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Name: Alex Comrie Cohort: Lakehead University

Lesson Plan
Lesson Title: Population Estimation Grade: 9 Date: October 27th, 2018

Subject: Science (Ecology) Strand: Academic Location: Classroom Time: (length in minutes): 75 minutes

Lesson Plan Description – (one/two paragraphs with general details about what you will do and how you will do it)
Students will take part on a short intro discussion about population estimation and how ecologists would estimate
population. Students will participate in a “snowball fight” to imitate a population estimation technique. The technique
is capture recapture. After this activity students will work with a partner to work with the mathematical formula
involved with population estimation. After they work in groups they will work individually on their own population
estimation equations. Students will get the numbers from the teacher and from class discussion.

Ontario Curricular Overall Expectations (numbers from documents and details)
B3. demonstrate an understanding of the dynamic nature of ecosystems, particularly in terms of ecological balance and the impact of human
activity on the sustainability of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Ontario Curricular Specific Expectations (numbers from documents and details) selected & listed from the Ont. Curriculum, refined when
necessary, has verbs that are observable & measureable, has realistic number of expectations (1 to 3) have expectations that match assessment
There are no specific expectations during this lesson

Learning Goals Discuss with students: What will I be learning today? (clearly identify what students are expected to know and be able to do, in language
that students can readily understand)

Today I will learn…

• What population estimation is and why it is important in an ecosystem.
• How to use the population estimation formula and how to rearrange the formula.
• What the method of “capture & recapture” entails.
Success Criteria Discuss with students: How will I know I have learned what I need to learn? (clearly identify the criteria to assess student’s learning, as well
as what evidence of learning students will provide to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and thinking, in language that students can readily understand)

I can: Calculate population estimation using a formula.

I can: Understand what capture recapture is.
I can: Understand why population estimation is important.
Assessment – how will I know students have learned what I intended?
Exit cards

Assessment For, As, Of Learning (Complete the chart below)

Assessment For Learning Group Work / discussion

- Asking students to show what they learned with a partner
Assessment As Learning Class Discussion
- What students are finding difficult and what they are having trouble with.
- Calling answers out for the equation
Assessment Of Learning Exit Card
- Equation for students to solve
- Question on why population estimation is important
- Question of what method did the class use during activity

Drafted by Lakehead University Orillia Faculty of Education Team-August 2013

Prior Learning: Prior to this lesson, students will have
* Have an understanding of rules classroom rules.
* Have an understanding of how to use a calculator.
Differentiation: Content, Process, Product, Assessment/Accommodations, Modifications
Students can do their problems in bigger groups or teacher can pick the groups to ensure that class is working

Learning Skills/Work Habits

- Collaboration
- Organization
- Independent work
Vocabulary (for word wall and/or to develop schema)
Population Estimation: A rough numerical amount a population could potentially be using various amounts of
Capture Recapture: a method of population estimation that involves capturing a species marking them, and then
recapturing them.

Resources and Materials /Technology Integration List ALL items necessary for delivery of the lesson. Include any attachments of student
worksheets used and teacher support material that will support communication of instruction. Include the use of Information Technology (ICT) in your lesson plan
where appropriate.
• Calculator
• Paper
• Pens
• Chalk/ whiteboard
Learning Environment (grouping; transitions; physical set up)
- Classroom where desks are set up normally for regular class activities.

Cross Curricular Links

- Addition, division, manipulation of a formula

Lesson – Delivery Format

Write the lesson description with enough detail that another teacher could replicate the lesson without a personal discussion.
What Teachers Do: What Students do:
Minds on: Motivational Hook/engagement /introduction
Establish a positive learning environment, connect to prior learning, set the context for learning, pre-determine key questions to guide lesson
Time: 35 mins Students will take part in class discussion.
The first 5 minutes of the class will be to get students
sitting down and getting ready for the class. During this
time students will be getting seated and getting their
attendance taken.
After this, a discussion involving population estimation
will take place. The teacher will phrase the question to
the class of what a possible way could be to describe
what population estimation is. First asking the class what
a population is, followed by asking what estimation is.
One class has efficiently given appropriate answers to the
question the teacher will ask then what population
estimation would be. When an answer is given the
teacher will write the answer on the board. The teacher
will then explain that there are different methods to

Drafted by Lakehead University Orillia Faculty of Education Team-August 2013

calculate population estimation, but the class is going to
focus on the “capture recapture method”. Students will take part in snowball fight.
The students will then be asked to take out three sheets
of paper. They will be asked to crumple them up in a ball.
Students are then allowed to throw the paper around the
room as if they were having a “snowball fight”. Students
are instructed to only throw one “snowball” at a time
while not throwing them so far to lose the paper. They
are also encouraged to not just focus on their snowball
but grab any close to them. In addition, students are
asked to respect their fellow students while not physically
hitting students in the head with the paper. When all the
paper is around the room the students will be asked to
stop throwing the paper and pick up the paper that is
closest to them. They will be then asked to unfold the
paper and mark it with a pen or pencil. Once they have
completed marking the paper they are to once again have
a snowball fight. The teacher will once more ask the
students to stop the snow ball fight but now grab the two
pieces of paper closest to them. The students will be then
asked to take their regular seats. Each student will have
two balled pieces of paper on their desk.

Action: During /working on it

Introduce new learning or extend/reinforce prior learning, provide opportunities for practice & application of learning
Time: 30 mins Students work in partners onequations discussed in class.
Also provide answers to fill in the blanks for the
Teacher will write the formula for capture recapture on equations.
the board without rearranging it. The teacher will explain
what each of the variables represents then start with how
to re arrange the formula by multiplying and dividing
both sides by the same variable to isolate the total
population estimation. (see appendix A for formula,
variable explanation). Teacher will then describe that the
students performed a capture recapture during the
snowball fight. Students will then fill in the variables using
their papers that they have. Each student will open the
papers and fill in the variables using the information of
which papers were marked and which were not. After
this the teacher will model how to use the formula on the
board using the numbers collected during the snowball
fight. Students are prompted to use a calculator during
this time. Also, a check for understanding is important
when going through the formula to ensure students
understand how they are going to use it. After this, ask
students for new numbers (random) but they have to
appropriate for the equation. Meaning the “recapture
number” must be higher than the initial capture number.
And the number of marked individuals must be lower
than the recapture number. Go through the formula one
more time with the class on the board asking the
students throughout the explanation for answers to what
is happening. After this create a new formula on the

Drafted by Lakehead University Orillia Faculty of Education Team-August 2013

board and let the students get in partners to complete
the formula. Do this multiple times until each student in
the class has an efficient understanding. This can be every
group getting the answer correct. During this time, you
can walk around the class and see how students are
coming to their answers.

Consolidation & Connection (Reflect and Connect)

Help students demonstrate what they have learned, provide opportunities for consolidation and reflection
Time: 10 mins Students will complete exit ticket individually and hand it
in to the teacher.
Students will receive an “exit ticket” and will have to
complete that before they leave the class. The exit ticket
(appendix B) will include a formula with all the
information required to complete it. Then two more
questions. These are to be done independently and can
be done in point form. The idea of the exit ticket is to
ensure the students have a grasp of what was covered in

Extension Activities/Next Steps (where will this lesson lead to next)

Next class will discuss population density and how previous activity links to real ecosystems.

Drafted by Lakehead University Orillia Faculty of Education Team-August 2013

Appendix A


M= Animals marked and released

S= Sample Size of second capture

R= Animals that were recaptured off second sample size

N= population size

To get formula N= (S*M)/R you must

Multiply both sides by S and N and divide both sides by R to get your final product after this you can use the formula.

Drafted by Lakehead University Orillia Faculty of Education Team-August 2013

Appendix B

Exit Ticket

1. Answer the following expression using this formula and the given variables.





Round all answers to the nearest whole number. Show your work.

2. What method was demonstrated in the “snowball fight”?

3. Why is population estimation important for ecologists to know?

Drafted by Lakehead University Orillia Faculty of Education Team-August 2013

Drafted by Lakehead University Orillia Faculty of Education Team-August 2013