Outside is In: Mosquito, Salmon, Bear

Sep 16, 2014

Posted by Martin Fortin


“Outside is In”

Here’s a lab oriented lesson from the Cispus Learning Center that can be done at in the classroom or at any outdoor school.


Focus: To teach food chain and predator/prey interrelationships.

Group Size: Entire class

Time Required: 20 minutes

Materials: Objects to mark starting lines and home bases

Physical Setting: Level field/clearing


  1. Separate students into two teams. The teams decide in secret whether they will be mosquitoes, salmon, or bears. Just as in rock-paper-scissors, there is a hierarchy. Bears eat salmon, salmon eat mosquitoes, and mosquitoes eat bears. The teams need to have a first choice and a back-up choice. That way if the first choice of each team is the same they can go to the second choice without having to regroup.

  2. The teams then line up along two parallel lines, spaced about ten feet apart, opposite a chosen opponent. When the moderator yells "one ... two ... prey!", students act the part of their chosen fauna (bears raise their arms and roar, mosquitoes point and buzz, and salmon wiggle their fins and snap their mouths), and either chase their prey or run from predators to their home base; ten feet behind the starting lines. If caught, players then become members of the opposing team.


Download a PDF of this exercise.

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