Welcome! This listing features a fun cryptogram for an ecology unit that covers the interactions of species in the life sciences. A cryptogram is a type of puzzle with an encrypted text. In this cryptogram, students will decipher a number code to reveal the letters to form a summary statement text about symbiosis. The header on both of the student pages has a horizontal letter-number assignment table. Students start out the activity knowing the number assignments for six letters. The entire message appears as a series of blank lines grouped into what will become words. There are numbers located under approximately fifty percent of the letter lines, some of which students start out knowing and most others they don’t. As students fill in the words of the puzzle with the help of a word bank table on the bottom of the second page, they will discover the number assignments for additional letters. Students can keep track of their number-letter assignment findings on the tables at the top of each page.
The answer key for this activity reads: “Symbiosis is a close interaction between two different species that live together. There are three main types of symbiosis – mutualism, parasitism, and commensalism. Mutualism occurs when both species benefit from the activity of the other. In parasitism, a parasite benefits at the expense of the other species, living in or on it. Commensalism occurs when one species benefits from the close association with the other, while the other species neither benefits nor is harmed.”
I assign this fun activity to my middle school life science students. It takes them a 45-minute class period to complete. Biology and field ecology teachers could implement this activity as well in the appropriate introductory unit affiliated with the interactions of species.
This document will become editable upon conversion to Microsoft Word using an Adobe Acrobat Reader app. It includes a two-page answer key. Another plus is this activity is SUPER EASY TO GRADE!
This resource complements Interactions of Species Classification Worksheet #1 and Interactions of Species Classification Worksheet #2 in my store.
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