Students will understand the difficulty animals have finding all the components of their habitats through a role-playing game (best done outside).
Grades: 1 - 3
Time: 1/2 hour
Subjects: Life science, physical education
- 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheets of laminated paper or poster board the same colors as the groups' cards above
- Whistle (may be helpful)
For each group of students:
- 2 or 3 small cards of 1 color (e. g. all orange for group1) for each of the habitat categories -- food, water, shelter and space (8 - 12 total cards, all orange
- Prepare the cards and write "food", "water", "shelter", "space" on them
- Before the class, hide the cards in an outdoor area with definable boundaries.
- Divide the students into groups and help them select a name (grizzlies, wolves, marmots, elk, etc.)
- Tell them they will have 10 minutes to find all the parts of their habitat. They are to run and gather their color cards only, and place them on the 8 1/2 x 11 inch sheet of laminated or poster board "home" paper of the same color. They must gather the pieces for all the parts of their habitat, 1 at a time.
- Blow the whistle at the end of the time. Survivors are those who find all their cards within the time limit. Why didn't some groups survive? Was 1 food card enough for all your members? Does it matter where the cards were hidden? What if they were hidden a mile away? Does it matter to an animal how far it must travel to find all four parts of its habitat?
Variations and Extensions:
- Have the surviving groups turn into humans who help the other groups find their habitat. Can we do this for wild animals -- can we help them by making and saving habitat?
- Throw in disadvantages (bad leg/can't run, blind, etc.).
Assessment: Students draw an animal from nearby (this region) and draw the four basic needs for survival.