Pressure from Parliament Games and Activities

 

Lesson Activities
 Name Ages Space Required Time Required
1. Owls Owl and Crow *All Grass 30 min
Mouse Roulette All  Grass 40-60 min
Camouflage Hide and Seek All  Grass 30 min
2. Other Birds of Prey Blind Eagle All  Grass 30 min
Sharp-shinned Hawk All  Grass 30 min
Eagle Eye All  Woods, Trail 30min
3. Eagles vs. Owls Birds of Prey All  Grass 30 min
Kick the Can All  Grass 30 min
4. Food Chains and Webs Food Chain Lap Sit All  Grass 10 min
Food Chain Rock, Paper, Scissors All  Grass 30 min
5. More on Food Chains Food Chain All  Grass 45 min
Predator Prey All  Grass 45 min
Food Chain Tag All Grass 30 min
The Food Chain Game 9-12 Varies 45-60 min
Crafts Owl Mask All Indoors

* Adjust questions based on children ages.

Lesson 1 - Owl Games

Owl and Crow

The children form 2 lines (one is crows, the other owls) that face each other. The leader asks relevant true and false questions. If the answer is true, the owls chase the crows. If it is false, the crows chase the owls. The leader does not announce what the answer was until the children have started chasing each other or they can wait until the children have returned to the line. Once they are back in line the leader can give a short description of why it is true or false. If the owls chase the crows, and one of the crows is tagged it becomes an owl and vice versa. The game restarts when all of children make it to base.

Mouse Roulette

Click here for instructions.

Camouflage Hide and Seek

Begin by selecting one person to represent the predator, or owl. The predator is blindfolded and stands in the centre of the play area. Remaining players are prey, and when the signal is given they run to hide. They must be able to see the owl from their hiding spot. When all of the prey are hidden, the owl may remove her/his blindfold. They then scans the surrounding territory, naming or describing the location of anyone they can see. These prey are caught and come to the centre.

Owl Masks

Before the session, have masks prepared for each child. Click here for mask template. Mask can be made out of bristle board. Allow each participant time to collect items from nature for their mask. Once everyone has enough items, glue them to the owl mask. For heavier items, glue guns work best. Glue sticks and liquid glue work for the lighter items, but take a while to dry, so tacky glue is a good option. After the masks are completed, tie them one and  play a game. 

Lesson 2 - More Birds of Prey Games

 
Choose a person to be the sharp-shinned hawk. All the rest of the group space out and stand still as trees. On the shout of ‘go’ bird (beanbag) is thrown at random from one tree to another. The sharp-shinned hawk tries to catch it. If the hawk catches the bird it replaces the tree that threw it. Try using more than one ‘bird’.

Eagle Eye

One individual, the eagle, stands in "Eagle Nest", pivot step, while the prey stand 10m away in a wooded area. The eagle closes their eyes and counts to 10 while everyone else hides. Hiders or "voles/mice/hares" must hide themselves so they can see the eagle with at least one eye at all times. After the 10 seconds the eagle opens their eyes and tries to locate the prey with out moving from the "nest". If the eagle identifies someone, that individual must go sit behind the eagles next and remain quite for the reminder of the game. Once the eagle can no longer see anyone, they close their eyes and count to 10, while everyone quickly hides again, moving at least 5 steps closer to the eagle. The goal is to get as close to the eagle as possible without being seen. The game continues till everyone is found, one person remains or someone reaches the eagle.

Lesson 3 - Eagles vs. Owls Games

Birds of Prey

The children hold hands and form a circle. One child is chosen to be the bird of prey of their choice. They wear a blindfold and takes up a position within the circle. Several children are selected to be the prey but the circle shape must be retained! The bird of prey then has to try to catch all the prey, relying on sense of hearing. As the prey are caught, they stand outside of the circle. The children making up the circle can move closer together to make a smaller space as prey are caught.

 
The eagle is blindfolded and sits cross-legged with the “treasure” (a rock or piece of wood) placed in front of him/her. The starting line for everyone else is about 20 feet away from the eagle, and their object is to steal the treasure without being heard by the eagle. If the eagle hears someone, he/she points to them and they are out for that round. It’s best if you stand next to the eagle to judge if the eagle really hears someone. The eagle is not allowed to wave his hands around; the pointing has to be specific and the stealers are not allowed to run. This game can lead to a discussion on animal adaptations. Who is best suited for stealing the treasure? Why? Who was not suited? What would have made stealing easier?

Kick the Can

Adapted to a nature game to introduce camouflage and stalking techniques. Play the game in a grassy area surrounded with shrubs, rocks, and other places for hiding. The game begins with a blindfolded person, the predator, in the middle of the field guarding the can (i.e. an orange cones) from being kicked over by the other players or prey. The prey distribute themselves into the area to hide while the predator counts to thirty. After hiding, the predator removes the blindfold and tries to find the prey.  The prey are trying to kick the can without being seen by the predator. If the predator sees the prey, they should call out, "1,2,3 I see so and so behind that rock." In that case the captured prey must go to a designated jail. The prey can be freed from jail if another prey successfully kicks the cone. Let the game go for one or two jail breaks before replacing the predator with someone new. After a few minutes when the predator can no longer see anyone, the game resumes. This time, prey who has escaped detection must change their hiding places and move closer to the predator. Again, the predator removes his/her blindfold and scans the area calling out the name or location of anyone they can see. If there are still several hidden prey, another round can be played. When only one prey remains, they are declared the winner and becomes the new predator for another game.

Lesson 4- Food Chains and Webs Games

Food Chain Lap Sit

Give each player a food chain card. Several chains may be created with the cards and number of people available. When all are ready, have each player find and join hands with the food chain member on whom he depends for survival. When all members of a food chain have gathered together, a circle is formed, and the group performs a lap sit (each person puts his hands on the hips of the person standing in front of him, and then everyone in the group lowers himself so that he sitting on the lap of the person behind him a self-supporting circle is created!) All members of a food chain are important. If your players don’t believe this, have one person representing an animal in the middle of chain stand up!

Food chain game of “Rock, Paper, Scissors”

Choose 3 links in a food chain – for example: insect, mouse, owl

Create an action for each of the three possibilities (e.g. insects crouch, mice squeak and make ears with their hands, owls “who”). Divide students into two teams. Before each round, each team creates a huddle and decides which of the three possibilities they will be (all are the same one). Create a centre line in the playing field and line up the two teams facing each other across the line. At your signal (say something like “Insects, Mice and Owls…Survive!”), the two teams will make their action. Mice eat insects, owls eat mice and insects eat owls (when dead). Winners chase losers and try to tag them. Losers attempt to reach an end line (their designated “home” or safe spot) before being tagged. Any loser who is tagged then joins the other team for the next round.

Lesson 5 - More on Food Chains Games

 
This game is a kind of dramatized story which the leader tells and the group acts out. It's good when the group is a bit tired and needs to stay still for a while - don't try it first when they want to run about. Talk about the place where you are, and the sort of animals and plants which are there. (Also possible to talk about a pond or other specific ecosystem with older kids.) Stand in a circle. Ask, where does all the energy come from? (A: the sun) Get the bright spark who knows that one to hold one end of the string and stand in the middle. Explain that the string represents energy. Then attach a chain of plants and animals to the chain in a spiral around the sun, bringing children in from the outside circle as they give an answer. If you only allow those outside the web to give answers this ensures that everyone gets a turn. Often talk through the chain as you build it. Use examples of animals which are right there where you are, to try to limit those who like to list off loads of higher carnivores from tropical habitats. When everyone is in the chain you can try eliminating a few key members to see what happens. I do this by keeping one person back, the little shy one usually, to be the 'Alien' from outside the ecosystem. The alien doesn't understand about ecosystems. They want to do an experiment and take one bit away. The alien chooses a person to fire his/her magic gun at, and that person dies horribly. Make sure the alien chooses someone near the bottom of the chain - they get another shot if not. All those who depend upon the person 'zapped' then die in turn, until everyone - or most of them - is on the floor! The consequences are so dire that the alien quickly fires the magic gun at the original victim again and the balance of things is restored as each one gets up and 'comes back to life' in turn. It is also possible to do this without string but just holding hands, or just standing in a line. But the string is a lot easier, and kids might be embarrassed at having to hold hands for so long.

Predator-Prey

Begin by arranging your participants in a circle. Each person pretends to be Prey, and privately picks in their mind another person in the circle who they pretend is a Predator who wants to eat them. Next each participant privately picks another person who represents some protection, or a Protector. Once the leader shouts “Go!” all the Prey must run to arrange themselves so they always keep their protectors between them and the predators. The result is incessant running around and laughter-filled chaos. Play many rounds.

Food Chain Tag

All participants are producers, consumers or decomposers. Designate twice as many producers as consumers, and twice as many consumers as decomposers. Have balls to represents an element in the community (e.g. nutrients, water, carbon and so on). Create a safety zone where the balls are kept (e.g. a hula hoop). This represents the soil and/or water. Producers try to obtain as many balls as possible (one at a time). Only producers can remove balls from the “soil/water”. Consumers can obtain balls (one at a time) only by tagging producers. Decomposers can obtain balls (one at a time) by tagging producers or consumers. Decomposers then return the balls to the “soil/water”. If decomposers are not working hard enough, or there are not enough of them, you will see producers lining up/ competing to obtain the balls.

The Food Chain Game

Option 1 Click here for instructions.

Option 2 Click here for instructions.

Option 3

Begin by randomly assigning each student a woodland component, and given them something to distinguish what they are (i.e. green headband for grass). Make sure to include all components of a woodland food web, including many “grass” and “plant”. Include some mushrooms and bacteria (ideal for more sedentary kids who can’t or don’t wish to run.) 

To start, give at least three students that are “Grass” a handful of green 3x5 cards to represent carbohydrates (sugars) at the base of the food web. Herbivores (primary consumers) such as hares must catch “Grass” and obtain a green card signifying that they have eaten and are alive and available to be eaten. Carnivores (secondary consumers) try to catch an herbivore and take its green card. The “dead” hare is out of the game and must sit down. A carnivore that has eaten (has a green card) can be caught by any predator that can eat it. Top predators like hawks or coyotes can only be taken out by being caught by “Disaster” Disaster can only kill top predators that have green cards. The green cards collected by “Disaster” are handed to a decomposer (bacteria or mushroom) who in turn pass the green cards back to “Grass”. This way grass stays alive as long as it does not run out of green cards. 

The leader should blow a whistle or noisemaker to start and stop the simulation (which usually takes only a few minutes if kids get into it! When the game is called, all still alive hold up green cards so everyone can see who is left in the food web. All green cards are then returned to the grass before starting another game. Have the students switch roles every couple of rounds to experience first hand who eats whom. Only play 4-5 five rounds. Students should understand the consequences of unbalanced predator-prey relationships. 

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