Science Shorts: How Symbiosis Creates Diversityby: Joshua Lord

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Diversity in habitats on Earth is astounding—whether on land or in the sea—and this is in part due to symbiosis. The lesson described in this article helps students understand how symbiosis affects different organisms through a fun and engaging game where they match hosts and symbionts based on their respective needs. This 45-minute lesson is most successful when it follows a lesson on foodwebs, in which students learn how different organisms are connected.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (4)
  • on Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:58 PM

Great activity, and easy to "level up" for 6th graders. Here are the cards referenced in Josh Lord's article --

Lisa  (King of Prussia, PA)
Lisa (King of Prussia, PA)

  • on Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:11 PM

The author of this article describes a game his fourth grade student’s play to understand symbiosis and the three forms of symbioses. The 5E lesson describes how he uses the game but you need to download the website provided to locate all the cards that he uses in this game. Although he uses it for fourth grade it would be helpful for a middle school class as well.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:33 PM

Simple, engaging activity that could easily be assembled by an aide or parent for your students to review symbiotic relationships. Can be played in small groups or whole class. There are extension idea provided. The only drawback to this activity is that you will need to spend some time online to search for your ecosystem pics.

Alyce D  (Peyton, CO)
Alyce D (Peyton, CO)

  • on Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:33 PM

I especially appreciate the use of the 5E instructional model and the incorporation of games. Highly recommended!

Kendra Young  (Lake Stevens, WA)
Kendra Young (Lake Stevens, WA)

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