Limiting Factors of Population Growth Lesson Plan

Instructor: Tammy Galloway

Tammy teaches business courses at the post-secondary and secondary level and has a master's of business administration in finance.

Populations increase and decrease based on various factors. Students will learn about the limiting factors of population growth in this lesson. They will read, answer questions, take a quiz and complete an activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define limiting population factors
  • identify environmental factors that increase and decrease populations
  • explain carrying capacity and how it impacts the population
  • discuss why populations are dynamic


60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11-12 texts and topics.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.7

Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.11-12.9

Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.



  • Begin the lesson by asking students to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a growing insect population.
  • Allow students to share their responses.
  • Then explain that this lesson will explore limiting factors of population growth.
  • Distribute a copy of The Limiting Factors of Population Growth. Ask a student to read aloud the 'Trying to Take Over the World' and 'What Is a Limiting Factor' sections.
  • Afterwards require students to answer the following:
    • What are limiting factors?
    • Identify factors not listed in the lesson that will allow the ant population to grow.
    • Discuss factors not listed in the lesson that minimize the ant population.
  • Ask a student to read aloud 'A Population too Large' and 'A Population too Small', then pose these discussion questions:
    • Explain what happens when overcrowding occurs as it relates to the ant population.
    • Define carrying capacity.
    • Explain why the author states that 'limiting factors can cause a population's numbers to drop so low that rapid population growth follows'.
  • Next ask a student to read aloud 'Flows Like a River' and 'Lesson Summary', then answer these inquiries:
    • Discuss why a population will remain dynamic as oppose to static.
    • Describe how humans can impact insect populations.
  • Next show the lesson quiz. Ask them to answer the questions, then review.

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