Thursday, November 28, 2013


Last week we did a lesson about adaptations and bioaccumulation in the food chain.  The kids were divided into three groups, each with a mama or papa bird with a nest (cup) and all the baby birds with different beaks (fork, knife, or spoon).  They had to collect seeds (beads) from the ground using nothing but their beak and bring them back to the nest.  You can imagine the shenanigans that ensued!  

I had them do it several times and the results varied, especially after I gave them some tips like working together or stealing from other birds!  I expected the spoons to to the best but it turns out the forks were able to spear the beads and did very well too.  Poor knives.

This helps to demonstrate natural selection and survival of the fittest in a very tangible way.  

After we looked at their beads I had them remove all of the orange ones.  I didn't tell them but the orange beads represent DDT.  If they had more than X amount of orange beads they were dead.  We talked about how DDT bioaccumulates in the food chain and the impacts it has had.  We have previously studied about the peregrine falcon and the recovery programs out of Wainwright, Alberta.

Try this online game to learn more!

bioaccumulation at 8:46

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