Episode 2310 Lesson Plans: Dynamic populations

Episode 2310 Lesson Plans: Dynamic populations
November 12, 2023 Gary Abud Jr.

This lesson will explore the phenomenon of the moose-wolf population dynamics on Isle Royale, as students learn about how one of our lesser-known national parks provides a firsthand opportunity to witness biology, ecology, and history in action. They will explore the dynamics of predator-prey relationships, conduct field observations about populations in their own area, and mathematically model the moose-wolf population biology over time.

  • Know how predator-prey interactions affect the populations of each over time
  • Understand how the moose and wolf populations on Isle Royale have changed in recent decades
  • Be able to mathematically model the populations of a predator and prey system

View the entire lesson plan including teacher background information, worksheets and more below or download for free here.

Activity 1:

This activity is a video discussion of a Great Lakes Now segment about how Isle Royale National Park is home to an ongoing study of biology: namely the moose and wolf population dynamics. During the video they need to jot down four things they took away from the video using the 4 Notes Summary Protocol.

Watch a Great Lakes Now Segment

Activity 2:

In this activity, students will read about how Michigan’s bald eagle population has made a remarkable recovery from the brink of extinction, with over 900 breeding pairs in the state as of 2019, a significant increase from just 52 breeding pairs in the 1960s.

Read About the Bald Eagle’s Comeback

Activity 3:

The purpose of this activity is to model the wolf-moose populations on Isle Royale and better understand how population graphs can tell us about what’s happening with a predator-prey relationship in an ecosystem.

Modeling Predatory-Prey Dynamics

Activity 4:

In this activity, students will conduct field research in an area near where they live to observe, record, and monitor the populations of different species.

Population Field Research

Activity 5:

The purpose of this activity is to learn about Isle Royale’s extensive research on the wolf and moose population over the years, and to ask questions about the datasets available.

Explore Wolf-Moose Population Research

Learn all about Episode 2310: Wild Islands and Salty Visitors on this month’s landing page.

If you use this lesson or any of its activities with your learners, we’d love to hear about it! Contact us with any feedback or questions at: GreatLakesNow@DPTV.org

Find all the Great Lakes Now educational materials HERE.


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