Educator Resources for Close-Knit Neighbors

A jar of pond mud may just look like muck, but it’s actually a complex community of different organisms. Near the top, algae grow and make oxygen from the light. Near the bottom, bacteria feed on sulfur compounds. In between, different communities live wherever is best for them: eating chemicals produced by the things around them, and avoiding chemicals that poison them. In this game, you can create your own ecosystem by rearranging the different communities in our jar. Hover your mouse over different types of bacteria to learn where they would prefer to live in your ecosystem jar.

Create a Sustainable Ecosystem Lesson Plan: The Close-Knit Neighbors Game

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 3 through 8, students use BrainPOP resources to explore symbiosis and how living things need one another to survive. Students will then create a sustainable ecosystem through virtual game play by correctly layering the different communities in a Winogradsky Column. This lesson plan is aligned to Common Core State Standards.  See more »