Find what you need fast!  Type in your keyword and search.

Predator/Prey and Symbiotic Relationships

Context for this Lesson

Teaching Strategies: 

Topic: Relationships in Nature: Predator/Prey relationships, Symbiotic Relationships

Purpose: To review the vocabulary of mutualism, commensalism and parasitism and embody the different relationships.

Prior Knowledge: The types of symbiotic relationships.



Remind the students that this activity requires some management of personal space—"Can we agree to respect each other’s personal space in this activity?" Ask players to walk silently around the room at their normal pace. Have students practice using soft focus, focusing on someone without letting them know you are looking at them. After a minute or two, ask players to pick one person in the room who they will imagine is their predator. Players should keep walking and not reveal who they have chosen. Then ask players to pick another person in the room to be their personal defender, again keeping it secret who you have chosen.. As they walk, they must now keep their defender between themselves and their predator.

Describe: What did we do in this activity?

Analyze: How many of you think you were a predator? How many of you were defenders?

Relate: Did this activity make you think differently about predators/prey? If yes, why?


Image Work—Circle Sculpt

Invite the class stand in a circle. Remind the class that they’ve been discussing symbiotic relationships: mutualism, commensalism and parasitism. Review the definitions for each of these words. Tell the class that today we’ll be exploring image work, or frozen images to represent these concepts. "We’ll be using our whole bodies and faces, levels and space around us to create images that represent the concepts we’ve been talking about."
Large Group: Create the image of mutualism. Have the group think of what an image might look like that represents mutualism. The challenge here is to show the relationship between two things with just one body. Once most people have thought of an idea, count to three and have the group form their image at the same time. (OR, they can do their first image facing OUT from the circle, so they can’t see each other.)
Concentric Circles: Commensalism and parasitism: Challenge the students to form two concentric circles (one inside the other) in 10 seconds. Make sure that each circle knows who their “partner” is in the other circle. "When I begin counting to 10, the outside circle will now think of an image for commensalism while the inside circle closes their eyes." Ask the observers: "What do you see? What shapes can we see in space? What does this tell us about commensalism? What can we learn about the relationship between two things?"
Have the outside circle hold their positions while the inside circle walks around and takes a “tour” of the statues. Change roles—have the inside circle make statues of parasitism. Ask the observers: "What do you see? What shapes can we see in space? What does this tell us about parasitism? What can we learn about the relationship between two things?"
Pair Interviews/Hotseating
Review with the class some examples of mutualistic, commensalistic, and parasitic relationships: (m) sea aneomea, mitrochondria and cloroplasts, (c) bacteria and intestines, (p) fleas, ticks, tapeworms.
Assign students a partner. With their partners, they need to decide: Which symbiotic pair they would like to be and then discuss about how their relationship has been. Give partners about two minutes to discuss. Spotlight each partnership and interview them. Questions to ask: "Who are you? How do you feel about your partner? If you had to give your relationship a grade, A-F, what would you give it?"

Describe: What did we do today?

Analyze: Did embodying these symbiotic relationships give you a different perspective of these organisms? If so, why? Were there any discoveries you made when you had to go in role as the different organisms?

Relate: How can using image or role work broaden our understanding of these concepts?