Lesson Plan Template: Learning Cycle (5E Model)
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
Students will be able to:
- define the 5 major relationships among organisms in an ecosystem.
- explain the relationships among organisms using specific examples from a real-life ecosystem.
- identify similarities and differences among the relationships.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
Students should be familiar with the basic concept of an ecosystem - living and nonliving things interacting with each other. Access this prior knowledge by asking the question, "What is an ecosystem?"
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
How do organisms within an ecosystem relate to each other?
Are these relationships beneficial or harmful?
Can two organisms interact with no impact on each other?
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
Introduce the day's topic by leading a discussion based on the guiding questions. These questions can also be used as a formative assessment to gauge how much the students know about organism interaction. Answers can be recorded as a class on the board or the attached Who's in My Burrow chart can be filled out individually. The teacher can collect this chart and use it as a formative assessment.
Usethe provided PowerPoint to introduce the sandhills ecosystem and some of the species in the system. Alternatively, the teacher can use a different ecosystem specific to their local area if desired. The PowerPoint describes how the species interact and provides examples of the 5 major relationships.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
Divide students into groups of 4 or 5. Have students research specific ecosystems using books or websites (see Further Recommendations section for suggested ecosystems and associated web resources). Students should identify at least 3 of the 5 relationships and create a presentation depicting specific examples from their ecosystem. Presentations can be created as PowerPoint, Prezi, or interactive SMARTBoard, depending on the available technology. During this work time, the teacher can walk around the room providing feedback and posing questions to each group to help them think further about the concepts.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Students will then present their findings to each other using SMARTboard, PowerPoint, Prezi, or some other presentation mechanism. Presentations can be graded as a summative assessment, if desired (see Presentation Rubric attached).
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
Generate discussion during each presentation by asking:
- How are predation and parasitism similar? How are they different?
- What is the difference between commensalism and mutualism?
- How are predation and competition similar? How are they different?
- How do competition and predation impact organisms differently?
An in-class quiz, take home quiz, or exit slip (see summative assessment) will provide the final closure.
The presentation session can be graded as a summative assessment if desired (see Presentation rubric, attached).
An in-class quiz, take home quiz, or exit slip will provide a final assessment:
- List and define the 5 major relationships among organisms (alternatively, these 5 relationships can be provided such that they only need to provide the definition not the terms)
- Using ecosystems you learned about in class, provide specific examples of 3 of the 5 organism relationships.
- How are these relationships similar? How are they different?
- Given what you have learned about organisms interacting in different ecosystems, do you think two organisms can interact with no impact to each other?
Using the Guiding Questions to initiate a conversation at the beginning of the lesson can help the teacher assess initial understanding. The attached chart (Whos in My Burrow.docx) can be collected and reviewed while students are working on their presentations. Throughout the PowerPoint presentation, ask students to identify relationships described on the slides.
Feedback to Students
Provide initial feedback to students during discussions that stem out of the PowerPoint presentation. While students are working on their ecosystem presentations, pose questions to each group to help them think further about the concepts. Final feedback can be provided during presentation discussions. Students can apply this feedback when answering exit slip/quiz questions.