Suggested Project WILD Activities: Predator-Prey
Activities are available through our free Project WILD workshops.
- Quick Frozen Critters
- Students play an active version of “freeze tag”. Upon completion students discuss predator/prey relationships, including adaptations; describe the importance of adaptations in predator/prey relationships; and recognize that limiting factors – including predator/prey relationships – affect wildlife populations. Requires food tokens (3 per student); gym vests or labeling devices to mark predators; four or five hula hoops or jump ropes to serve as “cover” markers; pencil and paper to record number of captures (if desired). * Quick Freeze Prairie Dogs – Texas species adaptation
- Adaptation Artistry
- Students design and create imaginary birds and write reports including descriptions of the birds' adaptations. Upon completion students identify and describe the advantages of bird adaptations and evaluate the importance of adaptations to birds. Requires drawing paper, painting, clay sculpture or papier-mâché materials; construction paper and glue; and pencil and paper.
- First Impressions
- Students react to photos of different animals and discuss their different contributions to the plant. Upon completion students distinguish between reactions to an animal based on myth or stereotype and those based on accurate information; and recognize the value of animals’ contributions to ecosystems – even those that people sometimes fear. Requires large photos or drawings of a variety of animals, including some the students might think are ‘cute’ and some they might think are ’scary’.
- Spider Web Geometry
- Students research the spider of their choice and then construct a replica of the spider’s web, applying principles of geometry. Upon completion students recognize spiders as wildlife; and generalize that people and wildlife share environments. Requires writing materials for use in research; measuring instruments; thread; glue. Optional: photographic materials.
- The Thicket Game
- Students become “predator” and “prey” in a version of hide and seek. Upon completion students define adaptation in animals; and generalize that all animals are adapted to survive. Requires blindfolds; outdoor area like a thicket or other vegetated area free of poisonous plants and other hazards where students can hide.
- Muskox Maneuvers
- Students simulate musk oxen and wolves in a physical activity. Upon completion students evaluate the effectiveness of some adaptations in predator/prey relationships; and describe the importance of predator/prey relationships as limiting factors in wildlife populations. Requires two colors of rag flags to use as tails (like those in flag football); there needs to be as many flags as there are wolves and calves.
- Owl Pellets
- Students examine owl pellets, reconstruct skeletons, and identify skeletons and prey of owls. Upon completion students construct simple food chains. Requires owl pellets; dissecting tools (toothpicks work well); poster board; glue; small animal skeleton diagrams and skull guide. Optional hand lenses or magnifying glasses; gloves.
- The Hunter
- Students read and discuss a story. Upon completion students describe their feelings about hunting; compare their attitudes to those of other people; and make personal judgements about the appropriateness of hunting. Requires student copies of story.
Project WILD Aquatic
- Fashion a Fish
- Students design a fish adapted for various aquatic habitats. Upon completion students describe adaptations of fish to their environments; describe how adaptations help fish survive; and interpret the importance of adaptations to animals. Requires body shape, coloration, reproduction, and mouth card set for each group of students.
- Marsh Munchers
- Students use body movement and pantomime to simulate the feeding motions of marsh animals. Upon completion students identify components of a food web in a salt march; and identify their interconnectedness in the food web. Requires timer; construction paper for tokens; predator feeding behavior cards; detritus eater cards; and one envelope per student.
- Micro Odyssey
- Students examine, draw, paint and identify microorganisms in pond water. Upon completion students identify forms of microscopic life that live in water and describe how various aquatic organisms relate to one another. Requires pond water; hand lenses; magnifiers; nets; microscopes; slides; cover slips; eyedroppers; writing materials; identification guides; art supplies; paints; poster board or easel paper; and tape.
- Net Gain, Net Effect
- Students conduct a simulation to explore the evolution of fishing and the effects of changing technology on fish populations. Upon completion students describe the evolution of fishing techniques; and interpret the changes in technology on fish populations. Requires nets of different mesh sizes; onion bags, potato bags, fruit bags, or netting from a hardware store; one pound each of lima beans, rice, pinto beans, black beans, lentils, rice; writing material; four large containers deep enough to hold ¼ of the beans and grains.
- Turtle Hurdles
- Students become sea turtles and limiting factors in a highly active simulation game. Upon completion students describe the life cycle of seas turtles; identify species mortality factors related to sea turtles; make inferences about the effects of limiting factors on sea turtle populations; and make recommendations to minimize the factors that might lead to the extinction of sea turtles. Requires rope or string; tow jump ropes or hula hoops; one plastic bag per student; identification cards; wooden clothes pins; poker chips; and dried beans.