Deadly Links (3-6)

  1. Divide students into 3 groups-1 hawk:3 shrews:9 grasshoppers
  2. Give each “grasshopper” a paper bag (representing their stomach).
  3. Tell students to close their eyes.
  4. Docent will distribute colored and white paper dots around open space while students have their eyes closed.
  5. Students are then instructed to open their eyes and on your count collect as much food as they can.
    After 30 seconds have elapsed, tell them to stop.
  6. The “shrews” are then to hunt for grasshoppers. They must tag a grasshopper in order to catch it. When the “shrew” catches a “grasshopper”, they take its food. After 45 seconds, they are told to stop.
  7. For the next 60 seconds, hawks hunt shrews, alive shrews hunt grasshoppers, and alive grasshoppers hunt food chips.
  8. Everyone gathers in a circle and talks about which animal ate what food.
  9. Then tell students to look in their bags for multi-colored paper, representative of pesticide. Grasshoppers that were not consumed, but have any multi-colored paper in their bags are now dead also. Shrews that have more than half of their bag full of multi-colored paper are dead and the hawk with the most multi-colored paper will not reproduce successfully.
  10. Talk about how pesticides affect the food chain.