An Interdisciplinary Deer and Human Population Study

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This activity helps the learner answer the question: "What environmental problems arise due to animal and human overpopulation and what might need to be done to combat these problems?" Learners play a game that simulates population sampling in an imaginary state park. After the game is completed, each park must decide if they are at the carrying capacity for their park or out of equilibrium. Learners write a proposal detailing how they plan to correct their deer population problem and present it to the group (the Department of Natural Resources). This lesson is described as an interdisciplinary unit and includes literature and math curriculum connections.

Quick Guide

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
$1 - $5 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 14 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Game, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 1 checkerboard (with wax finish, laminated or covered with clear shelf paper)
  • 100 checkers in a bag (50 of each color)
  • 1 eraser and 1 dry erase marker
  • 2 six-sided die
  • a data sheet
  • graph paper
  • calculator
  • pencils
  • presentation material (poster board, paper, pictures from science journals, markers...)
  • either a script of the events for the five year period or Wildlife Management and Impact cards like those provided by CORD
  • a computer with a spreadsheet program


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Populations
      • Human Impact
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
  • The Nature of Science
    • Science and Society
      • Risks and Benefits
      • Public Policy
      • Ethics
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Games
  • Literature
  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • use keyboard
  • use mouse
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Webb, William J.