September Public Library Event: Predator-Prey Tag

A standoff between the "predator" in the jersey and the prey

Last spring, EcoReach began a partnership with the Athens-Clarke County Public Library to develop and organize monthly events for teens. Our events will be primarily focused around various Ecological concepts.

For our September event on Thursday, 11 of our volunteers played Predator-Prey Tag with about 15 teens at the library after school. In any given ecosystem, all organisms will act as either a predator, a prey, or oftentimes even both. For example, a gray wolf is a predator which will feed on its prey, such as deer. Deer typically feed on plants and seeds, but in order to avoid being eaten by wolves, they have to be able to run quickly, hide, or utilize their brown coat to blend in with their surroundings. The wolves will also need to run quickly to catch their prey, but if they cannot find the deer or see the deer, the wolves will be unable to eat them.

For our activity, we took this concept and played Predator-Prey Tag. We played three rounds of a 7 minute game. During each round, six different people are the “predators” and everyone else is their “prey”. The goal of the game is for the “predators” to eat (tag) all of the “prey”, and for the “prey” to avoid being caught as they run across the field to grab their own food (cardboard cutouts). Each “prey” must try to collect 3 pieces of food without being eaten. Another important aspect of the game is that the “prey” are able to avoid being eaten (tagged) via a hiding spot or camouflage by standing in safe zones or by standing still.

Once our games were finished, everyone went back into the library and the EcoReach volunteers held a discussion with the teens regarding predator-prey interactions. We discussed examples of predator and prey pairings, how an animal can be both a predator and a prey, examples of how predators and prey successfully avoid being eaten and/or sighted, and other general lessons learned from the activity. During this library event, EcoReach was able to teach some Athens teens about predator-prey interactions while also getting outside and having fun together.

If you would like to view the website that we adopted the activity from and the rules of the game, please visit this link

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