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Learn about Montana's Ecosystems.

The following lessons have been aligned to the Montana K-12 Science Content Standards (OPI 2006). These lessons are organized with an introductory tutorial explaining the topic in depth, the activity, and an assessment. Each activity can be completed after the other sections- Discover, Explore, and Conserve have been investigated. Or they can be completed independently.

Enjoy the activities and test your ecosystem IQ!

Interactive Activities

Food Chains

Scientists describe energy flow through an ecosystem as a food chain. A typical food chain receives its energy from the sun; plants then utilize the sun's energy to produce their own food; herbivores feed on plants; carnivores feed on other animals; nutrients are returned to the cycle through the work of decomposers. These activities simulate a food chain specific to each ecosystem.


Plants and animals have physical and behavioral characteristics that help them survive in their environment. The primary learning objective of this activity is for the learner to be able to identify adaptations that benefit an organism's chance for survival.


Learning about a plant or animal involves studying the unique features of that organism. These features are used to find similarities or differences between the organisms. Organisms are grouped according to specific criteria. There are many ways to classify organisms; however, most scientists typically use the Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species classification system.

Human Interaction

Many choices in day-to-day life impact the ecosystem where you live. Your actions can impact plants, wildlife, water, air, and land. The object of this activity is to provide you with specific situations so you can understand how human interactions can impact each ecosystem.