A New Education

Encourage exploration, growth, curiosity and independence in a hands-on, minds-on learning environment!

Lesson 6-Web of Life

Understanding:  Students will gain a deeper understanding of the interconnections in nature and will begin to understand the meaning of interdependency.

Time: 30 minutes

Materials: Enough bandannas for each student to have one.

Anticipatory Set: This lesson is an amazing introductory or concluding activity when talking about the interconnections in nature and in life.  It relates to the circle of life and really nails the hammer in the head giving the students a tangible way to grasp the concept.

Lesson: Have your students get into a circle (if your class is larger than 12 then they will be in two separate circles).  Give them each a label that is something from nature, for example; water, river, black tailed deer, bald eagle, Chorus Tree Frog, Sphagnum Moss, etc… It is even more meaningful if the elements are specific to your region.  Attach the labels to students shirts either as a necklace with string or yarn or with tape.  Give each student a handkerchief and instruct them to hold it in their left hand.  The only rules of the game are that they cannot connect handkerchiefs with the same person twice, they cannot connect handkerchiefs with a person that is directly beside them and once connected, they CANNOT, under any circumstances, let go!

Once the directions have been delivered… students may begin going around the circle holding their left hand (the hand holding the handkerchief) out to students whom they feel they are connected to.  The sentence needs to sound like this, “I am a river and I am connected to the Chorus Tree Frog because I provide shelter and food.”  The Chorus Tree Frog proceeds to take the handkerchief from the river with her right hand and you continue to go around the circle until everyone is holding a handkerchief in their right and left hands and it looks like a huge knotted mess.  Now, tell the students to work together to become untangled!  This can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 45 minutes depending on your group of students.

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