Biodiversity Musical Chairs

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Learn about biodiversity, play a round of musical chairs using drawings of different species. The disappearance of ―chairs signals the extinction of that species. Learn how the extinction of species affects others. Create a game that helps people learn about biodiversity.


Pictures of species (one for each member) and a source of music.

Comes from two sources:
Useful information:
Lesson plan:


Ask what the group knows about Biodiversity (5 minutes)

“Bio” means life and “diversity” means variety, so biodiversity (or biological diversity) is the incredible variety of living things in nature and how they interact with each other. It’s one of the world’s most precious treasures. Every human being, plant and animal contributes to the diversity, beauty and functioning of the Earth. It is a vital ingredient of human survival and welfare. There are real threats to biodiversity

Biodiversity consists of all the many species of animals, plants, fungi, micro-organisms and other life forms and the variety that exists within each species.
It also includes the diversity present in ecosystems – or explained another way – the variation we see in the environment including landscapes, the vegetation and animals present in it, and the various ways in which these components interact with each other. Biodiversity is very complex and is often explained as the variety and variability of genes, species and ecosystems

- Genetic diversity makes every individual unique. so in fact no two living things in nature are exactly the same.
- A species is a group of similar organisms (individual living creatures such as spiders, apple trees or humans) that can breed together and produce healthy, fertile offspring. Species diversity is the most obvious type of biodiversity. our planet supports millions of species, many of which are not yet identi ed! at present, there are 310 129 known species of plants and 5 487 known species of mammals.
- Where communities of plants and animals live together, and share their space, their land and their climate, they form an ecosystem. ecosystems are what many people call “the environment” or “nature”.

Game to understand biodiversity loss (20 minutes).

Explain that the rules of game (an adaptation of musical chairs):
- The drawings are set up in a circle (one drawing per member).
- The music is turned on and the students walk around the drawings.
- The leader sneaks in and takes one of the drawings out—representing the loss of a species.
- When the music stops the members sit on the drawings. The member left standing is taken out of the game.
- Every few removals, the leader shows the picture of the extinct species‘ and asks ―what could have made this species go extinct?
- Members have 30 seconds to consult with the person sitting next to them. The leader asks one or two pairs what they think.
- After several rounds ask how any of the remaining species would be affected by the loss of removed species. (e.g. if a honeybee was extinct, there would be less bees to fertilise plants, and then feed animals).
- Repeat previous steps until only one student remains.
- At the end, discuss what would happen to the species if it were the only species remaining
- Finish with a short discussion on species extinction and a brainstorming session on what students can to reduce and eliminate biodiversity loss.

Break into patrols and invent a game that helps people learn about biodiversity (15 minutes)



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