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This listing features a three-page user-friendly lab guide for an interactive mark and recapture simulation, where students use poker chips to symbolize fish captured in a lake. I facilitate this mark and recapture simulation in my year-long field ecology course every year. This activity is also ideal for a wildlife management course or for an extended ecology unit in biology.
Please note – there are materials you will need that are included in this listing to conduct this lesson. They include a boxed set of poker chips, preferably one with different amounts of each, a couple rolls of masking tape, a medium-sized cardboard box, and either a white board or a Smartboard with a marker or pen, respectively. I purchased a poker chip set for classroom use twenty years ago in the Mall of America at the Games by James Store, but you could obtain yours far more inexpensively through eBay if you don’t already have access to one.
In this simulation, students use the mark and recapture method to estimate the population size of five different species of fish represented as different colors of poker chips in a box (lake). This is a hands-on lesson as several student volunteers are needed to randomly capture the fish species (poker chips), tag the fish (poker chips) with masking tape, count the species of fish (poker chips) both captures, and even facilitate the collection of the class data totals on the white or Smartboard in the front of the room.
· Explicit instructions
· A descriptive paragraph entailing the mark and recapture method
· An opening table where students write the meaning of the symbols used in the equation
· The mark and recapture equation is printed on multiple pages for reference
· A second table where students write the species of fish next to the color of poker chip
· A data collection table that allows students to restate the color of the poker chip and the species of fish next to the respective M-, r-, and n-value in a congruent row.
· A final table, where students record the N-value for the population estimates next to the species of fish. The teacher will record the actual population size in the last column of the final data table upon completion and submission of the lab sheets.
This three-page document is editable. It includes a three-page key with the answers in red font. I invite you to check out several other of my quality field-tested, innovative and user-friendly products for field ecology and biology in my store. I also have dozens of lessons available for physical science, earth science, chemistry, and human anatomy and physiology through TpT – yes, I teach them all!
I began launching my curriculum line through TpT in 2018. I have over twenty years of teaching and curriculum writing experience as the department head. I joined TpT with seventeen years of publishing experience through several international science supply corporations.