Southern Ocean card games
Purpose of activity: To learn about the food web in the oceans around Antarctica
Description: This is a set of 36 cards and instructions for 4 games you can play with them. (The first game is an introductory activity, helping players become familiar with the creatures and the information on the cards so that the other 3 games will run more smoothly.)
Target age group: ages 7-14 (NOTE: When using with ages 7-9, I recommend having an adult or older child with each group of 3-4 players. The younger students will love playing with these cards, but they need some guidance. I have even used them with ages 5-6, but in a more informal way, talking about the pictures as went along. Younger players will like the “Food Fight” game the best.)
Time allowance: Highly variable, depending on which games you play. The longest game might run 30 minutes or so. (If you are using this in a full time classroom (not a homeschool) you might want to plan to use the cards several days in a row, doing the intro activity the first day, and then one or two games the following days.) This topic is a big one, and can be made to fill a large amount of time, especially if you supplement with video clips of the animals. (TIP: If you want a head start on Googling for supplemental resources, use the name Norbert Wu when searching for pictures or videos. Mr. Wu is the most celebrated photographer of life underneath the Antarctic ice shelves.)
Materials needed: The 7 pattern pages printed (in color) onto card stock. (If you are working with a class or small group, you will need one set of cards for every 4 players. If if you have 6 students in your group, I recommend 2 sets of cards. In a pinch, you might, just might be able to get away with one set of cards for 5 or 6 players, but the playing time will be higher quality if you have only 2-4 players per set of cards.) You will also need a coin for one of the games.