Designed for students in grades 3-5, Energy in Ecosystems investigates the ways in which organisms depend on each other to survive and thrive. Students focus on forests—one of the largest and most complex types of ecosystems—and come to understand some of the interactions present in all ecosystems. In doing so, they learn to appreciate the natural systems on which we depend and begin to widen their circle of compassion to include all of nature.
Project Learning Tree's hands-on and engaging activities help teach students how to think, not what to think about the environment and their place within it.
1. Energy in Ecosystems e-unit
Project Learning Tree's e-units support learning as a developmental progression. Teachers may use individual activities as stand-alone investigations or choose to conduct all e-unit activities from beginning to end.
The e-unit contains:
Review this Overview to learn more about what students will do, the setting, and time required to complete each individual activity.
2. Online professional development
The self-paced online workshop (approximately 3 hours) includes:
Review this Welcome Letter for more information about the unit's accompanying online workshop.
Continuing education credits and state-specific supplemental resources are offered in some states. For more information, contact your State PLT Coordinator.
Here's what a few teachers have said about PLT’s Energy in Ecosystems e-unit:
"I honestly found the unit resources to be among the most well organized resources I have ever used.” – Agnes Zellin, Delmar, New York
“The Energy in Ecosystems by Project Learning Tree is a fantastic online resource for students in grades 3-5. There are many things I love about it, but I would rank the following as my favorite parts: it’s all online, it is super engaging, targets the NGSS standards which are how my school’s science standards are aligned, and it also integrates the Common Core standards for English and Math.” - Teacher's Choice Award judge
“This is a wonderful way to explore the many facets of the tree in our environment. It is easy to do, not a huge amount of preparation, and can be done even in an urban environment.” – Laura Baker, Indianapolis, Indiana
PLT Professional Development
Did you know? PLT’s 50-state network offers educators both in-person and blended professional development that is planned and conducted by locally trained facilitators and customized for specific grade levels, topics, outcomes, and teaching situations. Learn more at www.plt.org/trainings/attend-a-training.
After completing the online workshop, you’ll be connected with a diverse and supportive professional network. You’ll also be eligible to apply for a PLT GreenWorks! grant for your students to implement an action project to improve the environment at your school or in your neighborhood.