Ecology Fundamentals

Ann Elders, Mark Twain Elementary School, Federal Way, WA
School Library Journal
October 2006

To introduce the concepts and vocabulary related to the fundamentals of ecology, this presentation focuses on the relationship of animals and organisms to each other and to their environment through clear, colorful, live-action photography. The six sections discuss “Ecology,” “Organisms, Population, Community,” “Ecosystem,” “Habitat and Niche,” “Ecosystem Roles,” “Food Chains and Food Webs”. There’s also a section that provides a summary and a video assessment. Each segment defines terms by questioning viewers, offering oral explanations with visual examples, displaying the definition, and observing nature. The organization is good and allows teachers to focus on individual concepts. Viewers are asked to describe and compare in several of the segments. The female narration is a bit monotone. With the DVD format, dialogue can be displayed on-screen and still photos from the presentation can be accessed. The teacher’s guide includes worksheets, tests, and activities. Teachers will find this program useful for environment and animal units.