The Long and Short Story of Ecological Succession
This lesson addresses the concept that changes in ecosystems are sometimes slow and take hundreds or thousands of years and, at other times, can take place suddenly. Instruction and review are included in a game format that provides a platform for discussion. After students learn how succession occurs in the familiar temperate forest ecosystem, they are given the opportunity to conduct literature research and learn about the mechanisms and rates of succession in other, less familiar ecosystems. Sharing research findings among students brings an appreciation for how and why environmental changes can occur at different rates. The Ohio web site classifies this lesson as one for seventh grade. It is very appropriate for high school biology students expecailly if teachers give additional higherorder thinking skills. All major concepts and vocabulary words associaled with succession are taught in this lesson plan.
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