Lesson ideas

We have some interesting ideas and resources for anyone delivering lessons on freshwater ecology and hedges.

Freshwater Ecology

Ponds provide an excellent resource for both quick and extended learning activities. Ponds are not just for primary science – these activities are aimed at secondary students, but many are easily adapted for use with younger and older students. Watch this short video for more ideas

Acid Attacks: What effect does the pH of a pond have on the organisms that are found living there? A simple comparison of pH within and across ponds and how life differs depending on this.

Blooming Algae: What causes the “bloom” of algae in ponds? A lab-based activity that measures the effect of increased nutrients on algal growth.

Designing Keys: Why are keys so important? Students can develop and use a pond-based key using their own observations of the organisms they find.

Getting oxygen: All organisms demonstrate adaptations to their environment. How do aquatic invertebrates get oxygen? This simple game of bingo helps students to identify a few key organisms and link their physiology knowledge to the process of gas exchange.

Photosynthesis: How well do plants photosynthesise in aquatic environments? This activity compares three species and their photosynthetic activity.

Water Biochemistry: Why is water so essential for life? This lesson focuses on the chemistry of water as it applies to ponds and its inhabitants, and is more suited to A-level biologists and beyond.


We have a series of resources related to hedges. Hedges form one of the most widespread wildlife habitats in the UK, home to both common and rare species. These habitats offer schools many opportunities for teaching practical ecology in a terrestrial environment.

What is a hedge? Why are hedges important and what are they?

Varieties of Leaves: There are lots of different plant species which can form a hedge and telling which ones are which are great skills for students to develop.

Laterality in leaves: This lesson idea explores laterality in holly leaves.

Creating a Hedge: Tips and information for creating a hedge in a school ground and how to maintain it.

Hedges and Safety: Make sure you stay safe when doing hedge fieldwork.