Benefits of Schools
This activity explores images of animals that live in groups, which serve as phenomena for learning about animal behavior.
Being in a group can have many advantages for animals. The images show three types of animals — fish, elephants, and honey bees — that benefit from group behavior. Certain fish, including the ones in the image, form coordinated groups called schools. Swimming in a school helps fish avoid predators and use less energy than when swimming alone. Elephants form herds made up of related females and their young. The elephants in a herd move together under the leadership of the oldest female, or matriarch. Honey bees live in hives that contain mostly female worker bees, a few male drones, and a single queen (shown in the image). Each type of bee has a different role; the queen in particular specializes in reproduction.
The “Educator Materials” document includes background information and implementation suggestions for using the images as phenomena. The “Student Handout” includes the images and background information.
“Benefits of Schools”/“Fish” image by Alexander Semenov, Moscow State University
“Following the Matriarch”/“Elephants” image by Jeff Trollip, Gorongosa National Park
“Single Mother”/“Bee” image by Alex Wild, Alex Wild Photography
Student Learning Targets
Examine images of phenomena, make observations, and ask questions.
Collaborate with peers on ideas, ask questions that require higher levels of reasoning, and develop deeper understanding of concepts.
Explain how group behavior can increase an individual’s chances of survival and reproduction, and ultimately benefit a species.
colony, eusociality, group, herd, hive, reproduction, selection, social behavior, survival
2.E.3, 4.A.5, 4.B.2; SP3