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What's a Niche?

Grade Level: 6-8

Introduction: Students will collect information about a cloud forest species: the white-faced capuchin monkey, mantled howler monkey, bromeliad, or orchid.  Students will collect information about the niches of these species then analyze the similarities and differences between them.  They will then consider how two similar species can co-exist in a localized area.

Objectives: Students will be able to: (1) define “niche” and use it in appropriate contexts, (2) describe the niches of selected cloud forest species, (3) relate the role of niches in supporting cloud forest species diversity.

National Science Standards: Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence (A); think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations (A); recognize and analyze alternative explanations and predictions (A); communicate scientific procedures and explanations (A); structure and function in living systems (C); regulation and behavior (C); populations and ecosystems (C); diversity and adaptations of organisms (C).

Time: 60 minutes (5 minutes for Opening, 30 minutes for Part 1, 20 minutes for Part 2, 5 minutes for Closing). (Part 3 of the lesson will be completed as homework.)


Lesson Plan: PDF | DOC

Worksheets: PDF | DOC

Venn Diagram: PDF | DOC

Warmup: PDF | DOC

Related Plans:

  1. Life History of a Strange Tree: The Strangler Fig
  2. What's a Niche?
  3. Symbiosis, Mutualism, Parasitism and More
  4. Cloud Forest Adaptations
  5. Plant Defense
  6. Animal Diversity
  7. Living History Project


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