Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This activity is a quick introduction to ecosystems through the use of a word association game called ‘Mind-Meld’.

Learning goals:

  • Students expand their subject-specific vocabulary and develop an understanding of an ecosystem’s components.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Year 9 Science

  • Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (ACSSU176)

Year 10 Science

  • Scientific understanding, including models and theories, are contestable and are refined over time through a process of review by the scientific community (ACSHE191)

Syllabus Outcomes: SC5-12ES, SC5-14LW

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low

Resources needed: Mind-Meld Student Worksheet, paper, pens (if available, mini-white boards).

Year Level: 9 & 10

Topic: Biodiversity 

Time needed: 20 minutes

Keywords: Ecosystems, biodiversity, abiotic and biotic components, coral reef, desert, bushland, rainforest.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Overarching learning goals: Students build on their understanding of an ecosystem's components and of subject-specific vocabulary.

Teacher content information: The biosphere describes our living world, from the upper areas of the atmosphere to the depths of the ocean. Biodiversity is a term used to describe all the living organisms that make up the web of life on Earth. From a microscopic bacteria to a naked mole-rat! Biodiversity consists of three levels: species diversity, ecosystem diversity and genetic diversity - all of which are equally important when considering conservation.

As the biosphere is too big to study as a whole, scientists study smaller parts called ecosystems. An ecosystem is made up of living things (biotic components) and non-living things (abiotic components) that interact in a particular area called an environment. The key to understanding ecosystems is realising that nothing exists in isolation, but rather all living things are connected

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: Do your mind and your friends' mind work in the same way?

What you need: Each of you will need a copy of this worksheet and a pen.

What to do:

Step 1. Pair up with another student.

Step 2. The whole class will be given a word or term, for example, 'mobile phone'. Each team member silently writes down three words that come to mind about the term mobile phones. The aim is for both members of the team to create a mind-meld by coming up with the same word. Each mind-meld scored is worth five points.

Step 3. The team with the most amount of points after three rounds wins!


Team Name: 

Round 1:  1.



Round 2: 1.



Round 3: 1.
- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.