Communities and Evolution:
Lesson plan for resource competition
Suggestion for lesson plan:
This workshop will be 45 minutes or 2 x 45 min long.
1. This workshop starts with a general introduction (slides). The introductory slides start by defining competition, which is an interaction between organisms in which both are harmed when trying to use the same resource. They list some of the resources that the organisms can compete for and how niche overlapping can affect the interspecific competition. This introductory part should last only about 15 minutes.
2. After the short introduction participants play the resource-competition game. The idea of the game is to demonstrate how overlapping niches and resource availability or densities can affect interspecific competition. The game has two versions that differ in their duration.
1) In a shorter version (ca. 15 – 20 minutes), participants are divided into two groups “competition” and “no competition”. Participants are competing for the resources in groups of three people for 4-6 rounds.
2) In a more extended version (ca. 30 – 40 minutes), participants play the few rounds in the “no competition” group. After which the game is reset, and all the players play the game in the “competition” version. Play resource competition game at least for 4-6 rounds.
Extra: You can visualize the result by drawing how the number of life chips changes with each round for each species and scenarios (no competition vs competition) separately. The x-axis will indicate the number of rounds, and the y-axis the total number of life chips per species for each round. You can also use this excel sheet to visualize your results.
3. After the game, you can discuss several things: Does the number of life chips differ with increasing rounds between “competition” and “no competition” group? Why? Why is interspecific competition important?
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More resources and inspiration:
Peter R. Grant ja B. Rosemary Grant: 40 Years of Evolution: Darwin´s Finches on Daphne Major Island. Princeton University Press. 2014
FuseSchool: Competition and Natural Selection
FuseSchool: Evolution by Natural Selection-Darwin´s Finches
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