Island Explorers Curriculum Home


Unit 3

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson Plan 5


Concepts/Objectives | Vocabulary/Background | Activity | Extension


Lesson Plan 1



How can a scientist find out how many organisms live in area?

Scientists can learn a lot about an area by having a clear idea of how many and what kind of organisms live there. It's very difficult to literally count all of the organisms in a large area or zone so scientists use tools (such as quadrats), identification, and estimation as important keys in determining this answer.


  • Using a grid
  • Problem solving
  • Categorizing
  • Estimating

Spread out a 12-bean soup and macaroni mixture on table. Students will use home-made quadrats to mark out a section. By categorizing and counting what is in the quadrat area they will estimate the number and variety of "organisms" on the table.

Students will be able to:

  • Categorize objects
  • Estimate a number in an area
  • Apply the grid principle to multiplication skills

One 50 minute class period.


  • 1 package of 12-Bean dry soup mix
  • 1 package each of 2 or 3 varieties (and colors) of pasta (macaroni)
  • small plastic bags (to hold one mixture for each group or team)
  • wire coat hangars, each one shaped into a square ('quadrat')
  • stiff paper or ruler to scoop mixture together for clean up
  • Quadrat Craze Data Sheet (included in lesson plan--choose appropriate sheet for your grade)
Blank Data Sheets