Population Growth and Overpopulation
The student is expected to predict the effects of changes in ecosystems caused by living organisms, including humans, such as the overpopulation of grazers or the building of highways.
The student knows that there are relationships, systems, and cycles within environments.
Deer Population Yields Disastrous Results for Forest: American University Radio (website) – An article that explores the consequences of too many deer (grazing animals) living in the same habitat.
Oh Deer! Beacon Learning Center (PDF) - Students will graph population change over time according to habitat availability. After playing the game, they will be able to predict the effects of changes due to over population of the habitat by deer and other organisms.
- Supporting Lessons
- Assessment Ideas
- Literature Connections
- Additional Resources
The Lesson of the Kaibab: Biology Corner (website) - Deer populations recorded from 1905 to 1939 from the Kaibab Plateau in Arizona are graphed by students and analyzed.
Blackbird Overpopulation: Annenberg (website) –-Red-winged blackbirds posed a problem for farmers in the U.S. when their population exploded in the late 1990’s. Information about this problem is incorporated into a role playing activity for students in which they examine different sides of the complex situation.
Elaboration Lessons and Extensions
Population Biology: San Diego State University (website) - Students simulate and graph the growth of lily pads in a pond. They will be able to predict the growth of lily pads. Exercises 1, 2 and 6 are recommended.
Use the graphic and rubric and answer sheet from the Oh Deer! Game to assess your students.
Endangered Species. Deans, Nora (ISBN-13: 978-0792288770)
Populations and Ecosystems. Glass, Susan (ISBN-13: 978-0756944810)
Earth’s Growing Population. Chambers, Catherine (ISBN-13: 978-1432924232)
Exploring Ecosystems with Max Axiom, Super Scientist. Biskup, Agnieszka (ISBN-13: 978-0736878944 )
Here is the African Savanna. Dunphy, Madeline (ISBN-13: 978-0977379521)
Journey into the Rain Forest. Knight, Tim (ISBN-13: 978-0199107308)
Experiment with Ecosystems: Concord Consortium (Software and PDF) - Engaging series of activities in which students experiment with, and make predictions about a variety of virtual ecosystem models, and test their hypotheses.
Predator Prey Simulation: Biology Corner (website) - In this simulation, students can manipulate three variables to determine how they affect the overall predator and prey populations.