||This lesson was created by James, a student
in the UniTY
Program at the Miami Museum of
PREDATOR & PREY
Which animal do you want to be today: the Predator or the Prey?
It's your lucky day! You can get to be both! Just proceed, and try to...
Welcome to the Concept section
Survival depends on an animal's ability to obtain its particular food
Welcome to the Materials section
- Masking tape
- Colored cardboard
- Copies of Prey/Predator headband pictures
- 1"x 18" strips of construction paper
Welcome to the Preparation section
- The playing field should be designed as illustrated below.
- Create food tokens by cutting colored cardboard into
two inch squares.
- Prepare three tokens per child.
Welcome to the Procedures section
- Line up the children single file. Distribute the head
band pictures to the children as follows: prey(p), prey(p), prey(p), Predator
(P); p,p,p,P ; p,p,p,P ; p,p,p,P ; etc. In this way every fourth child
will receive a Predator picture, and all of the other children will receive
a prey picture.
- Point out that although today our predator is a hawk
and our prey are squirrels, that there are many different combinations
of predators and prey in nature. Give some examples of these other combinations.
(Research Background Information.)
- Have the children color the animal pictures for their
- Distribute the strips of construction paper. Staple the
animal pictures to the center of each strip.
- Explain to the children that we are going to play a game
that will show us how animals in the wild search for food.
- Show the children the food tokens. Tell them that these
represent the kind of food that the squirrels eat. Spread the tokens in
the "food zone". (See diagram)
- Ask the children to put the head bands around their heads.
Staple the strips together so that the bands fit snuggly on their heads.
- Ask all the children wearing squirrel headbands to stand
in the "safety zone". Explain that they are very hungry. Ask
them if they can see their food on the other side. What the squirrels must
do is get three food tokens to fill them up and to survive. They can carry
only one food token at a time and therefore they must make three complete
trips before they can rest in the safety zone.
- Ask the hawks to stand in the playing field. Explain
that they are hungry too, and they don't eat the food tokens that the squirrels
eat. As a matter of fact, they eat the squirrels! They need to tag at least
two squirrels in order to survive. If tagged, the squirrels retreat to
an area out of any playing zones.
- The squirrels have some safe temporary shelters to avoid
a hawk. Point out that these are represented by the X's on the playing
- Tell the children that the search for food begins at
the first signs of daylight.
- Begin the game by stating, "one, two, three,...
- After a food searching period of five minutes, end the
game by calling out "one, two, three,... night fall"!
- Have each player count the amount of food he was able
to find during the "day of play". Those who got their quota (either
three food tokens, or two tagged squirrels) can consider themselves survivors.
- Discuss with the children the meaning of the terms predator
and prey. Have the children identify the food search differences for the
squirrel and the hawk.
On another occasion the game can be played again, but with optional variations:
a. Different animal combinations of predator and prey
b. Using "freezing" (standing perfectly still) as a method of
protection from the predator
c. Removing some of the temporary shelters to make survival more difficult
Welcome to the links section
Thank you for taking the time to go through the process
of being a Predator or Prey. Thank you from the Unity family to yours. There
will be more to come, so please check this page again.
Visit us at The Miami Museum of Science at: The
Unity Family Page.
Discover how people use Raptors
to control rodents on farms.
For more information on prey, for example "Raptors",
check out this site: Prey Site.
Learn more about Hawks.
To get back to the Home Page: PREDATORS
Visit me at my other site: CREATING
Special thanks to: