September 11, 2013 •
Filed under In Depth
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In Mr. Hollis’ Pre-IB Biology 1 classes, students started off their first unit, Ecology, with an interactive game called “Oh Deer” meant to teach them about population fluctuation. The students went outside as a class and were assigned roles of either a deer or one of the resources that the deer would need: water, food, or shelter. The “deer” then had to compete to get the limited number of “resources” available or they were considered dead. Hollis had the students repeat this over and over to show them how population changes over time.
“I was confused when we first went out there and didn’t get what the point of the game was,” Megan Gullekson (’17) said. “But after we played a couple of rounds, I realized why we were doing it and really liked it.”
By spicing up a potentially boring introduction and making it interactive, Hollis hoped that “Oh Deer” helped his students get introduced into Ecology into an exciting way. “I learned the game when I was a middle school teacher and have been playing it with my Biology and Ecology studens ever since; for about 15 years,” Hollis said. “But, if I could have one wish, I wish I could do the game with 100 people. With that many you’d really be able to demonstrate how population changes.”