Lesson Plan

Grades 6-8, 9-12

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25 minutes

SUBJECTS: Science, Social Studies

TOPICS: Carrying Capacity, Resource Distribution, Sustainability: Sharing Common Resources

Resource Overview

In a simulation, students desiring to draw renewable resources from a common pool determine short-term consumption strategies that will preserve a long-term supply of the resource.

Students will be able to:
  • Identify a strategy that would produce a sustainable use of resources in a simulation game.
  • Draw parallels between the chips used in the game and renewable resources upon which people depend.
  • Analyze how the actions of participants in the resource simulation game are similar or different from the actions of people in real-world situations.
  • Discuss the impact of human population growth on sustainable resource management.
Students reaching for poker chips in Tragedy of the Commons simulation

Features of This Resource

  • Lesson plan is a tragedy of the commons simulation game
  • Easily scaled for more advanced, or less advanced, follow-up discussion
  • Great lesson plan for social economics

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