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4. Adapting to your environment

Requirements: eight colors of construction paper, 2 pieces of each.

Scissors, paper punches


Explain to the students that what we are going to learn is adapting. Animals are successful, or survive, by adapting to their environment.

Take one piece of each of the eight colors of construction paper. Cut into smaller pieces, providing one small piece to each table or group of students. So each group gets eight colors of paper.

Explain to the students that they can cut up the paper and make paper punches of all the colors. They are creating small creatures for the experiment.

Place the remaining piece of each color of construction paper in a ring on the floor. This should be big enough for the students to circle.

Have each group of students mix up their pieces of paper, and choose one color to bump their pieces of paper. Extra groups or smaller numbers can put paper on more than one sheet.

Once the pieces of paper are scattered on the papers, have the students start to circle around the papers, like a cakewalk, in time with music or chanting the tune.

Adapting, adapting the plants are adapting.

Plants that do not adapt all fall down.

Each time the chant reaches down, the students drop to the floor, and the nearest paper, each takes pieces of paper that they see. After going through the process a few times, notice if most of the papers have contrasting colors removed. On this final time, have the students sit down and carefully pick up each sheet of paper and dump off the remaining papers.

For the experiment to be working there should be some remaining papers, that are the same color as the paper. Red should have extra red, blue extra blue etc.

Have the groups each takes a piece of paper and remaining pieces to their table and separate and count the remaining colors. They should keep a record sheet of the color of their papers and the colors of the remaining pieces. Each team should write on the board the color of their sheet and the color and size of remaining pieces.

There should be a discussion about the conclusion, which is that the remaining colors on each sheet should match the color of the sheet. On the red sheet, red pieces survived, and on the purple sheet purple pieces survived.

Overall conclusion: That one color is not better than the other. That survival is about how well each piece of paper is adapted to its own environment.

Revised: 1 May 2016
Copyright © 2016 Institute for Simplified Hydroponics