Approaching Bernal Heights Hill, San Francisco, California

©Ken Lund


Explore your neighborhood's ecosystems.

  • observe your neighborhood's ecosystem
  • practice scientific sketching
  • paper or science notebook
  • pencil

During your field trip to Africa, you explored a new ecosystem, discovering plants and animals that live there and how they are interconnected. Now its time to explore your neighborhood's ecosystem.

Reminder: As you explore your neighborhood, please follow all social distancing and park rules.


Copy or print the Neighborhood Ecosystem worksheet onto a piece of paper.
(Note: there are two pages)


What lives in your neighborhood’s ecosystem?

  1. Pick a location in your neighborhood – you can find living things almost anywhere. Some ideas: on the sidewalk, in a yard, or in a nearby park.
  2. Observe your location for 10 minutes.
  3. Find 3 living things to study. Try to find at least one plant and animal.
  4. Create a scientific sketch of each living thing.
    • Remember to start with shapes, then add details
  5. To help you identify living things, download the SEEK app.


How are the living things interconnected in your neighborhood’s ecosystem?

  1. Using the information you collected about the living things, draw or write a food web for your neighborhood’s ecosystem.
    • Remember to connect animals and plants in your ecosystem with arrows pointing towards who is doing the eating.
  2. Things to think about:
    • What does your living things eat?
    • What might be eating it?

Discuss with your class or family your discoveries:

  • What living things did you find in your neighborhood?
  • Where they connected on the food web? Why or why not?
  • What other living things could you add to your ecosystem's food web?
Appropriate for: 5th Grade
Standards for: 5th Grade
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Activity Time: 30 minutes