studying the environment? Why or why not? Find out about some of these careers and imagine yourself in ten years with one of those careers.
You are an ecologist. Write about a typical day in your life as you study plants, animals, and their interactions with their environment and each other.
Why should we study ecology?