Biological Relationships: Memory and Chain Game Lesson

 Author: Tonya Van Leuvan 

AreaLife Sciences 

 Grade Level: 6-12


This lesson plan is designed to introduce students to the interconnectedness of species within an ecosystem, and to use this knowledge to evaluate how the removal or decimation of one species can have far reaching effects. Inquiry-based questions are provided to be used in conjunction with this lesson.

This lesson is designed to compliment the textbook units that teaches 6 th, 7 th or 8 th graders about ecosystems; the biological relationships within them, and threats to them. It uses Coral Reefs to illustrate concepts (coral reefs can be used as a thread to tie each chapter of the units together).

Keywords: Ecosystem, Coral Reef, Food Web, Species Elimination, Populations


National Standards:

  • 5-8 th grade:
    • Populations and ecosystems . A population consists of all individuals of a species that occur together at a given place and time. All populations living together and the physical factors with which they interact compose an ecosystem.
    • Populations and ecosystems . For ecosystems, the major source of energy is sunlight. Energy entering ecosystems as sunlight is transferred by producers into chemical energy through photosynthesis. That energy then passes from arganism to organism in food webs.


Arizona Standards:

  • 6 th grade:
    • Strand 1: Concept 3: PO 2. Form a logical argument about a correlation between variables or sequence of events (e.g., construct a cause-and-effect chain that explains a sequence of events).
    • Strand 1: Concept 3: PO 6. Formulate new questions based on the results of a completed investigation.
    • Strand 2: Concept 2: PO 3. Apply the following scientific processes to other problem solving or decision making situations: predicting, inferring, identifying, variables, questioning, communicating, classifying.
    • Strand 4: Concept 3: PO 1. Explain that sunlight is the major source of energy for most ecosystems.
  • 7 th grade:
    • Strand 3: Concept 1: PO 1. Analyze environmental risks (e.g., pollution, destruction of habitat) caused by human interaction with biological or geological systems.
    • Strand4: Concept 3: PO1. PO 1. Compare food chains in a specified ecosystem and their corresponding food web


 Lesson Plan (pdf / doc)
 Memory Cards (ppt)
 ESL Memory Cards (ppt)
 Questions for Chain Game (pdf / doc)
 Keys for Chain Game (pdf / doc) 
 Arrows (pdf / doc)
 Relationship Labels (pdf / doc)

 Related Links:

 Ecosystem, Depletion of natural resources, Food Web, Biodome Ecosystem