Reflection: ELL Students Competition and Niches: Get in where you fit in - Section 3: Discussion


It's sometimes easy to forget just how big a difference in student ability levels can exist in a class.

The two attached examples of student work are illustrative of this.  


The first student demonstrates a rudimentary understanding of the concept of realized and fundamental niches.  Clearly though, this student could benefit from opportunities to hear and participate in more thorough explanations of the two concepts.

In the second example, the student thoroughly explores how humans can be both specialists and generalists.  It was in fact this student's answer to this question that made me decide to include this specific understanding of human adaptability as a central component of the discussion.


These both demonstrate the importance of whole-class discussions.  For those students at high levels, their insights can help raise the level of the entire classes understanding of a topic.  For those students that may struggle more, their questions provide opportunities for differentiation of instruction and invite deeper examination of a topic by all students.   

  ELL Students: A wide variety of understanding
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Competition and Niches: Get in where you fit in

Unit 3: Ecology
Lesson 4 of 8

Objective: Students will be able to describe the significance of competition in determining realized niches and be able to compare and contrast the three types of symbiotic relationships.

Big Idea: A species' occupied niche is often the result of adapting to very specific constraints imposed by both the non-living and living components of the ecosystem they inhabit.

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