Lesson 2 Habitat, Range and Niche - Smart Design

Lesson Objectives:  Students will describe important factors that describe an organisms' habitat, range and niche in an ecosystem.  Students will apply this knowledge to develop ideas for improved human settlement.  Students will understand that the vast biodiversity supported on this planet is the result of smart ecological design (ie range, habitat, and niche).

Tasks:   Click here to download the smartboard presentation. 


1.  Describe what each (range, habitat, and niche) is. 

2.  Let's test our knowledge by building habitats.  Click on the image below to go to an online design game.  Then proceed to the next questions.

3.  View the two videos to appreciate the differences in niches.   What conclusions can you make about habitat diversity and the degree of species richness (i.e. biodiversity)?  What does species richness have to do with ecosystem survivorship?

4.  How has earth built enough habitats to support the vast multitude of populations and species on this planet?  Complete the handout.

5.  Can human settlement be designed differently; more intelligently.  To think about this, view the 25 min video below on the right "Deeper Shade of Green".  If this PBS video series intrigues you, click on the diagram at the bottom and it will take you to the e2 website where you can peruse several unique ways of changing how we do business.  Can we coexist better in our natural world?