Ecosystems and a Cactus Craft

2nd grade Next Gen Science standards talk about Ecosystems.  One big concept in this unit is interdependence!  Here’s a look at the book, activity and craft that I used to build understanding about interdependence within an ecosystem.

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We start by reading this awesome trade book about the cactus ecosystem in the desert.

Image result for the cactus hotel
As we read, we chart all of the biotic and abiotic parts in this ecosystem.  I also add arrows to show how some of these parts depend on each other as well as the cactus.
Then, we do a cut and paste activity to show the interconnectedness of the cactus hotel.
Next, we write about our own cactus hotel.  We brainstorm who we depend on in our lives and how we depend on them (mom for dinner, house for a warm place to stay…).  And we also talk about anyone or anything that depends on us (pets for food, bedroom for cleaning…). 
We also make this cute cactus craft to display with our writing.  
Here’s how I made this 3D cactus craft!
I cut out the templates from the ecosystems unit.  I cut 3 large green ovals and two small green ovals.  Plus, I cut 3 brown pots.

I folded the large ovals in half and then glued the halves together so that it made a 3D cactus.

I used a black crayon to add the lines and ridges.

Next, I cut small lime green triangles to add a few spikes to the cactus.

Finally, I added a pink tissue paper flower to the top and stapled the brown pots around the base.

This 3D cactus will stand up or you can put a string through a top hole and hang them!  If you want to display the cactus with your cactus hotel writing, you can also make a 2D version to glue above the writing!
All of these templates, charts and activities can be found in this second grade Ecosystems Unit.

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