2 Dear Educator: Included in this packet are various materials to use before and after your Chippewa Nature Center (CNC) program. Some of these materials may not be appropriate for the grade level you teach, please use at your discretion. These activities are designed to be fun and educational while supporting the material discussed during the program. Below is a complete listing of the items included in this packet. We are looking forward to meeting you and your students in the near future! Please feel free to contact me at or if you have any questions. Sincerely, Rachel Larimore Director of Education o Vocabulary o Food Chain Highs and Lows o Rabbits and Foxes Story o Food Chain Scavenger Hunt o Links in a Food Chain: There once was a daisy o Who Eats Whom? Activity o What Kind of Eater Am I? (including answer key) o Decomposer s March
3 Carnivore = an animal that feeds on meat Consumer = an animal that uses (consumes) food it can t produce primary consumers = herbivores secondary consumers = carnivores Decomposer = plants/animals that change dead plants/animals into soil Food chain = a chain of organisms in which each link feeds on the one ahead and is eaten by the one behind (example: grass cow person) Food cycle = the endless repetition of food chains from producers to consumers to decomposers and back to producers Food web = a group of related food chains (plants are eaten by more than one species of animal; animals are eaten by more than one species of predator) Habitat = the place where an animal naturally lives or grows Herbivore = an animal that feeds on plants Omnivore = an animal that eats both meat and plant food Predator = an animal that eats other animals Prey = an animal that is eaten by another animal Producer = green plants they manufacture (produce) food
4 Post-trip activity Materials: Hats/scarves/pieces of construction paper whatever is handy to identify the foxes Divide the students into groups of dandelions, rabbits, and foxes. The groups should be proportional: 2/3 dandelions and more than twice as many rabbits as foxes. Send the dandelions out into the field/playground to form a rough circle about 25 feet in diameter. Once they find a spot, they are rooted to the ground and cannot move. Release the rabbits and, a few seconds later, the foxes. The rabbits objective is to eat (tag) dandelions and escape from the foxes. The foxes objective is to eat (tag) as many rabbits as possible. Once a dandelion or rabbit has been eaten, it returns to the leader in the center of the circle. After a short time, the leader calls time. Count (and write down) the number of uneaten dandelions and rabbits. The game is played again, with a few changes. If a dandelion was eaten in the first round, it becomes a rabbit for the second round (good nutrition helps populations grow). If a dandelion was not eaten in the first round, it remains a dandelion. Any rabbits that were eaten in the first round become foxes in the second round; uneaten rabbits remain rabbits. Any rabbits or foxes who don t get anything to eat by the time the leader calls time for the second round are assumed to have died of starvation. They decompose, enrich the soil, and become dandelions for the next round of the game. Be sure to count and record uneaten dandelions and rabbits at the end of each round. You may wish to graph the results. Follow up with a class discussion, adding in other factors such as weather, hunting, and natural disasters (fire, flood, etc). The Rabbits and Foxes Story can also be used as follow-up.
5 This is a story of a young fox named Freddie and a young rabbit named Roberta in a land called Faraway Woods. Our story starts on a warm and sunny summer day. Freddie and Roberta are both young. They were both born in the spring and are each beginning to learn how to find their own food. Roberta is having a wonderful summer. There are lots of good things to eat grass and tender leaves, twigs and buds and the days have been warm all summer long. She has lots of brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends, and there s plenty of food for all of them. The only thing Roberta worries about is the big danger. In the middle of the field is a fox den and she s been told many times to be careful of the new fox family that lives there. Meanwhile, Freddie, the young fox, is learning how to catch grasshoppers, pick berries, lunge after mice, and keep his nose open for any sign of rabbits. He s been told many times that the very best thing for dinner is a nice young rabbit. Things start changing around Faraway Woods when October comes. The days get shorter, the weather turns chilly, the leaves fall off the trees and shrubs, and the grass dies back. Food is harder to find. Some rabbits have to go far away from home to look for food. They often bring back bad news: it seems that there isn t much food anywhere, and there is another fox family in the area. Meanwhile, Freddie is ready to leave his home. He decides not to go too far away from the area since there are so many nice, fat rabbits around that would make good meals all winter long. If only he could catch one! One day in late fall after spending many hours looking for something to eat, Freddie catches the scent of a rabbit. Crouching down, he slowly approaches a low bush. There, nibbling, is an old, gray rabbit. Freddie feels a little scared since he s never caught anything so big, but his hungry stomach pushes him on. He moves in quickly and springs. Surprisingly, the rabbit is caught unaware, and Freddie manages to kill it. It turns out to be a very old, weak rabbit, but it s food to Freddie. His first successful rabbit hunt! Winter finally moves in, covering Faraway Woods with a layer of white fluffy stuff, something completely new to Freddie and Roberta. Life becomes much more difficult for the rabbits. Food is even harder to find. The farther the rabbits have to go to look for food, the more dangerous it is. Traveling in the snow is not much fun, plus it is very tiring. Often they hear that another rabbit has been eaten by a fox. By the end of the winter, the rabbit colony is not in very good shape. Some rabbits have even starved to death. Finally spring returns, but the rabbits that survived, including young Roberta, look pretty thin. Not very many baby rabbits are born this spring. Freddie and the rest of the foxes have had a great winter dining on rabbits. The foxes are all well fed, and new litters of fox kits are born to their healthy fox mothers. The summer goes well for everybody. All the young foxes grow up eating lots of mice, berries, and grasshoppers. The older foxes notice that there are not as many rabbits this summer as there were last year. Young rabbits, usually so easy to catch, are few and far between. But right now it doesn t matter to the foxes because there is plenty of other food. Roberta and the rabbits are recovering from their hard winter, with new greens and twigs available and not as many rabbits to feed. They all look a lot better and are getting plenty to eat. The rabbits are extra wary of the foxes since there are so many around these days.
6 All the animals are surprised at how soon winter comes this year. By Thanksgiving, there is snow on the ground. As winter continues, it becomes obvious that there are too many foxes and not enough food. Freddie and his friends find themselves fighting over hunting territories. Many of the foxes are even forced to leave Faraway Woods. If only there were as many rabbits as last year! As spring slowly comes, Roberta notices that almost all the rabbits are alive and well. There may not be too many, but all of them are well fed and looking forward to the new litters of baby rabbits that will soon be born. On the last day of our story, Freddie is lying on a sun-warmed rock looking over the field. He notices how few foxes stayed and survived in Faraway Woods all winter. But as he looks over to the far end of the field, he sees lots of small rabbits hopping around. Hmmmm, he says, look at all those tasty little rabbit meals over there waiting for me. Maybe things aren t going to be so bad after all. Afterward: Ask students what might happen next in the story. What happened to the number of rabbits when there was plenty of food for all of them? What happened to the rabbit-food supply when there were lots of rabbits? What happened to the foxes when there were lots of rabbits? What might happen to the rabbits if there were no foxes? What might happen to the foxes if there were no rabbits? *Story from Hands-On Nature; Vermont Institute of Natural Science
7 Name a sun muncher food for a frog a leaf that has been chewed food for a deer a place where animals can drink something changing into soil food for a robin a food factory of a tree a plant muncher the first link in every food chain food for a bird a meat muncher food for a worm a place prey could hide 3 links (that fit together) in a food chain Bonus #1: 5 links (that fit together) in a food chain Bonus #2: an owl pellet
8 Pre- or post-trip activity Make copies of the song sheets and distribute them to students. Divide the students into five teams. And assign each team their part in the song. Sing the song through at least twice (the first time is mostly for learning the parts). Students may want to sing more than twice so they can trade parts. After singing, assemble the food chain.
9 Daisy team All Bug team Daisy team All There once was a daisy that grew on a plain Where the sun helped it grow, and so did the rain Links in a food chain! There once was a bug who nibbled on flowers, Nibbled on flowers for hours and hours! The bug ate the daisy that grew on a plain Where the sun helped it grow, and so did the rain Links in a food chain! Wren team There once was a wren who gobbled up bugs And creepies and crawlies and slimies and slugs. Bug team The wren ate the bug who nibbled on flowers, Nibbled on flowers for hours and hours! Daisy team The bug ate the daisy that grew on a plain Where the sun helped it grow, and so did the rain All Links in a food chain! Snake team There once was a snake who often grabbed birds And swallowed them whole, or so I have heard. Wren team The snake ate the wren who gobbled up bugs And creepies and crawlies and slimies and slugs. Bug team The wren ate the bug who nibbled on flowers, Nibbled on flowers for hours and hours! Daisy team The bug ate the daisy that grew on a plain Where the sun helped it grow, and so did the rain All Links in a food chain! Fox team There once was a fox and I ll make a bet He d eat anything he could possibly get. Snake team The fox ate the snake who often grabbed birds And swallowed them whole, or so I have heard. Wren team The snake ate the wren who gobbled up bugs And creepies and crawlies and slimies and slugs. Bug team The wren ate the bug who nibbled on flowers, Nibbled on flowers for hours and hours! Daisy team The bug ate the daisy that grew on a plain Where the sun helped it grow, and so did the rain All Links in a food chain. The fox, he grew older and died one spring day And he made the soil rich when he rotted away. A new daisy grew where he died on the plain Links in a food chain!
10 Name Match the predator with the prey, but remember some prey may have more than one predator to watch out for! 1. Great Horned Owl 2. Skunk 3. Fox 4. Frog 5. Snake 6. Beaver 7. Hawk 8. Woodpecker 9. Coyote 10. Mosquito Skunk Mouse Grubs Worms Deer Ants Squirrel Green bark and leaves Frog Fish
11 Name Directions: Read the stories below. After reading each story, decide whether the animal is an omnivore, carnivore, or herbivore. Write your answer on the line below the story. Herbivore Animals that primarily eat plants. Carnivore Animals that primarily eat other animals. Omnivore Animals that eat both plants and animals. 1. Hi, my name is Cal and I am a coyote. The other day, while I was digging a hole for my den, I happened to pick up the scent of a tasty little snack a RABBIT! Oh, how I do love to eat rabbit. Using my super hunting skills, I was able to catch myself a small meal. I really am fond of small mammals and occasionally, even lizards and snakes. When I am hungry for bigger game, like deer, I get together with some of my friends and go on a hunting trip. If my diet is mainly made up of meat, what kind of eater am I? 2. Howdy, my name is Oscar O. Possum. I have traveled a a lot in my life, much like my grandparents before me traveling from South America to live in Canada. We make these journeys due to our love of all kinds of food. For example, yesterday I had a delicious breakfast of insects and eggs from a nest on the ground. I tried for a snake, but he was too quick for me. Later I filled up on sweet grasses and leaves. These kept me going until I was able to settle down for a rather large meal of dead raccoon I found lying on the side of the road. Finally, for dessert, I was able to find some rotten fruit. So, what kind of eater am I?
12 3. Greetings, I am Grant, the luckiest groundhog I know! The other day, while strolling through the woods looking for clover and dandelion greens for dinner, I noticed a new garden at a nearby farm. Much to my surprise the fence that protected the garden had a small hole in the side. Luckily for me the farmer had not patched it up yet. Taking a chance, I squeezed my round little body through the hole and came upon the most wonderful sight. A buffet of vegetables! I ate radishes, carrots, and my favorite, POTATOES. Since I love to eat my veggies, what kind of eater do you think I am? 4. Good evening, my name is Bernie and I am a little brown bat. It is just about time for me to take off on my nightly food hunt. I start hunting for food just after sunset. That is a great time to find insects! I fly about 10 to 20 feet off of the ground, among the trees and in the open areas near my home. It is possible for me to eat up to 600 insects in one hour! Since my diet is mainly made up of incredible insects, what type of eater do you think I am?
13 Directions: Read the stories below. After reading each story, decide whether the animal is an omnivore, carnivore, or herbivore. Write your answer on the line below the story. Herbivore Animals that primarily eat plants. Carnivore Animals that primarily eat other animals. Omnivore Animals that eat both plants and animals. 1. Hi, my name is Cal and I am a coyote. The other day, while I was digging a hole for my den, I happened to pick up the scent of a tasty little snack a RABBIT! Oh, how I do love to eat rabbit. Using my super hunting skills, I was able to catch myself a small meal. I really am fond of small mammals and occasionally, even lizards and snakes. When I am hungry for bigger game, like deer, I get together with some of my friends and go on a hunting trip. If my diet is mainly made up of meat, what kind of eater am I? Carnivore 2. Howdy, my name is Oscar O. Possum. I have traveled a a lot in my life, much like my grandparents before me traveling from South America to live in Canada. We make these journeys due to our love of all kinds of food. For example, yesterday I had a delicious breakfast of insects and eggs from a nest on the ground. I tried for a snake, but he was too quick for me. Later I filled up on sweet grasses and leaves. These kept me going until I was able to settle down for a rather large meal of dead raccoon I found lying on the side of the road. Finally, for dessert, I was able to find some rotten fruit. So, what kind of eater am I? Omnivore
14 3. Greetings, I am Grant, the luckiest groundhog I know! The other day, while strolling through the woods looking for clover and dandelion greens for dinner, I noticed a new garden at a nearby farm. Much to my surprise the fence that protected the garden had a small hole in the side. Luckily for me the farmer had not patched it up yet. Taking a chance, I squeezed my round little body through the hole and came upon the most wonderful sight. A buffet of vegetables! I ate radishes, carrots, and my favorite, POTATOES. Since I love to eat my veggies, what kind of eater do you think I am? Herbivore 4. Good evening, my name is Bernie and I am a little brown bat. It is just about time for me to take off on my nightly food hunt. I start hunting for food just after sunset. That is a great time to find insects! I fly about 10 to 20 feet off of the ground, among the trees and in the open areas near my home. It is possible for me to eat up to 600 insects in one hour! Since my diet is mainly made up of incredible insects, what type of eater do you think I am? Carnivore
15 (Students will learn this song during the program.) What can make a healthy tree into a dead one like we see? Lightning Wildfire Windstorms Insects That s decomposing...part 1 Once the tree is on the ground, decomposers break it down. Fungi Moisture Bacteria Earthworms That s decomposing...part 2 Decomposers leave behind nutrients of every kind. They make Good soil They make Rich soil That s decomposing... PART 3 In that soil now we know brand new trees can start to grow From the Old tree Comes a New tree That s decomposing...part 4
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