Lesson 3-Oh Dear!
Lesson 3-Oh Deer!
Understanding: Students begin to see the interconnections between everything in nature through a game/theatrical activity integrating movement.
Materials: A whiteboard, whiteboard pens, nature journals and pencils
Lesson: Have students count off in twos, with all the students who share the same number to gather on the same area of the room. After, mark off two parallel lines on the floor approximately 20 feet apart. All of the “ones” need to be behind one line and they will become the deer. The “twos” need to be standing behind the other line and they will become the components of a habitat: food, water, shelter, and space. When a deer is looking for food, they should put their hands over their stomachs, when they are looking for water they should place their hands over their mouth, when they are searching for shelter they need to put both of their hands on top of their head, and when they are searching for space they need to spread their arms out wide. After a student has adopted what they are looking for, they CANNOT change their need in the middle of that round. They have to wait until the round is over and then they can adopt a new “need”. The students whom are the components of nature will choose which component they are going to be at the beginning of each round and they will depict that component in the same way that the deer do. The game begins with all students lined up at their respective lines. The teacher instructs the students to chose either what their need is what component they are in nature. At the count of three (teacher’s count) the students jump around and show the group their need or their identity. The deer who see what they “need” run over to the other group, link arms with their component and bring them back to their side of the line. This means that the deer are fulfilling their need and are therefore reproducing and thriving. Any deer who did not meet their need, die and become a part of the habitat, joining the fellow components on that line. At the beginning of each round the teacher should count the number on each side. They should continue to keep track of the populations on each side with a graph on teh board. Play at least 5-10 rounds and after, debrief with a discussion on population variations. Prior to debrief, have students write in their journals what they think the purpose of this activity is, and then pair share with a neighbor. You can also introduce the idea of “dynamic equilibrium”, which will come up with games later in our lessons!
If you are studying a different animal, this game can easily be adapted to bear, salmon, coyote, rabbit, eagle, etc…