At a Glance

Discipline

  • Biology

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP
  • University

Course

  • Evolution

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Individual
  • Group
  • Whole Class

Type of Tasks

  • Discussing
  • Gaming & role-playing
  • Creating & designing
  • Taking a quiz & test

Technical Details

Time

Single class period (< 90 mins)

Purpose

  • Lab & inquiry

Overview

The aim of this activity is to introduce the concept of an evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) and cement the idea with a memorable counter example. Using self made, specially designed dice, students explore the concept of non-transitivity.

Students are assigned one of three dice configurations and invited to repeatedly roll against the other two, with the goal of determining which, if any, is best. The reproductive strategies of the side blotched lizard are discussed.

Useful videos:

The aim of this activity is to introduce the concept of an evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS) and cement the idea with a memorable counter example. Using self made, specially designed dice, students explore the concept of non-transitivity.

Students are assigned one of three dice configurations and invited to repeatedly roll against the other two, with the goal of determining which, if any, is best. The reproductive strategies of the side blotched lizard are discussed.

Useful videos:

Useful Articles:

Read Less -

Instructional Objectives

  • To learn the concept of ESSs To appreciate that there is not always a single best strategy.

Workflow & Materials

Activity Workflow

Rock Paper Scissors Lizard

Download

Instructions and Info

Teacher Instructions

Download

Contributor's Notes

Benefits

  • The dice provide a memorable example of non-transitivity which is based on numerical values as opposed to an arbitrary system (Rock Paper Scissors).

Challenges

  • Mathematically inclined students can derive the answer from the values of the dice faces.

Tips

  • Assign one configuration of die to each group, discourage sharing of configurations.
  • The activity is faster when altering existing dice.

Applied Strategies

  1. 1
    Inquiry-based Learning
  2. 2
    Game-Based Learning

Feedback

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