- Suggested duration: 20 mins
- Technique used: Simulation
- Materials required: Large ball of string, sticky or pinned labels
- Aim of activity: To illustrate how things are interconnected and reliant on each other.
- Underpinning components: UC1.1a; UC1.1b; UC1.2a; UC1.2b
- Connection with other competences: Attentiveness
Various pictures of wildlife are distributed amongst the group, e.g. oak tree, hawthorn, fish, bird of prey, spider, hedgehog…
Members discuss together what they know about each.
Group leader then moves randomly amongst the group asking what connections each thing has with other items. A ball of string is then passed between each to show the connections and to gradually build up a web between them.
Group leader then creates a scenario whereby one of them is removed, and then another and the web starts to collapse.
This should lead to input on the meaning of and models of sustainability.
Ask students in their assigned role to find something that eats them or that they eat, hold a length of string tightly between them and use additional string to add other connections. At the centre of the web should be one student who is assigned as an oak tree. The leader moves among them, distributing lengths of string and ensuring that everyone is connected at least once to the central web. Once everybody is connected the leader acts out the role of woodcutter (pretending to use an axe or chain saw for dramatic effect) and fells the oak tree. As the oak tree student falls to her knees she holds tightly to her lengths of string. Each student that feels their piece of string being pulled must also fall to their knees while holding tightly to their strings. Very quickly the entire class will fall to their knees showing how the loss of one key species can affect many others.