Biotic & Abiotic Factors Lesson Plan

Instructor: Adrianne Baron

Adrianne has a master's degree in cancer biology and has taught high school and college biology.

This lesson plan will aid you in introducing biotic and abiotic factors to your students. Your students will read and discuss a text lesson and video, have a discussion, and create a key for an ecosystem.

Learning Objectives

By end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify biotic and abiotic factors in an ecosystem
  • Explain the interrelationships between biotic and abiotic factors within an ecosystem


1-2 hours

Curriculum Standards


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.


Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).



  • Start introducing your students to biotic and abiotic factors by reading and discussing Biotic Factor: Definition & Examples.
  • After reading the 'Earth is an Amazing Place' section, ask your students the following questions:
    • What is a biotic factor?
    • What are some examples of biotic factors? (Be sure your students cover microorganisms as well as making sure they understand that anything living or that once lived is a biotic factor.)
  • After reading the 'Biotic Interactions' section, have this discussion with your students:
    • What is an ecosystem?
    • What does abiotic mean?
    • What is a biotic interaction?
  • Read up to the lesson summary and ask the following questions:
    • What is a predator-prey relationship?
    • What is an autotroph?
    • What is the relationship between autotrophs and heterotrophs?
  • Read the lesson summary, answering any remaining questions.
  • Now start the Abiotic Factors: Definition & Examples video.
  • Pause the video at 0:57. Ask your students how abiotic factors affect biotic factors in an ecosystem. This is an opportunity for them to think about how the interrelationships work before they are covered in the video.
  • Play the remainder of the lesson.
  • Have a discussion with your class about limiting factors and ask them to come up with some possible limiting factors for their neighborhood.

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