ALEX Lesson Plan

     

Patterns of Interactions: What Relationships Exist Between Organisms in an Ecosystem?

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Hannah Bradley
System: Dothan City
School: Carver Magnet School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 35241

Title:

Patterns of Interactions: What Relationships Exist Between Organisms in an Ecosystem?

Overview/Annotation:

Students will begin by brainstorming a list of ways that organisms may interact within an ecosystem. Then students will have an opportunity to share their list with a peer and with the class. Next, students will create a jot chart that will detail the five relationships that may exist between organisms in an ecosystem: competition, predation, mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism. At the conclusion of the lesson, students will examine food webs and predict the patterns of interactions that may exist between and among organisms in an ecosystem.

This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SC2015 (7) Life Science
8. Construct an explanation to predict patterns of interactions in different ecosystems in terms of the relationships between and among organisms (e.g., competition, predation, mutualism, commensalism, parasitism).

Local/National Standards:

 

Primary Learning Objective(s):

  • Students will be able to describe the relationships that can exist between and among organisms in an ecosystem, such as competition, predation, mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism.
  • Students will be able to identify the patterns of interactions that exist between and among organisms in an ecosystem.
  • Students will be able to construct an explanation to predict the patterns of interactions between and among organisms in an ecosystem.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Student Materials (per student)

Pencil/pen

Notebook paper

"Patterns of Interactions" Jot Chart (see attachments)

"Patterns of Interactions Predictions" Handout (see attachments)

Note: Food web diagrams on the handout can be found on the following websites: "Food Web Diagram" from thinkscience.org and "Food Web and Symbiotic Relationships" from intertidalproject.weebly.com

Website for background information and intervention strategy: "Food Chains-Interactive Sites for Education" from interactivesites.weebly.com.

Teacher Materials

Chart paper or board

Teacher computer with ability to project sound

"Patterns of Interactions" PowerPoint Presentation (see attachments)

Note: Corresponding video clips are included in the PowerPoint. A bibliography is included on the last slide.

Technology Resources Needed:

Student Technology Resources

An internet-capable device to view "Patterns of Interactions" PowerPoint (if available)

Teacher Technology Resources

Teacher computer with ability to project sound

Background/Preparation:

Student Background Information: This lesson will serve as an introduction to the patterns of interactions that may exist between and among organisms in an ecosystem. Students will need prior experience in determining the relationships between organisms on a food web. The fifth grade Alabama Course of Study standard 11 relates to this concept. Students can visit the following website to play a variety of games related to food chains and food webs: "Food Chains-Interactive Sites for Education" from interactivesites.weebly.com. These games could serve as an introduction or review of this concept for students before beginning this lesson.

Teacher Background Information: There are several patterns of interaction that may exist between and among organisms within an ecosystem. Predation occurs in a predator-prey relationship when one organism hunts and eats another organism. Competition can exist between organisms of the same species or among organisms of different species, when the organisms compete for limited resources, such as food, water, space, or light. Symbiotic relationships exist between organisms of different species, and they can be beneficial or harmful to organisms in the relationship. Mutualism exists when both organisms experience a beneficial outcome in the relationship. Commensalism exists when one organism receives a benefit from the relationship, and the other organism is unharmed or unaffected. Parasitism exists when one organism benefits from the relationship, while the other organism is harmed. The teacher can review the websites listed in the bibliography of the PowerPoint to learn further information about the relationships that can exist between and among organisms in an ecosystem.

The teacher should make all required copies prior to teaching the lesson.

  Procedures/Activities: 

Before Strategy/Engage: 15 minutes

1. The teacher should give the students two minutes to respond to this quick write prompt: "Create a list of ways organisms may interact with each other in their environment."

2. After the students create their lists individually, the teacher should allow students two minutes to discuss their answers with a partner or group. The students should record any new ideas on their list. 

3. After students discuss their lists, the teacher should ask student volunteers for their responses and create a class list of ways organisms may interact with their environment.

4. After completing the class list, the teacher should encourage students to determine ways the examples could fit together. For example, the students may have given an example that one animal eats plants, while another animal preys on other animals. The teacher could group these two examples together by circling them on the chart.

During Strategy/Explore & Explain: 30 minutes

1. The teacher should give each student a copy of the "Patterns of Interaction" jot chart (see attachments). 

2. The teacher can project the "Patterns of Interaction" PowerPoint (see attachments) and allow students to take notes on their jot chart. If student technological devices are available, the teacher can share the presentation with students via Google Classroom, Edmodo, etc. to allow students to view the presentation and take notes individually or with partners.

Note: Corresponding video clips are included for each pattern of interaction.

After Strategy-Explain & Elaborate-30 minutes

1. The teacher should give each student a copy of the "Patterns of Interactions Predictions" handout (see attachments). This handout will require students to examine food webs that show the relationships between different organisms in an ecosystem and make a prediction about the patterns of interaction each species might experience.

2. The teacher should divide students into collaborative groups of approximately four students to allow students to discuss their responses on the "Patterns of Interactions Predictions" handout. The teacher should circulate among the students and ensure each student understands the relationships between and among organisms in the ecosystem. 



Attachments:
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  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

Formative Assessment: The teacher should informally assess students' understanding of the concept as students are responding and discussing the quick write prompt during the before strategy.

Summative Assessment: The teacher should formally assess students' understanding of the concept as students are completing the "Patterns of Interactions Predictions" handout by utilizing effective questioning techniques. The teacher should ensure each student is able to explain the patterns of interaction between and among organisms in an ecosystem. At the conclusion of the lesson, the teacher can review each student's "Patterns of Interaction Prediction" handout to confirm that students have met the lesson's objectives.

Acceleration:

Students who require acceleration can visit the following websites to apply their knowledge of the patterns of interactions learned during the lesson: 

"Symbiosis" from ck12.org-Students can play a game (PLIX), complete two practice assessments, or discover the "real world" applications of symbiotic relationships.

"Competition" from ck12.org-Students can complete two practice assessments or discover the "real world" applications of competitive relationships in nature.

"Predation" from ck12.org-Students can complete two practice assessments or discover the "real world" applications of predator-prey relationships in nature.

Intervention:

Students who require additional preparation prior to the lesson can visit the following website to play a variety of games related to food chains and food webs: "Food Chains-Interactive Sites for Education" from interactivesites.weebly.com. 

The teacher should provide additional assistance to students requiring intervention strategies during the after portion of the lesson. The teacher could select the collaborative groups during this portion of the lesson to ensure helpful students are paired with students requiring intervention. 

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.