Ecology Disrupted: Unexpected Consequences of Human Daily Life On Habitat and Populations


Download the files below to use offline, or to incorporate into your own lesson planning tools.

Ecology Disrupted:
Changes to Habitats lesson plan



Ecology Disrupted:
Changes to Habitats investigation booklet




(Time required: about 90 minutes, over two class periods)

In this lesson sequence, students will extend what they have learned about the unexpected consequences of human daily life on habitat and bighorn sheep populations to habitats and populations of other animal species.

1. Populations Live in Habitats. (5 min)

Discuss habitats and populations in the context of daily life and bighorn sheep.

2. Highways Block Bighorn Sheep Graphic Organizer (5 min)

Students review what they learned about bighorn sheep in a graphic organizer. They respond to questions about:

  1. Habitat
  2. Populations
  3. The Unintended Consequences of Daily Life
  4. Using Data to Make Conclusions
  5. Sustainable Solutions

3. Watch other Science Bulletins and complete the graphic organizers for each. (50 min)

Students watch additional Science Bulletin videos about other species to learn about how human daily life can affect ecological function, and identify the ecological principles disrupted.  They then complete a graphic organizer on each example they watch.

4. Bringing Stories Together (10 min)  

Students will be asked to develop solutions for the fragmentation of the bighorn sheep habitat and analyze other examples of human disruptions of habitats.

Side-by-side photos of a fenced highway and  a group of bighorn sheep

Educator Materials

Bringing the Stories Together

How mundane or ordinary aspects of daily life can lead to environmental issues by disrupting ecological function, in this case harming populations by disrupting habitats.

5. Final Thoughts (25 min)

Ask students to complete the Final Thoughts section of the Investigation Booklet, available in the Downloads section on this page.