Ecological Balance

Notes: 
  • Herbivores are animals that consume only plants.
  • Carnivores are animals that consume almost only meat. Think of examples of animals that are herbivores and carnivores (or, if you prefer, call them "plant eaters" or "meat eaters") that the girls will be aware of.
  • Explain that the pyramid of cards represents a complete eco-system in nature. When just one card is removed, the entire pyramid collapses, just as eco-systems are destroyed when one part is removed.
Materials: 
  • Deck of Cards
Time Required: 
30-45 Minutes
Objective: 
  • To understand that all things in nature are connected and dependent on one another. If any piece of a habitat is removed, the whole system would fall like a deck of cards.
Instructions: 
  1. Divide girls into two equal groups and give each one a pack of cards, which they will use to make a pyramid.
  2. Ask a few girls to lay out the first layer of cards. Tell them this represents the ‘soil’.
  3. Ask a few girls to place another layer of cards on the first. Tell them this represents the ‘seeds, trees, and grass’.
  4. Ask a few girls to add a third layer, and tell them this represents the ‘herbivores’ (or ‘plant eaters’).
  5. Ask a few girls to add a fourth layer, and tell them this represents the ‘carnivores’ (or ‘meat eaters’).
  6. Point out to the girls that each card is in its position and is individual yet connected to the other cards. This represents the delicate balance of nature.
  7. Next, ask one participant in each group to remove just one card from the bottom or middle of the pyramid. The cards will all fall.