Even with almost half of our club missing due to a funeral/illness/traveling, the first ever meeting of our Creation Club was a BLAST! This month’s theme focused on why we study God’s creation and how God has perfectly designed plant and animal interdependency through food chains and predator/prey relationships.
The meeting started with a reading of Psalm 95: 3-6 as we talked about enjoying nature as a form of worship. Then we talked about the importance of Christians being wise about nature and creation in order to be able to “give an answer” (1 Peter 3:15) when approached with questions – especially questions concerning creation vs. evolution.
Then the fun really began! We recently had a flood in our area, so we headed on a hike to find evidence of flooding. After a nice walk, the kids pulled out their nature journals to draw and write about some of the evidence they found.
Then, they went on a “mini-hike”. With a piece of string in hand, they were allowed to find any spot of land, place the string in a circle and very closely observe everything within the circle. They journaled all their findings.
After a picnic lunch, we talked about how God has created all of nature to be connected in some form or fashion. In other words, plants get their energy from the sun, while rabbits get their energy from plants, and a snakes can get their energy from rabbits. However, if all the plants died, for instance, the snakes eventually would, too, since they feed on animals that feed on plants. We used terms like food chains, food webs, herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, producers, consumers, and population.
We played a few games to cement the new terms and concepts. First was a simple food chain game. I gave the kids notecards and they had to put themselves in correct order in the food chains.
Then we played a food chain simulation game. “Grasshoppers” had to get energy from the plants (popcorn) by placing the plant in their body (baggie). Lizards chased the grasshoppers. When tagged, the grasshoppers had to give their energy to the lizards and die. The lizards had to be careful, though, because hawks were busily hunting them!
Then we played a quick game of population survival. Snakes (colored cards) were in a field. Hawks (cardboard squares) tried to land on a snake. If they did, the snake disappeared and the hawk survived. If they didn’t, the hawk died and more snakes were born (added to the field.) As the hawks ate up snakes, the population of snakes got so low that it was harder and harder for the hawk to survive. As the hawks died, the snake population could quickly grow to be too big.
And to end the afternoon, I gave the kids a “test”. As a group, they had to match words and definitions of all the many concepts we had learned about.
Oh yeah, after lunch we did a quick little craft. The kids used a wood burning tool and made a little paper wieght with their name on it.
I’m so glad we decided to keep the group small and limit it to children in 3rd-6th grade. Too many more children, or too many more age groups would have been very tough to teach. I’m looking so forward to many more months of our Creation Club!