Purpose of activity: To reinforce learning about food webs in ponds, with a special focus on phytoplankton and zooplankton
Description: Each player chooses a top predator (fish, heron, bullfrog, turtle) and must feed it by placing tokens on two food items underneath it. However, to do that, each of those creatures must be fed two things. And those two creatures must be fed two things. So the players learn that the food web begins at the bottom, with the phytoplankton. What do phytoplankton eat? Nothing– they can do photosynthesis! The three dice represent sunlight, water and carbon dioxide, the ingredients for photosynthesis. The supplemental cards are drawn when one of the dice turns up its “CARD” side. The cards give information about a lot of the creatures on the board, and also give the players extra phytoplankton tokens. (You can use edible tokens instead of pennies to give the game an extra sweetness!)
Target age group: ages 8-12
Number of players: 2 to 4
Time allowance: 30 minutes to assemble, 20-30 minutes to play one round
Materials needed: Color copies of 6 pattern pages on regular paper, a piece of posterboard, really good glue stick, 3 copies on card stock (for the cards), 3 wooden cubes or dice, some art supplies to adapt the cubes/dice for the game. 30 tokens for each player (pennies, raisins, cereal bits, dried beans, whatever you want to use) Size of circular game board is 48 cm (19 inches) diameter.