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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th


Science, Biology

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Worksheets

Regional Focus

Global, Asia



Parachuting Cats in Borneo

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  • In this activity, students will put a series of events in order to make a logical story that shows how ecosystems are interconnected. 
  • Students will learn that DDT was used to stop a malaria outbreak in Borneo, setting off a series of damaging effects to the ecosystem that eventually led the World Health organization to parachute thousands of cats to the island. 

Teaching Tips


  • This interesting story shows how human interference in ecosystems can have unintended consequences.
  • Teachers can download the resources and use them offline or print them. 
  • The teacher's guide includes an answer key. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have basic knowledge about how ecosystems work.
  • Teachers can find the full story on page 2 of the teacher's guide.


  • Teachers may need to provide some context for the students to sequence the events. If students are struggling, the teacher could read the story out loud to help the students out.
  • Art or English language arts classes could have students turn this story into a comic book. Students could write a preface that explains how the story demonstrates the interconnectedness of ecosystems.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video on the collapse of biodiversity, this interactive flowchart that shows the connection between ecosystems and humans, and this video for teachers about how to teach the cycling of matter in ecosystems. 
Scientist Notes
This resource uses a real-life example of how unintended consequences can have negative impacts on a community. It teaches students how interconnected our ecosystems are and that preserving them is very important. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
      • MS-LS2-3 Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
      • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
      • HS-LS2-6 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
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