In this lesson, students complete a card sort activity that introduces them to the various biotic interactions, or interactions between organisms, that may occur in a garden ecosystem. Then they make observations of their own garden, with a focus on seeing which interactions they can observe examples of in action. Students consider whether any organism can truly be “bad” for a garden ecosystem (an idea they’ll explore in much greater depth in L8_Weeding By Hand), and reflect on how understanding the biotic interactions in their garden may support them in developing a planting plan for the garden.
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- For sections that instruct students to READ, you can record yourself reading aloud and send it to students. Invite them to read along with the recording. This is a helpful strategy for differentiating learning that supports all students, especially English Language Learners.
- If you are teaching this lesson in the garden, we suggest completing the sections as a whole glass or in small groups. The garden is a great place for discussion-based lessons.
- An optional extension for this lesson invites students to apply what they have learned about biotic interactions between organisms to better understand the agricultural technique of integrated pest management as an alternative to conventional pesticides and fungicides.