Amanda Ripa, School Garden Coach at Messalonskee Middle School, used this lesson plan to align planning out their newly installed hoophouse with their 7th grade science learning standards.

[Learn more about the Messalonskee School Gardens, and the School Garden Coach Pilot Program.]

Learning Goal: understands ways in which organisms interact within a system.

7th Grade Science

Our world depends on biodiversity,the variety of life on Earth! There are MILLIONS of different species of organisms, all of which depend on each other for different reasons. All species are INTERACT with each other within their habitat. There are five major ways that species interact.

So what does this have to do with our hoophouse? Our hoop house will be a living habitat and system! The plants will be interacting with each other, with organisms in the soil, and with the environment! We need to plan out the BEST way to set up our gardens and consider ALL the interactions taking place! WE are also a part of this system!

Follow the steps below!

  1. Read about species interactions here:

http://www.ck12.org/book/CK-12-Life-Science-Concepts-For-Middle-School/r14/section/12.9/

http://www.growinganything.com/companion-planting-charts.html

and fill out the comparison matrix while you are reading! (on the next page)

  1. Practice with the vocabulary on quizlet: show Mrs. Ripa when you get 90% or better  https://quizlet.com/80494123/species-interactions-vocab-flash-cards/
  2. Use the list of organisms on page 3. Draw lines to connect relationships (at least one of each of the five types!)
  3. Use these resources to help you to best design where we should plant each type of plant we are growing in our hoop house! http://www.slideshare.net/Fawn85w/herb-companion-planting-chart-herbal-gardens-15550890 and http://www.slideshare.net/Farida43h/companion-plants-for-better-yields?related=1. Also the books available in teh classroom, “Carrots Love Tomatoes,” and “Organic Gardening.”

FINAL PRODUCT CRITERIA:

Create a poster or digital sketch up of the hoophouse and raised beds. See template for how our hoophouse area will be set up. You must label where the plants will be located. Along with your plan you need to justify (support) your choices with reasons based on the five ways that species interact. This means a typed paragraph that includes an explanation of the vocabulary and why you chose to organize the plants how you did.

Directions: Use the table of organisms in your packet AND the companion chart or the links in your packet to fill out the table. You will use this information to help you plan out your ideas for our hoop house garden designs!

Species 1 Species 2 Interaction Description of interaction (who benefits? who is hurt or not affected? how does this happen?)
Mutualism
Commensalism
Competition
Parasitism
Predation

Which type of interactions do we want to happen in our gardens? Give an example.

Which type of interactions do we want to avoid? Give an example.

What’s living in our garden ecosystem?

Plants Soil Organisms and Microbes Plant Pests Other organisms in the ecosystem
Sugar snap peas earth worm japanese beetle toads and frogs
green beans/bush beans mites tomato hornworm snakes
early carrots bacteria slugs deer
mesclun lettuce mix fungi potato beetle moose
summer squash centipede aphids harvestman (daddy long leg)
watermelon ants ladybug butterfly
cantaloupe snail diseases bee
tomatoes ear wig whitefly chipmunk
california red and green peppers pill bug robin
chives sparrow
basil mouse
oregano
spinach
pumpkin

(we may add more plants! and there are MILLIONS of organisms- can you add more to this table??)

FINAL PRODUCT CRITERIA:

Create a poster or digital sketch up of the hoophouse and raised beds. See template for how our hoophouse area will be set up. You must label where the plants will be located. Along with your plan you need to justify (support) your choices with reasons based on the five ways that species interact. This means a typed paragraph that includes an explanation of the vocabulary and why you chose to organize the plants how you did.