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Web of Life    Mystery 1

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In this Mystery, students develop their thinking about the relationships among organisms in their everyday world. In the activity, students play a card game which deepens their understanding of organisms’ interrelationships. Note: This Mystery was updated on 1/20/17 with a significant revision to the activity. View the previous version.

Why would a hawk move to New York City?

Beginning Exploration (1 of 4)
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Beginning Exploration (2 of 4)

DISCUSS:

Which living things should you be able to find near you, next time you spot a squirrel?

Ask the questions:
1) What does it eat?
2) What is it eaten by?

Here's what we think...

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Beginning Exploration (3 of 4)
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Beginning Exploration (4 of 4)

DISCUSS:

1) What animals might live in your neighborhood? Come up with 3 places where you could look.

2) Ask the food chain questions: "What does it eat?" and "What is it eaten by?" Does this lead you to think of any new animals to look for?

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Beginning Activity Prep
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Activity Prep

Get supplies and print handouts.

In this activity, students will be playing "Eat or Be Eaten," a card game in which they make food chains. The game is designed for 2 to 4 players.

Each group of players will need:

  • A set of these 5 sheets to be cut into playing cards. (Use card stock if possible.)
  • A printout of the rules of the game
  • scissors for each player (so everyone can help cut up the cards)
  • a table where player can lay out their cards as they form food chains

Each player will need:

You may also want to print out a copy of Teacher Tips , which provides game rules and a suggestion for advanced play.

Beginning Activity: Eat or Be Eaten
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Beginning Activity: Eat or Be Eaten
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Beginning Activity: Eat or Be Eaten
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Beginning Activity: Eat or Be Eaten
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Beginning Activity: Eat or Be Eaten
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Beginning Activity: Eat or Be Eaten
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Beginning Activity: Eat or Be Eaten
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Beginning Activity: Eat or Be Eaten
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Beginning Activity: Eat or Be Eaten
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Beginning Activity: Eat or Be Eaten
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Beginning Activity: Eat or Be Eaten
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Beginning Complete!

You've completed the Exploration & Activity!

If you have more time, view the assessment, reading and extension activity in the optional extras.

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Optional Extras

Below are ideas for extending this topic beyond the activity & exploration you just completed.
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Activity: Pill Bugs!

Pill bugs (also known as roly polys) are a kid-friendly critter for classroom observation.

Bugman Education offers Take a Pill Bug to Lunch, a inquiry-based activity for those willing to set up a pill bug habitat.

This video shows how simple setting up a pill bug habitat can be.

For more information on these critters, check out “The secret life of pillbugs” on The Infinite Spider, a science & nature blog.

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Read and Discuss

These readings can start students thinking. Channel that energy into a class discussion.

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Image & Video Credits

Mystery Science respects the intellectual property rights of the owners of visual assets. We make every effort to use images and videos under appropriate licenses from the owner or by reaching out to the owner to get explicit permission. If you are the owner of a visual and believe we are using it without permission, please contact us—we will reply promptly and make things right.

Exploration
blue sky by Elliot Brown , used under CC BY-SA
hawk in the city by Gavin Nevill
pigeon skyline by Zero One , used under CC BY-SA
salamander by breki74 , used under CC BY-SA
Activity
sparrow sketch by Teagan White
frog by frankes , used under Public Domain
Other
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