Plants and animals depend on each other to survive. To review some of the relationships we have explored, I ask the class to think back to our discussions on air we breath and how when we exhale we in turn help the plants. I want to review this and give the name of producer and consumer to our description. We are then going to add these terms to our science journal.
In order to understand how interdependence works I begin by writing the word on the board for them to put into their journals. To help them see the bigger picture, I ask them to help me as I tell a story of a pizza. Pizza is a food that we eat and the dough from that pizza is made from wheat. Wheat is a plant that grows because of the sun. In order for the wheat to grow it is dependent on the sun for energy. Therefore, we have to the energy of the sun in order to eat a wonderful slice of pizza.
I now ask students to work with their elbow partner and think about the wheat again and another animal like a caterpillar. I want them to connect how caterpillars are dependent on the wheat and to try to connect it to a cycle. Each pair is given time to discuss this. We then go over this as a class and then brainstorm together other interdependent relationships.
To practice, I found a worksheet where students have to think about the relationships of plants and animals. Students will read a clue that identifies an interdependent relationship. They will then use the clue to identify the animal or plant that it relates to. We complete the worksheet as a class and talk about each relationship. Toward the end, I ask them to try to take the connection to another interdependent relationship.