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Population Education


K, 1st, 2nd


Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, Social-Emotional Learning

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plan
  • Worksheet
  • Video, 4 minutes, 18 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Experiment
  • Game

Regional Focus




Crowding Can Be Seedy

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Population Connection

  • This well-designed lesson plan introduces students to the concepts of population density and carrying capacity using a kinesthetic game, reflection questions, and an experiment. 
  • The resource includes an instructional video for teachers, suggestions for differentiation, and a student worksheet for recording data and answering questions.
Teaching Tips


  • This fun and engaging lesson will appeal to kinesthetic, visual, and auditory learners. 
  • The instructional video walks teachers through the entire lesson, including the Sprouts Game activity.
  • The discussion questions give students an opportunity to understand how population density affects plants and humans.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers should plan ahead for the experiment portion of this lesson because it takes 30 days for the seeds to sprout and grow.
  • Teachers must gather the materials needed for the radish growing experiment and a long piece of string for the game.
  • Teachers must sign in to download the lesson plan.


  • For the experiment, the resource suggests that kindergarten students can count the number of leaves on the plants and draw pictures to show the plant growth, first graders can use an object such as blocks to measure the plant growth, and second graders can measure the plants with a ruler.
  • As an extension, students could talk about the health benefits of eating vegetables and then start a school garden or eat the radishes for snack time.
  • Other resources on this topic include this activity on terrestrial biomes, this PBS video on habitat basics, and this lesson on scarcity.
Scientist Notes
This resource connects students to information about the effect of increasing population density within any niche. This is recommended for the classroom.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • K-ESS3-1 Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • 2-LS2-1 Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.3 Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.3 Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to clarify comprehension, gather additional information, or deepen understanding of a topic or issue.
  • Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
    • Counting & Cardinality (K)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.CC.B.4 Understand the relationship between numbers and quantities; connect counting to cardinality.
    • Measurement & Data (K-5)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.K.MD.A.1 Describe measurable attributes of objects, such as length or weight. Describe several measurable attributes of a single object.
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.1.MD.A.2 Express the length of an object as a whole number of length units, by laying multiple copies of a shorter object (the length unit) end to end; understand that the length measurement of an object is the number of same-size length units that span it with no gaps or overlaps. Limit to contexts where the object being measured is spanned by a whole number of length units with no gaps or overlaps.
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.MD.A.1 Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.
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