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






  • (Add rulers (with metric and standard measurements) to your "materials."):
    • Pick a "category" or grouping and put them into "size classes" (grouping by size). For example: How many organisms in the quadrat (or category ) are greater or smaller than a particular size chosen by the teacher (example 2cm). Also, students can count how many of the objects in the chosen category are: less than 1 centimeter, how many are between 1 and 2 centimeters and how many are over 2 centimeters in length (teacher can choose relevant sizes). Which are the smallest and largest in each size class? Write down the results.


  • Ask these additional discussion questions:
    • Are individuals in the same group or category more similar in size to each other or to individuals of other groups? (This will depend on the original groupings that the students have made; if "green" was a group category, then there may be as much variation in size within the group as between groups.)
    • Why are there different sizes in the same group? (Some beans may have had more 'food' as they grew, the pasta may have been cut differently. In the natural world some organisms are more successful at competing for food or are surrounded by more favorable conditions (environmental factors))


  • (If the "rulers"/'size' Extension is chosen, then additionally one can have students:
    • Make a size distribution graph: On graph paper plot the number of individuals that are in each size class. On graph paper, write the size classes on the x-axis (horizontal axis) and the number of individuals on the Y-axis (vertical axis). For each size class, plot the number of individuals that you observed in that class. The resulting graph is known as a size distribution for that category of organism.
  • For older elementary students use the multiplication grid provided and practice multiplication tables. Explain that it is essentially a quadrat on paper, broken into smaller parts.
  • Use the quadrat to introduce fractions: Divide a quadrat into 4 quarters. (The quadrat can be made out of PVC, rope, string, etc.) Ask students to count how many organisms are in one quarter, 2 quarters, 3 quarters and 4 quarters (to demonstrate how 4 quarters make a whole).
  • Introduce the concept of density: the number of organisms per unit area. For example: "There are 24 snails per square meter in the community."
  • After doing the "Quadrat Craze" activity in class, repeat it in the school yard, at a tidepool, at a touch tank, at an aquarium, etc.