Producers, Consumers, & Decomposers in Desert Ecosystems

Information About This Unit

List of Materials and Supplies Needed for This Pathway:

Desert Poem: 

  • Drawing paper
  • Colored pencils, crayons, or markers
  • A pencil


Food Chain Drawing: 

  • Drawing paper
  • Colored pencils or markers
  • A pencil or pen 


Decomposition Terrarium: 

  • 2 clear plastic 2-liter soda bottles (For consistent gathering of data, make sure all bottles used are clear plastic) 
  • Scissors 
  • 2" square pieces of cheesecloth, pantyhose, or handiwipes 
  • 2 rubber bands 
  • Tape 
  • 1 bag of sand or small-sized gravel 
  • 1 bag of garden soil 
  • Worms (100 total) 
  • Water 
  • 1-cup measuring cup  
  • Organic material in separate containers: choose any three items such as grass clippings, coffee grounds, newspaper strips, pine needles, pieces of lettuce, pine needles, leaves; do not use anything that contains meat or fish 
  • Inorganic material: choose any one item such as plastic, Styrofoam, or fabric 
  • A Ziploc bag 
  • Newspaper 
  • Sticks (coffee stirrers or pencils will do) 
  • Rubber gloves 
  • Worm journal (see assessment) section on the page)
  • A pencil
  • A camera (optional) 


The Lorax: 

  • The book, "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss  
  • A printer and basic printing supplies  
  • A pencil or pen
  • Handout (found on the site page)


Pet Store: 

  • Local pet store
  • Local plant nursery
  • A notebook
  • A pencil
  • A digital camera (optional)


Decomposers and Recyclers: 

  • 4 glass jars with lids (or other see through containers with lids) 
  • Tape 
  • 3 different food items (one with preservatives, two without preservatives) that do not contain meat or fish 
  • Water 
  • A spray bottle 
  • Plastic six-pack rings, cut up into small pieces 
  • A notebook
  • A pencil

Links to Free Learning Material

Subjects: Science
Grade Levels: 5th Grade
Resource Type: Lesson
Instructional Method: Traditional