The Green LIONS Garden Group explored the concept of photosynthesis at our last gathering. Students took on the roles of plants, water, carbon dioxide, sugar, light energy, and oxygen to perform a creative skit for our teacher volunteers. The skit helped students to understand the vital role plants play in our survival and the survival of the planet. Through converting light energy from the sun, carbon dioxide from the air and water absorbed through their roots to sugar energy, plants then release oxygen to our benefit and the benefit of all living beings. Because plants can make their own food, they are producers and self-sufficient in optimal conditions.
Once photosynthesis was clearly grasped students and plants placed on their rightful throne, students shaped themselves into a food chain pyramid. Plants represented the largest group, then insects, then small animals and birds, then larger animals, and finally a lone human at the pyramid’s top. The question was then posed to the students, “what if there were no plants?”
If there were no plants then the insects would have nothing to eat and they would die off. If there were no plants and insects, small animals and birds would have nothing to eat and they would die off. If there were no plants, insects, birds and small animals, then larger animals would have nothing to eat and would die off. If there were no plants, insects, birds, small or large animals, then humans would have no food and would go extinct.
However, if we reverse this hierarchy what would the results be? What if there were no humans, then large animals, then birds and small animals, and finally no insects. Plants would thrive! They don’t need us, but we are completely dependent on them. Plants rule the planet!
We then just had to take advantage of our ten pin bowling shape to do a little human bowling!
To end our gathering, Sustainable Student Ambassador Cassie Carbonneau’s mother Mindy, an environmental science teacher in our school system, brought two cute and fuzzy members of the food chain for the other Sustainable Student Ambassadors to ooh and ahh over. The little chicks pecked at the grass exhibiting their taste for plants and insects in a food chain. If chicks are involved...then spring has sprung!