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.
Symbiosis describes a relationship between two organisms in an environment. There are three main types of relationships: mutualism, parasitism, and commensalism.
The classroom resource provides a video that will describe the different ways organisms can interact within an ecosystem. There is also a short test that can be used to assess students' understanding.
Students engage with a variety of resources to learn about ecosystems and the interactions among organisms in ecosystems, with a focus on elk migration in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Groups create a second map layer for their unit project that shows how their focal animal’s migration impacts its ecosystem. This lesson is part of the Detours and Distractions: How Humans Impact Migration Patterns unit.
In this lesson, students will use the Internet to explore relationships between habitats and species (specifically the gray wolf and those species with which it must coexist) as well as the effect of physical and human forces on living things and their environment. This investigation uses the conflict between ranchers and wolves to explore the relationships between living things and their environments and the effects of physical and human forces on the natural world.
In this lesson, students will research several birds of prey and examine predator/prey relationships. The suggested reading and research questions should help students' understanding of these topics move forward, and may lead to a discussion of food chains and webs as well.
The purpose of this lesson is to acquaint students with a type of ecosystem (the submerged aquatic vegetation of a bay) and how the different organisms of that ecosystem compete with one another for resources. Students will research plants and animals that live in the submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) of a bay area. After researching the organisms, students will do class presentations and create a food web using pictures of all of the organisms. At the end of the lesson, they will discuss their ideas of organisms sharing food, space, water, air, and shelter.