Engage: Can You Figure It Out?

Can you figure out the pattern in the chart below? What are these examples and nonexamples of? Look at the list below the image and determine which would be examples and which would be nonexamples. Think carefully! 


Additional Chart Items:




Explore I: Musical Life Science

View the complete video below once. Just listen and enjoy!

View the video a second time while making observations.

  • What is the video about? 
  • What words stand out most during the video? Which words do you remember most? Why?

Explain I: Biotic/Abiotic Factors

You're definitely getting a better understanding of what biotic and abiotic factors are. View the video below to get an even deeper understanding. See how many examples of biotic and abiotic factors you can write down from the video. Ready? Set? Watch!!!


Explore/Explain II: Investigating Impact

What do biotic and abiotic factors have to do with how organisms and populations survive in an ecosystem? What happens if you are invited to a party at a friend's house? You get there and you're having a great time. All your friends are there and the music is great, but people keep coming. Your friend's house quickly fills up. It starts to get warm in there, there's not enough room, and there doesn't seem to be enough fresh air. The increase in the number of friends has an impact on the quality of the party. It may likely have an effect on how long you stay at the party. In a similar way, an organism's environment can be impacted by biotic and abiotic factors. Choose a scenario below and visit the link to investigate how organisms depend on and compete for these factors. Download the Explain II recording sheet from the "Related Materials" section below. Be prepared to share your findings!

What's Happening with Pandas? Investigate how Pandas are losing the battle for biotic and abiotic factors. Use the information on this web page to complete your recording sheet

The Coral Isn't Okay! Investigate what's happening to living coral in the world's reefs. What role is the competition for biotic and abiotic factors playing? Focus on the sections labeled "About Corals" and "Threats" to complete your recording sheet.

Where'd the Bison Go? Investigate the decline of the American Bison. What biotic and abiotic factors were at play? How have Bison gradually lost the battle for wider survival? Use the information on the web page below to complete your recording sheet.

Elaborate: Survival News

In the Explain, you gained some understanding of how organisms depend on and may compete for biotic and abiotic factors. These factors can affect entire populations of organisms.

Imagine it is 2023 and you are a news reporter with a major news network. A few weeks after starting your new job, something strange begins to

happen. Populations of humans across the globe are dying off and scientists are trying to explain to the public what is happening. The task of reporting this breaking news falls upon you. You must write the news story and deliver it either live or on video. Make sure your story answers the following questions.

  • What is causing the various populations of human beings to die off?
  • What populations of humans are dying off the most? Where are they located?
  • What biotic factors are involved with the human populations' demise?
  • What abiotic factors are involved with the human populations' demise?
  • What competition is occurring for biotic and abiotic factors?
  • What other biotic and abiotic factors might help revive these human populations?


Good luck; the human race is counting on you!