Biodiversity Lesson Plan

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

In this lesson, students will explore the topic of biodiversity, including how it is important to ecosystem stability. Students will define some related terms and construct a written response that incorporates all new information presented in the lesson.

Learning Objectives:

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define biodiversity and link it to ecosystem stability
  • model biodiversity's importance to ecosystem stability in a unique, written example


30-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards:

  • NGSS Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems Standard: IHS-LS2-6

Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.

  • NGSS Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems Standard: HS-LS4-6

Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity.*


Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.


Analyze the structure of the relationships among concepts in a text, including relationships among key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction force, energy).

Key Vocabulary:

  • biodiversity
  • species diversity
  • genetic diversity
  • ecological diversity


  • Begin the lesson with a bit of a trick activity. Have students work independently or with partners to list all of the species of organisms they have ever heard of. Only give them a minute or two to do this. Watch as they frantically try to list them all! The point of this introductory activity is to show them that the biodiversity of our planet is immense. They can't possibly name all the organisms they've heard of!
  • Start the video lesson: What is Biodiversity? - Definition and Relation to Ecosystem Stability. Ask students to take notes as they watch the video.
    • Note: For students that might have trouble taking notes during the video, a text transcript of the lesson can be found that you can print off and they can highlight.
  • Pause the video at 3:07 and write the following terms on the board.
    • Species diversity
    • Genetic diversity
    • Ecological diversity
  • Define the terms, replaying the video if necessary. If working with a group of students, write consensus definitions on the board.
  • Play the remainder of the video.

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