OH DEER!

MUSICAL CHAIRS TO SIMULATE POPULATION BIOLOGY

 

Materials:

          Action Cards

          Music

          Chairs

          Willing Students

 

Procedure:

1.)    Place chairs in circle around the room (go outside if available)

2.)  Tell students they are a population of white tail deer

3.)  Begin with the same amount of chairs as students

4.)  Begin game with music and action cards (when music stops, remove individuals with no chair and read action card)

5.)  Each round, individuals with no chair leave in addition to action called (individual leaving naturally traveling to new area/population)

 

Info for action cards: (write on index cards, can be modified)

1.)    Fire destroys 10 acres of forest (remove 2 chairs)

2.)  Disease kills 2 deer (2 individuals leave)

3.)  10 acres of forest leveled for subdivision (remove 2 chairs)

4.)  5 acres of wooded area leveled for apartment complex (remove 1 chair)

5.)  Farmer kills 2 deer (2 individuals leave)

6.)  Hunter kills 2 deer (2 individuals leave)

7.)  5 acres of forest are cut for farm land (remove 1 chair)

8.)  No deer leave population, no deaths occur

9.)  Food shortage, 3 deer die (3 individuals must leave)

10.)           Deer hit by a car (1 ind. Must leave)

11.)Food shortage (remove 1 chair)

12.)           Healthy female gives birth to twin fawns (2 ind return)

13.)           Timber cut on 1 acre for paper mill (remove 2 chairs)

14.)           Urban sprawl encroaches on habitat (remove 2 chairs)

15.)           Family decides to leave their land wooded (no habitat lost)

a.      Continue shuffling until winner is achieved/time permits*

 

 Discussion Questions:

1.)    What were some of the limiting factors in our simulated population?

2.)  What do the chairs represent?

3.)  What happened to the deer population when chairs were lost?

4.)  What were the reactions of the deer?

5.)  How could the disappearance of deer from their ecosystem affect populations of other species?

6.)  How could overcrowding in the deer population affect the population?

7.)  Did this simulation accurately model the changing population of deer? Why or why not? Explain