ALEX Lesson Plan


Oh, Deer!

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Phalanda Johnson
System: Elmore County
School: Wetumpka High School
The event this resource created for:GEMS
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 24097


Oh, Deer!


Oh, Deer helps students to understand food, water, and shelter as three essential components of an organism's habitat. It is intended to show how food, water, and shelter are limiting factors that affect the population growth of other organisms.
This lesson plan was created as a result of the Girls Engaged in Math and Science, GEMS Project funded by the Malone Family Foundation.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):

Local/National Standards:

Source: National Academy of Sciences NS.9-12.3 Life Science

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will demonstrate the interdependence among abiotic (food, water, shelter) and biotic factors (deer) in ecosystems.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

91 to 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Graph paper, construction paper/poster and string for signs, signs labeled deer (brown paper), food (green paper), water (blue paper), and shelter (yellow or tan) Paper, writing utensil and markers

Technology Resources Needed:



Students need to be familiar with abiotic factors, biotic factors, and limiting factors (density-dependent, density-independent). The teacher needs to make 10 of each sign in advance. The teacher needs to find a suitable area outside for the activity.

1.)As an introduction to the lesson, tell students to think about the things they need to survive. Have them to separate their needs into two columns. Column 1 should list things that come from biotic (living) sources. Column 2 should list needs from abiotic (nonliving) sources.

2.)Assign students to groups of 4 students (two girls and two boys, if possible). Have them to complete the attached assignment "Put Yourself in Gilligan's Shoes." Follow the instructions on the attached worksheet for completion of assignment.

3.)"Oh, Deer"- Have students to count 1-4 around the classroom until every student has a number. Students will form groups according to numbers. Students assigned the number 1 will represent deer. Students assigned the numbers 2, 3, and 4 will represent food, water, and shelter. Each individual student can be allowed to choose what they wish to represent or the teacher can assign food, water, and shelter to numbers 2, 3, and 4 respectively.

4.)Students will stand in two parallel lines facing away from each other. The deer will stand in one line and the food, water, and shelter will stand in the other.

5.)The students representing deer will sign indicating their need. For food, students (deer) should place their hands over their stomachs. For water, deer will place their hands over their mouths. For shelter, the deer will hold hands together over their heads. The deer can choose to look for any one of its needs for each round, but it can not change its mind after seeing what is available.

6.)The twos, threes, and fours need to pick a need (food, water, shelter) to represent. They will indicate what need they represent by using the paper signs the teacher made in advance or using the same hand signs as the deer.

7.)Once everyone is ready to begin, the teacher will count three. On three, the students will turn facing each other to see what ecosystem components are available. The deer run to capture the component they have indicated a need for.

8.)Each deer that reaches their habitat component takes that component back to the deer line. Any deer that fails to obtain their habitat component dies and becomes food, water, and shelter for the next round.

9.)The teacher will keep track of how may deer there are at the beginning of the game and at the end of each round. Continue the game for fifteen rounds (years). Then discuss.

10.)Students will chart the population growth data recorded by the teacher on the handout attached. Answer the questions that follow.

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Assessment Strategies

Students will be assessed based on their completion and response to the questions on the attached "Oh, Deer" handout.



View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.