Deer Me: A Predator/Prey Simulation

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In this activity, learners will simulate the interactions between a predator population of gray wolves and a prey population of deer in a forest. After collecting the data, the learners plot the data and then extend the graph to predict the populations for several more generations.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Game, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • About 250 Deer Cards – you may want to have extras on hand (p.5 of PDF)
  • About 50 Wolf Cards (p.6 of PDF)
  • Student worksheets (p.4 of PDF)
  • Defined “forest” (Using a table works well but the space can be defined using masking tape, if necessary. You may also make “forests” using 2 sheets of 11x17 construction paper taped together.)
  • Directions for simulation for each group (p.3 of PDF)


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
      • Populations

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Games
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



Funding Sources:

  • National Science Foundation, 0610427
  • Best Buy Children's Foundation
  • The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
  • The ADC Foundation