Games and drama

Learning outcome

Oh Deer!

To make links between life processes in deer and the environment in which they are found.

Key Stubbington focus


  • For Key Stage 1/Key Stage 2
  • Duration 1 hour (can use in conjunction with Earthwalks)
Success criteria
  • I can explore scientific ideas
  • I can explain what trends I can see happening
  • I can spot links between living things and can explain the affect they may have
  • I can use scientific vocabulary
Session plan


Variety of activities that explore various scientific ideas. Allow 25-30mins for each activity. Each activity will have it’s own short introduction.


Oh Deer! – The habitat game

Choose one child to act as a deer, the rest of the children are the environment. Agree upon signs for water, food, shelter and air. The child acting as a deer turns around and chooses a signal. Each of the other children form part of the deer’s habitat and also choose a symbol. The deer turns to face the environment and must choose a child showing the same signal as them. This creates a second deer. Do this again with the two deer to create four. Continue to do this over again. When you reach the point that there are not enough elements in the environment to choose from, the deer who cannot find what they need ‘die’ and pass back over to the environment as there is not enough to sustain them. At the end of the activity discuss how the environment could only sustain the deer growing for a short time before the population levelled. Use an adult to track the numbers of deer on a flipchart/whiteboard as the game progresses. Discuss observations and reasons for falls in numbers.

Deadly Links

The food chain game. Set the children up as parts of a food chain, with bibs to mark each stage. e.g. for 25 children

  • green bibs – leaves 10
  • yellow bibs – caterpillars 8
  • blue bibs – sparrows 5
  • red bibs – sparrow hawk 2

Set up a hoop around the box of pegs, this will act as the sun and the pegs the energy. Only the leaves can go into the hoop to collect one peg at a time. They must then run away from the hoop and count to 10 before returning. While in the hoop they are safe, once out of the hoop they will be chased by the caterpillars. If a caterpillar catches them, they must give up any pegs they have. The caterpillars are then chased by the sparrows, the sparrows by the sparrow hawks; each stage giving up their pegs if they are caught. At the end of the game the pegs are counted and the flow of energy through the chain can be seen. Tell the children that the red pegs represented pesticide put onto the plants, discuss how this ‘poison’ has been passed on.

Dependant on ability/age of children go into more vocabulary detail i.e. producers/consumers, herbivores/carnivores etc.


A bat uses echo location to find it’s prey. This game shows how that works. Children stand in a circle. Choose one child to be blindfolded (the bat) and another to be the moth. The rest of the children are to act as the wall and call “wall” if the bat gets too close. The bat calls “bat”, each time this happens the moth then calls “moth” until the bat catches them. (NB. included in Harry Humus session).


Children work together to create a giant living tree. Each child is given a role within the tree and actions to perform. Teachers can play role as beetles trying to attack the tree as the bark works to protect it. (NB. included in Harry Humus session).

Stage Name Description Action No of children (30)
 1 Heartwood Big, strong, hard   1
 2 Taproot Support, anchor   1
 3 Lateral roots Root hairs, water, nutrients Slurp 6
 4 Sapwood Transports water and nutrients Wee 7
 5 Cambium layer Leaves and branches, photosynthesis Whoosh, energy 7
 6 Bark Protects - weather, disease, animals etc. Bark-bark 8


Discuss some of the scientific ideas looked at in the session e.g. photosynthesis, life processes. Think about ideas we have revised and new information learned.

Less able children

  • Direct and lead discussion
  • Lower level vocabulary

More able children

  • Oh deer! – use recorded numbers to create a chart of deer population to look for trends
  • Higher level vocabulary

Previsit activities

  • Food chains
  • What do animals need to survive

Follow up activities

  • Data work with Oh Deer! graph
  • Create own food chains and identify links
  • Perform Build-a-Tree to others in school e.g. during class assembly
Health and safety checks
  • Deadly links – boundaries pointed out to contain game
  • Bat/Moth – circle of children to contain game