Biological interactions are all around us, both in the natural world and within our human society. This lesson helps students recognize different types of biological interactions, with a focus on coral reefs.

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Interactions among biological organisms are key to how ecosystems function and there is a variety interactions that students will explore in this lesson. Using the coral reef community, students will learn through videos and activities to categorize relationships according to their impact on organisms and the coral reef. The connection with coral reefs shows how humans benefit from the food and other resources provided by the reefs and the protection the reefs provide to coastal beaches and property. The lesson plan can be completed in two 45-minute sessions, with a number of possible extension activities.

This lesson plan meets these Next Generation Science Standards: LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems; LS2.B Cycle of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems; and LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience.

The Nature Conservancy’s Nature Works Everywhere website is fill with dozens of additional resources including information about different ecosystems, connecting to nature, the relationship of native peoples’ to the land and nature, interviews with scientists, and project-based activities.

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