Sunday, February 9, 2014

Science Symbiosis Sort

NOOOOOOOO! The newscasters are calling for another possible bout of wintry mix and snow! I can't handle another 4 days of not being able to leave my general apartment area! We're right on the line of rain/wintry mix, so I need everyone to do an anti-snow dance for me. Please and thank you!

We started our study of ecosystems 2 weeks ago, but as you know the ice storm got in the way. We're way behind from where I wanted to be, so we're operating in "fast forward" mode. On top of that, we lost 2 days of Science this week because of DARE and then the awards ceremony. AHH! We'll make it work somehow!

Symbiosis Sort
Thursday and Friday we began studying symbiosis. The boys love talking about symbiosis because we get to talk about blood sucking and gross things. We started by reading about the different types of symbiosis in my Non-Fiction Science Readers: Organisms' Relationships. I also printed this awesome cartoon illustrating mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism from The Cool School Rap (FREE!).
Non-Fiction Science Readers: Organisms' Relationships            The Cool School Rap Science Comic- Symbiosis

Once the students read and we had a discussion about the different relationships, each of my 5 groups received a set of Symbiosis Sort from Ms. Haslacker Teaches 5th (FREE!).
Symbiosis Sort
They started by sorting the different examples in their groups. I gave them 15 minutes on the clock. Sometimes I am really shocked at the great conversations that I hear as I'm walking around. This was one of those activities that the students really had to think through and talk it out to find the right category. I loved 
that they even had their notes out to reference!

After they had categorized each example. I gave them 5 minutes. In this 5 minutes, they were to walk around to the other tables to look for any differences between the different groups. They had to move silently and they were not allowed to touch the cards! Some of them decided to keep their hands on their head to make sure they wouldn't touch. 

We went back to their seats and they could make any corrections that they wanted to. I kept this part un-timed and had them give me thumbs when they were ready. 

We still weren't done yet though! After cleaning up their cards, each student received one card each, while I retained the +,-,0 and definitions cards. They decided what type of symbiosis card they had and went to the corner of the room designated for that type. They had to discuss as a group whether everyone belonged there or where they should go if they weren't in the right spot. Once everyone thought they were in the right spot, we glued their slips to our class poster to display. 


I absolutely loved this activity! It was much more thought provoking than I had originally planned. The students (well most of them, I don't live in a perfect world) were engaged the entire time. They enjoyed the constant changes in the same activity. This was one of those lessons that afterwards you think, "Why did my administration not walk in on that beauty!?"


  1. Symbiosis is one of my favorite topics in science. This is so fun and honestly, I think older students could benefit from it as well.

  2. That's my comic! Thank you so much for using The Cool School Rap. I'm glad to see it's working.

    Laura Balliett

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