Species Interactions - Relationships Between Organisms

Relationships Between Organisms Species Interactions Worksheet

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As is the case with many topics in Biology, species interactions contain a lot of new vocabulary which students don’t typically use as part of their everyday talk. So how do you familiarize them with the vocabulary so that they can proficiently discuss the interactions without them getting lost or disengaged in the process?

One engaging and practical way to do this is getting them to observe their favorite animals.  For those of you who have the opportunity to take your class to a zoo or wildlife park and watch first-hand –terrific, this is a great opportunity! For the rest of us, we will have to settle for the wonderful World Wide Web and observe from the comfort of our lab chairs.

The process of Teaching Species Interactions...

1. Choose a community to start on:

This is a perfect place to ask your students for their preference – students are so much more engaged when they have input into their learning!

Opt for either a jungle or ocean community as students often have a lot of prior knowledge of these communities which they are quite often more than willing to volunteer.

2. Think-Pair-Share!

Get your students to think-pair-share their ideas on the species relationships within your chosen community. Some of the vocabulary may even come out naturally at this point (or so we hope).

If you are not familiar with this method of collaboration, then follow the link below to get a rundown on how it works.

3. Watch clips relating to your chosen community:

You may already have your favorites lined up, or you can use the links below to get started:

Reef cleaners: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBSZigKYY1w

Lioness Hunting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzkeqNcupCs

Competition between Giraffes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQLPL1qRhn8

National Geographic’s critter cam is also a great resource to find all sorts of other interesting clips: http://video.nationalgeographic.com/search?subject=photography-equipment/crittercam/

4. Discuss the Clip with Your Class:

This is yet another place where think-pair-share works well introducing the relevant terms and definitions, based on what they have seen.

5. Quiz Time!

Once students can define each type of relationship, you can make up a team quiz/jeopardy game, etc. so that they learn to recognize these relationships quickly. We all know how students love a good competition. You can either do this by utilizing the copious numbers of clips from places like YouTube embedded into PowerPoint/ Prezi, or by making laminated description cards for them to work through.

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Relationships Between Organisms Species Interactions Worksheet

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