Biotic and Abiotic Factors

This lesson plan involves 3 activities.  First, there is a class discussion centered on displayed images of ecosystems, one ecosystem with life and another without.  Then, the teacher leads the class in building a “human” ecosystem where the students act as the different components.  Finally, there is an interactive game that involves the roles of producers, consumers, and decomposers. Students learn about the biotic and abiotic factors that influence the populations in an ecosystem.  The students act out the roles and interactions of producers, consumers, and decomposers.  All of this enables them to understand the dynamic equilibrium of the relationships in the ecosystem and how different things, both biotic and abiotic, can impact that equilibrium.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3002.2.6
Deliver effective oral presentations.
CLE 3210.2.1
Investigate how the dynamic equilibrium of an ecological community is associated with interactions among its organisms.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Learning objectives: 


  • Students will be able to define the living and non-living parts of an ecosystem.
  • Students will be able to give examples of producers, consumers, and decomposers.
  • Students will be able trace the path of energy through an ecosystem.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 

Helpful Hints


  • Overhead projector
  • Overhead transparencies made from enclosed illustrations
  • Printing Instructions: Before printing, change Page Setup... to print the page in Landscape mode. Due to the variability of computers, page sizes may vary. For Macintosh computers, it is recommended in Page Setup... to change the Scale to 75% for best fit printing.
  • Figure 1 - (100 K)
  • Figure 2 - (100 K)
  • Figure 3 - (100 K)
  • Figure 3 (Teacher's Edition) - (100 K)