(Source: Project Wild, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)
Introduce the concept of a habitat, and its four components – food, water, shelter, and space. Have the campers name some examples of items from each category. Explain that without all the components of habitat, survival is not possible. Use the following demonstration to prove the point.
Ask the campers to stand in a tight circle. Then have everyone turn to their right so that everyone is now facing the back of the camper before them. Have the entire circle inch closer together so that people are touching each other. The campers now represent a good habitat, with all the components present. Walk around the circle and name each camper as either Food, Water, Shelter, or Space. Then, on the count of three, have everyone in the circle crouch down together until they’re sitting in each others’ laps. If done correctly, the habitat will not fall apart.
Finally, make up a scenario that requires the removal of one of the components of habitat (e.g., “all the trees in the forest have been cut down, all the Shelter is gone!”) and have all the campers representing this component leave the circle. The habitat should fall apart. Remind the campers that this is what happens in the real world when an environment is damaged beyond repair.
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