Community Ecology Lesson Plan

Instructor: Adrianne Baron

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

Communities interact in many ways. Your students will learn about community ecology as they watch a video, create demo posters, and complete a worksheet about community ecology.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Define ecology and community ecology
  • Identify types of community ecology
  • Describe interactions between and within species in a community


1.5 - 2 hours

Curriculum Standards

  • HS-LS2-6. Evaluate 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.
  • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • HS-LS2-8. Evaluate evidence for the role of group behavior on individual and species' chances to survive and reproduce.
  • HS-LS4-6. Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity.


  • Copies of the lesson worksheet
  • Computer with projector
  • Poster boards
  • Markers
  • Index cards with a different type of community interaction on each one


  • Start the class by asking your students to tell how they interact with each other. Allow several students to answer. Tell your students that they represent part of the school community. There are many other members of the community and many other types of interactions as well.
  • Tell your students that they are going to learn more about what you are referring to as they watch the Community Ecology: Definition & Types video lesson.
  • Play the video for your students and pause it for periodic discussions about the video.
  • Start the video from the beginning and pause it the first time at 1:14, then ask and discuss the following as a class:
    • What is a community?
    • What is a habitat?
    • What is a community ecologist?
    • What is a biological community?
  • Continue playing the video and pause it again at 2:49, then ask and discuss the following as a class:
    • What is predation?
    • What are the two participants in predation?
    • What is a food chain?
    • Who makes their food in a food chain?
    • What do we call animals that only eat plants?
    • What type of consumer is at the top of the food chain?
  • Continue playing the video and pause it again at 5:01 to ask and discuss the following as a class:
    • What is competition?
    • Does competition occur within or between species? How do you know?
    • What is symbiosis?
    • What is mutualism?
    • What is an example of symbiosis?
  • Play the rest of the lesson for your students and answer any questions they may have at this point.

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