Lesson: Investigating factors that effect population sizes (limiting factors)
1.) DO NOW: What is required for organisms to survive? Field responses; possible answer include: space, water, air, food, shelter, etc.
2.) State: We are going to do an activity that investigates the way that the abundance or shortage of resources can affect population sizes. A resource is anything that is required for life, and without it, a population of organisms could decrease in an area.
3.) Give out handouts (Student graph activity one). Students will complete the worksheet with a partner. They will have to determine what a hypothetical graph of the population would look like given the scenario that they’re presented. Students may struggle with this because they will be used to making a graph based on collected data. There will be no data provided; they will simply have to determine the best shape of the graph, based on the situation.
4.) Students complete activity and answer questions at the end and review as a class. Have students defend why they chose to make their graphs in that particular way. Challenge their decisions—make them think!
5.) State: we are now going to do an activity to see the affect that space has on supporting a population of organisms.
6.) (Ahead of time) Make 3 squares on your classroom floor. One should be 1 meter x 1 meter. The next should be .5 meter x .5 meter. The last square should be .25 meter x .25 meter.
7.) Ask for volunteers to fit their feet into each square. Record on the board how many students each square can support.
8.) State: What we just modeled was the idea of limiting factors. In this case, the amount of space available determined how many organisms in a population could be supported. In ecology, there is a theoretical limit to the amount of organisms that can be supported for a certain population. This limit is called carrying capacity. Define on board: Carry Capacity- the amount of organisms of a certain species that can be supported in a certain area.
10.) Review worksheet with class, review what they learned that day, hand out homework and then dismiss.
|Using graphs to teach limiting factors Activity||