Polluting poisons game
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Polluting poisons game
Lesson Title: Polluting Poisons Game
Class: KS2 Topic: Conservation Time Allocation: 45-60mins
Identify how poisons become more
concentrated as they move through the
Identify potential consequences of
poisons in food chains
Pupils should engage with the activity.
Pupils should participate in discussions
and make observations.
Recap on what a food chain is, go through an example of an aquatic food chain
Explain that we are going to create the events of a food chain.
Move to the assembly hall and set up a “river”. In the river place all the scraps of paper
Explain the rules of the game:
You are a hungry aquatic insect and want to eat as much phytoplankton as possible (bits of paper)
1. When teacher shouts “GO” pupils are allowed to pick up one piece of paper at a time.
2. After collecting two pieces the ‘aquatic insect’ must surface for air (move out of the river
area before re-entering). This must happen every time they have collected two pieces of
3. When the teacher shouts “STOP” pupils must stop immediately. Stress that all aquatic
insects must collect 7 pieces of ‘phytoplankton’ to survive, the more pieces they collect, the
better. NOTE: don’t shout stop until all pupils have got at least 7 pieces – you want all
pupils to ‘survive’.
Blue material or cones to represent the
White and coloured scraps of paper,
enough for each pupil to have 8 pieces.
They should be in a ratio of 4 white:1
coloured for each pupil.
Portable whiteboard or poster paper for
Markers for recording
Play the game.
After, analyse the results:
Did everyone get 7 pieces and survive?
Who got the most pieces?
Questions have been highlighted throughout the
Reveal that the coloured pieces of paper are poisons that people knowingly or
unknowingly put in the river.
Explore the pupils’ reaction to this.
Record the number of clean vs poisoned pieces each pupil obtained and find the class
Explain that all pupils survived but any pupils that picked up coloured paper now have
poison stored up in their system.
Now ask the pupils to group together in groups of 3 or 4. Explain that in the river these groups of
aquatic insects would be eaten by a small fish. Get the groups to count up how many pieces of
poison they would pass on to that small fish. Record how much poison each small fish obtained.
Ask the pupils to pretend that all small fish survived. Merge groups to become larger groups of
6/8 (teacher can change depending on numbers in class, ideally you should have two large
groups). These groups are now food for larger predatory fish. Count up all the poison pieces the
predatory fish recieved when they ate all the small fish in the group and record.
Ensure that pupils are thinking about what is
happening at each stage!
Which animal has the most poison in its body?
What impact could this have?
From this what can observe about how poison moves through a food chain?
During the game adequate time should be
allocated to allow all members of the class to be
Explore pollution and its affect in the local area/ preventative measures being taken