Deadly Links (3-6)
- Divide students into 3 groups-1 hawk:3 shrews:9 grasshoppers
- Give each âgrasshopperâ a paper bag (representing their stomach).
- Tell students to close their eyes.
- Docent will distribute colored and white paper dots around open space while students have their eyes closed.
- 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.
- The âshrewsâ are then to hunt for grasshoppers. They must tag a grasshopper in order to catch it. When the âshrewâ catches a âgrasshopperâ, they take its food. After 45 seconds, they are told to stop.
- For the next 60 seconds, hawks hunt shrews, alive shrews hunt grasshoppers, and alive grasshoppers hunt food chips.
- Everyone gathers in a circle and talks about which animal ate what food.
- 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.
- Talk about how pesticides affect the food chain.