Primary Succession Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan is a tool for helping students learn about primary succession. Students will be able to use domain-specific language to summarize the formation of new habitats following a major event.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson on primary succession, students will be able to:

  • Cite text evidence when answering questions about primary succession.
  • Summarize the process of creating new habitats after a catastrophic event.
  • Use content-specific language to describe primary succession.

Length

90 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.2

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.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.4

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 9-10 texts and topics.

  • NSGG.HS-LS2-6.

Evaluate claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms.

Vocabulary

  • avalanche
  • colonization
  • decomposition
  • ecology
  • habitat
  • inhabit
  • organisms
  • pioneer species
  • primary succession
  • succession

Materials

  • Copies of the quiz
  • Copies of the lesson
  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Access to internet research sites

Reading & Discussion Questions

  • Preview vocabulary with students before watching the lesson.
  • Watch What is Primary Succession? - Definition & Examples as a class.
  • Pause after 0:20, ask:
    • What is primary succession?
  • Play the remainder of the lesson, ask:
    • What are some events that might precipitate primary succession?
    • After a volcano erupts and lava flows creating new land, what organisms are present?
    • What are some examples of pioneer species?
    • What is the role of pioneer species?
    • What are some more complex species that may follow pioneer species?
    • How is primary succession after an avalanche different from primary succession after a volcano erupts?
  • Ask if there are any questions, then give the students the lesson's printable worksheet to check for understanding.
  • Check the answers as a class.

Activities

Materials: Copies of lesson, paper, pens, chart paper, markers, access to internet research sites

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