Reflection: Modeling Biodiversity: What's the Big Deal? - Section 2: Activity

 

I love this simulation on the importance of biodiversity because, while it is simple, it is memorable and effective at showing how fast disease can spread through an ecosystem that is made up of a monoculture. Students were pretty surprised at how quickly the majority of the class "died".  Students were able to use this to begin to develop explanations on how high biodiversity benefits an ecosystem.  Students even referred back to this idea during the next lesson when we discussed ways that humans could help to improve biodiversity.

I also liked how this activity lends itself nicely to the impact of genetic diversity, which is a topic that is likely to be discussed during future lessons on cloning and genetic engineering.  The more connections that can be made within and between units, the more likely that students will remember this information long term.

  Simple But Effective
  Modeling: Simple But Effective
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Biodiversity: What's the Big Deal?

Unit 5: Biodiversity and Spiders
Lesson 8 of 9

Objective: SWBAT explain why maintaining biodiversity is important to the health of an ecosystem and develop suggestions for maintaining biodiversity.

Big Idea: Students work to recognize that changes to part of an ecosystem can have positive or negative impacts on the entire ecosystem.

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