This activity is an ecological version of freeze tag focusing on predator/prey relationships (cottontails/coyotes, deer/mountain. lion, etc.).
Students will become either predator or prey and compete for food and shelter. Choose one predator for every 4-6 prey. Predators are identified with bandanas. Set up the playing field with food source tokens on one end, a primary shelter area on the other, and temporary shelters (hula hoops) scattered between them. The goal of the prey animals is to move from the primary shelter to the food source and collect one food token. Then they must return to the primary shelter. To survive, each prey must collect 3 tokens safely. Prey have two means of protection — 1) they can freeze or 2) go to a temporary shelter.
Predators start the game anywhere in the open area between the prey’s primary shelter and food supply. Each predator must tag or capture two moving prey to survive. When a prey is captured, s/he is taken to the sidelines by the predator and becomes a predator in the next round; predators that don’t get enough food become prey in the next round.
Describe: What did you notice about the survival rates in each round? Analyze: What human pressures affect predator/prey relationships? Relate: What should humans do if these relationships are out of balance?
“Keep in mind your main goal is survival!”
“How can you vary your movements to help you survive?”