Day 1: Field Day
Prearrange a site that has a mowed & un-mowed section. (This should be in all one area.)
Begin with these few questions: What factors can limit the success of a predator? What effects would a fire have on a predator-prey relationship between a red-tailed hawk and a cotton tail rabbit?” Record responses on an easel to take with you to your site.
Have students develop a hypothesis based on the materials and the site in which they would like to test their hypothesis in on the student worksheet. For example, “I believe that the spoon will capture more prey in the bushy area than the mowed area.” Students should share out their hypothesis aloud to their class.
Explain to students that they will simulate the predator vs. prey relationship using the utensils provided (forks, spoons, tweezers), as well as the different environments included (mowed, un-mowed, bushy).
Pair students up. One person plays the “predator” the other person is the recorder.
The predator will have 45 seconds to capture at least 7 prey (macaroni) to avoid starvation with his tool. Prey should be picked up one at a time without using fingers. Once the prey is captured, student should bring their prey back to the nesting area and continue until the 45-second interval is completed.
This process is repeated 5 times in each of the 2 habitats types.
Day 2: Classroom
Have students back in pairs and have them analyze their data collected and answer the following:
- Summarize your results in complete sentences
- What conclusion can you deduce from these results?
- Was your hypothesis supported? Explain thoroughly
- What are some abiotic factors that may affect the success of failure of predators?