Migration Mania Game
To show the hazards migratory birds face
- Plastic bottles
- Sticks or stones
Prior to the game, establish a starting line and a finish line. Place a number of rocks, bottles (plastic, for safety reasons), or sticks equal to the number of kids on the finish line. Line up the kids along the starting line and explain to them that many birds “migrate” to your country during the winter from North America, Europe, Russia, etc. (use whichever geographic region applies to you), but that they have a lot of obstacles to overcome. Now narrate a bird migration story in which a flock of birds encounters a succession of hazards. For example, “You leave New York with your flock, but three of you can’t find enough food for the long journey.” Once you do that, take away three bottles at the finish line. The kids now run, collect a bottle (or stick, etc.) and return to the start. The kids without a bottle are dead; encourage them to ham it up as they expire. Keep giving scenarios until there is one survivor. Examples: The birds run into glass buildings, buildings lit up at night, a big storm or even a hurricane, feral cats, hunters, and reduced wintering habitat due to deforestation or drought. Some can get lost. Once the game is over, ask the kids what people can do to help migratory birds survive and why people must work together across nations to ensure the birds’ survival.
This lesson plan is an activity from the Environmental Activities for Youth Clubs and Camps, a resource developed by the Peace Corps Office of Overseas Programming and Training (OPATS). It was contributed by Peace Corps/Jamaica.