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Frenemies, Bros and Killers: A Lesson in Symbiosis Lesson Overview

Students will collaborate with classmates to explore and explain different symbiotic relationships using known relationships, and then elaborating to new organism relationships. Students will be able to compare and contrast the symbiotic relationships of mutualism, predation, commensalism, and parasitism through several discovery activities.


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60 Minutes
Pairs, Individual, Whole Class
PTI Inquiry
1.3, 3.3, 3.4, 5.3, 5.7, 6.1, 6.2, 7.2, 7.3
Lesson Components Time Inquiry Skills Tech. Used Engage Level Brief Description
Engage 5 min 1.3 Laptop, Projector 3 Begin by showing a video clip, recognizing that different species interact with each other.
Explore 30 min 3.3, 3.4 none 3 Students will be given cards to match relationships with another student in the classroom. After this initial explore, students will be given an envelope of cards to glue to their worksheet and have to think of what they pair together and how that represent the emoticons on their sheet.
Explain 10 min 3.3, 3.4, 5.3, 6.1, 7.2, 7.3 none 2 Students explain relationships based off their pairings.
Expand 10 min 5.7, 6.2 Computer 3 Students play Brainrush game and match animal cards with their symbiotic relationships.
Evaluate 5 min 7.2, 7.3 none 1 Students check their understanding as a formative assessment (ticket out the door).

Level of Student Engagement
1     Low     Listen to lecture, observe the teacher, individual reading, teacher demonstration, teacher-centered instruction
2     Medium     Raise questions, lecture with discussion, record data, make predictions, technology interaction with assistance
3     High     Hands-on activity or inquiry; critique others, draw conclusions, make connections, problem-solve, student-centered

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