Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- The students will be able to identify and explain the impact of limiting factors on population dynamics.
- The students will be able to explain the four main rates (i.e. factors) that influence population dynamics (births, deaths, emigration, immigration) and demonstrate how those rates influence overall population growth rates and size at any point in time.
- Students will compare the different types of growth observed in species' populations.
- Students will be able to differentiate between the factors that increase the population size as well as the factors that reduce the population size.
- Students will be able to describe and compare abiotic and biotic factors in biomes/ecosystems.
- Students will recognize that potential changes to an ecosystem resulting from seasonal variations, climate change, and/or succession can influence population sizes and growth rates.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
The prior knowledge that students should have for this lesson are the necessities for life (j.e. limiting factors). A loose understanding of the vocabulary associated with the lesson (birth rate, death rate, biotic, abiotic, limiting factors, population, disease, predator, prey, resources, exponential growth, logistic growth, carrying capacity, etc.) will also be helpful for the students to know. Students should understand how to interpret basic graphs including: X and Y axes, how lines represent data in a graph, and how the line represent a rate when time is on the X axis (as in population change over time in this lesson).
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
Some guiding questions that can be used to invoke curiosity to the subject are:
What do we need to live?
- This question will elicit a slew of answers from the students. Let them be vague and naive for a bit and then bring them back the essential necessities of supporting life. The teacher will try to remind them that today's amenities are nice, but even if we had none of it, we could still be able to live as the cavemen did, for example.
- After the students wrap their minds around living very "primitively", ask the question again to see how the answers change.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
Teacher can utilize the video YouTube - National Geographic: 7 Billion to engage the student's attention in the lesson at hand. The class can discuss the points in the lesson.
The teacher will present the presentation (attached) that covers the vocabulary necessary to carry out the lesson for clarification. Within the lesson there are teacher presentation notes to be used in presentation view. A video link is included to show to the students in order to drive home the topics covered. The teacher should preview and load the video in preparation for the presentation. Population Dynamics
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
Accountable Talk (AT) Activity
Teacher will put students into groups of 4. Each student within the group will have one of the following questions:
- Based on today's world population and the rate at which the world population is increasing, should there be a global effort to limit population growth (such as China's 1 child per family law)? Explain.
- Should a government use a "limiting factor" argument (i.e. limited number of natural resources) as a reason for restricting the number of immigrants allowed into a country?
- The electric company wants to build a nuclear power plant in a large section of the Everglades to meet an increasing demand for energy. In order to build the power plant, they will have to develop a piece of land that is home to a large number of unique organisms that call the Everglades home. As a voting citizen, would you support this measure? Why or why not?
- The teacher will create question(s) that are relevant to the community, time of year, resources in the community, demographics and/or current events that aligns with the topic here.
Example: Students may respond that their everyday luxury items (iPod, Laptop, Cable, A/C, Sneakers, etc. are necessities, however reminding them of the "caveman days" scenario may help them to understand the true "necessities" for life).
Students will be familiarized with accountability talk (AT) and the importance of responding to questions and supporting their opinions. Within each group of 4 students, every individual student will receive a different question. The teacher should explain the use of AT and the importance of supporting their responses.
Give students 5 minutes to respond to their assigned question in the first box. Have the students rotate within their group, 1 minute reading period and then 5 additional minutes to respond to each question and what their peers wrote - utilizing AT in their response.
Repeat this procedure until each student in the group has responded to all 4 questions.
Each student will end with their original question. Students will read the opinions of their peers and create a final response to their original question utilizing the arguments of the other members of the group. They can agree or disagree with their original opinion, as long as they support their belief using AT.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Students can utilize the website, Tuna Population Simulation, where they can work through the simulations to see the differences in the population dynamics. This exercise is good for them because not only are they able to simulate the changes related to population dynamics but they can also become familiar with the vocabulary associated with the topic as it's used on this website. Students can then write two paragraphs reflecting on what happened when the different variable were changed in their simulations.
Exit Ticket Population Dynamics.docx
Students will complete the Exit Ticket (attached) that is composed of a few sample questions from the EOC practice bank chosen by the teacher for the standard being covered.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
Teacher will assign students to create a cartoon strip depicting the population dynamics of an ecosystem that they are familiar with (where they live or where they have visited) including limiting factors, abiotic and biotic factors also.
The teacher can utilize the document above to use as an exit ticket.
Exit tickets are great for evaluating the student's understanding of the topic without having to give a complete exam. The exit ticket in this lesson is designed to gauge the understanding of the lesson by the majority of the class without using a full exam. Within the next exam the teacher can incorporate the topics covered in this lesson.
In a particular ecosystem, a wolf population is a limiting factor for the moose population that it preys on. If the wolf population decreased, what would likely happen to the moose population?
If the teacher were to want a deeper view on how the student's grasped the lesson they can do a full exam using EOC type questions (or practice question).
It's always good to use questions that resemble those that will be used on the EOC so that the students will become familiar.
The teacher will project the World Population Clock: http://www.census.gov/popclock/
- The teacher will direct focus on the birth and death rates as well as the chart that shows the population of the US a year ago ("The US Population on ..." box) by projecting the website on the board and navigating to the protion of the website depicting the pertinent information for this lesson.
- By showing the population of a previous year (Click on the calendar and change the date to one year ago), the teacher will show how quick the population is changing by comparing it to the current projected population.
- The teacher can then open up a conversation as to why this is happening. The teacher will ask "Who? What? Where? When? How?" questions in order to guide the conversation towards the topic at hand.
- Students will see the difference in the population's total size and come up with the growth of the population over the last by completing a simple math problem in their notebooks (Current World Population - World Population 1 year ago = Change in World Population over the past year).
- The teacher will pick the year in which most of the students were born and display the population on that date, as well.
- Why do you think the population is changing so quickly?
- What factors do you think are affecting the change?
- Will the population continue to grow indefinitely?
- When doing the above exercise the teacher will be able to open up conversations that will encourage the students to express their understanding, or lack thereof, on the topic.
- The teacher can use vocabulary more aligned to the topic to expand on the discussion (i.e. substitute the words "dying" with "death rate" and "people being born" to "birth rate").
- This exercise will assess the student's prior knowledge as well as guide the rest of the lesson.
- With the responses on what the vocabulary words mean, the teacher should substitute these words with the correct vocabulary words and guide the students into a discussion as to the effects of these factors on a population.
- Probe student's prior knowledge as well as guide them. (i.e. Q: What does death rate mean? A: It means that things die; Follow-up Q: What effect will this have on the population size?)
Feedback to Students
As the teacher is leading the discussion, the teacher will assess the students' prior knowledge as well as lead the discussion and introduce new vocabulary to the students. The students should have prior knowledge on carrying capacity and limiting resources as well as population controlling attributes (death, birth, disease, competition, etc). As the discussion progresses the teacher will informally assess what students understand and reinforce the points that they're lacking by asking partially leading questions. Verbal reinforcement, as well as displaying the topics/vocabulary on the board for the students to copy, will facilitate understanding.
For Example: The students may say things like, "People die and are born". The teacher will steer that response in the right direction by utilizing the vocabulary that the students need to know. An example would be: "Ok, that's great, so you're saying that the population is affected every time that there is an increase/decrease in the birth and death rates?"