Sampling techniques

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Lesson idea. A comprehension and discussion activity based on four different organisms: the butterfly, the oak, the whale and the zebra.

Teaching approach. This lesson offers students an opportunity to use their existing knowledge to analyse a ‘real scientific publication’ and its language(ta) and link this to scientific method(ta).

  • They use study skills(topic) to skim read, make sense of complex language, and use visualisation(ta) to select relevant information
  • They engage in collaborative(tool) group work(ta) using reasoning(ta) and skills in peer assessment(ta)
  • They engage in dialogue(ta) and questioning(ta) to explore ideas together
  • They also think about how to present information using ICT(i) tools)
Resource details
Title Sampling techniques to assess population size
Topic Study skills,  Sampling
Teaching approach
Learning Objectives
  • Describing sampling techniques used to assess the population size of more than one organism.
  • Explaining the advantages of a special sampling technique when compared with other methods.
  • Communicating the results and conclusion of the supplied articles on sampling populations.
Format / structure

Each organism has 4 documents where N represents: B (Butterfly), O (Oak), W (Whale) or Z (Zebra)
N1 – Leading questions
N2 – Differentiated material
N3 – a word document copy of the web-based article if no ICT is available or if the article is not available online
N4 – a truncated word document of the original article to be used as differentiated material. The text contains the parts relevant to answer the leading questions from the original article

Age of students / grade

Secondary,  KS4,  KS5

Useful information
Related ORBIT Wiki Resources
Other (e.g. time frame)

Duration: Approximately 1h.

Files and resources to view and download

The lesson resource is available in WikiText format here

Leading questions

Differentiated material for the less able students:

Additional files

Scientific articles:

Scientific Differentiated articles: