Download This Lesson: Hopper Hunt
Brief Description: Students must be very involved in this lesson where they will conduct a scientific simulation, analyze, and evaluate data. In conducting this simulation students will understand the migration and life cycle pattern of a “key alfalfa pest.”
Focus Areas: Pest Control Methods – Cultural; Economics, Science, Math
Focus Skills: Conduct a scientific simulation, analyze and evaluate data
Level of Involvement: MAXIMUM
- To understand the migration and the life cycle patterns of a key alfalfa pest, the potato leafhopper (PLH)
- To determine the economic threshold and the extent of economic injury levels
- To understand how the stage of crop development and other factors influence thresholds
- To determine a pest population by sampling technique
- To compare sampling results to the economic threshold and determine management action
How do farmers determine when to institute pest control methods to crops?
Determination of when to use pest control methods is based upon mathematical calculations of pest populations and growth of crop.
Read Background for Hopper Hunt
Economic Injury Level (EIL) – the pest population density where the cost of control equals the value of the damage prevented if a control treatment is applied
Economic Threshold (ET) – the EIL minus some portion of the pest density that accounts for reaction time of the farmer
forage – food for animals, especially when taken by browsing or grazing
legume – plants having fruits that are dry pods that split when ripe, such as beans and clover
profit – income minus expenses. Therefore, profit can be increased either by increasing the income, decreasing the expenses, or both.
sampling – a statistical procedure that allows the estimation of population density by counting only a portion of the population in a very structured way. Counting only a tiny portion of the population saves time and provides acceptably accurate population estimates for decision-making purposes.
Challenge: Determine which fields of simulated alfalfa need pest control action taken!
Time: 45 minutes
Group size : 4 to 30
Space: a classroom
Background for Hopper Hunt *
10 paper grocery bags
Supplement Hopper Hunt: IPM Decision-making in Alfalfa *
Handout 1 Potato Leafhopper Economic Threshold Chart for Established Stands of Alfalfa *
Handout 2 Potato Leafhopper Worksheet *
Handout 3 Directions for IPM Field Analysis and Assessment for Hopper Hunt Analysis *
Overhead 1 Example of Potato Leafhopper Analysis *
Overhead 2 Directions for IPM Field Analysis *
Supplement Field Crop Alert – Potato Leafhopper *
* single copy provided
Make copies of the supplement Hopper Hunt: IPM Decision – making in Alfalfa for Bags A and B and cut out individual cards. The paper bags represent the alfalfa field (Bag A) and the number of PLH (Bag B). Each bag (field) will be sampled, so enough bags are needed to present several pest/crop scenarios. The bags can be decorated by drawing an alfalfa plant on the side.
On the side of bag A indicate the projected price per ton that is expected for the alfalfa in that field. Also indicate the cost of an insecticide spray, if one should be needed, for that field.
Place 20 alfalfa height cards in Bag A and 20 number of PLH cards in Bag B. Staple each set of A : B prepared bags together.
Prepare either an overhead or individual copies of Handout 1 Potato Leafhopper Economic Threshold Chart for Established Stands of Alfalfa .
Make individual copies of Handout 2 Potato Leafhopper Worksheet and Handout 3 Direcions for IPM Field Analysis and Assessment for Hopper Hunt Analysis. (one worksheet for every two members of the group).
ELA = English Language Arts, HE/PE = Health Education and Physical Education, MA = Mathematics, SCI = Science, SS = Social Studies, VPA = Visual and Performing Arts
** Alignment possible only if lesson extension is done
Maine Learning Results
Common Core Standards for English and Mathematics
ELA – E2 Speaking
E2. Students adjust speaking strategies for formal and informal discussions, debates, or presentations appropriate to the audience and purpose.
a. Organize and present information logically.
MA – B Data Analysis
B3. Grade 8: Students use the mean, median, mode, range, and quartiles to solve problems involving raw data and information from data displays.
SCI – B. Skills & Traits of Scientific Inquiry
B1. Students plan, conduct, analyze data from, and communicate results of investigations, including simple experiments.
b. Design and safely conduct scientific investigations including experiments with controlled variables.
c. Use appropriate tools, metric units, and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data.
e. Use logic, critical reasoning and evidence to develop descriptions, explanations, predictions and models.
ELA – Speaking & Listening
4. Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation
4. Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with pertinent descriptions, facts, details, and examples; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation
4. Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.