Academic journal article Science and Children

Who Survives?

Academic journal article Science and Children

Who Survives?

Article excerpt

1. Hide 30 "rabbits" in a "lentil prairie." Invite a "hungry fox" to capture as many as possible in 1 minute.


10 red bean rabbits


10 penny rabbits


10 pinto bean rabbits

Job Box with 2 pounds of lentils

2. Which rabbits survive to produce young like themselves?

3. Can you create 10 rabbits of a new species that are adapted to survive better? (Try other seeds, paper wads, clay....)


To design "rabbits" well suited to "survive" in a lentil habitat. To test these rabbits against natural selection by a "hungry fox."


Copy the lab and set up a job box for each lab team, or rotate teams through one work station.

Step 1. Students should mix 10 each of 3 kinds of rabbits into the lentils, then invite a fox (student, teacher, parent helper) to find as many as possible in, say, one minute.

Step 2. Discuss survival strategies: Reds are easier to spot than Pintos, which blend into the lentils because of similar coloring. Pennies burrow deep, making them hard to find. Students should report 'hard data' to support their claims about best adaptations.

Step 3. Allow enough time for students to design cunning rabbits, ideally large enough to be captured by a piece of 1/4-inch screen during cleanup. …

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