Creatures in Motion
Students form a millipede and walk around the room, then discuss the cooperative challenges that they observed.
Time Required: 20 minutes
The student will be able to:
• Name two activities that are easier to do with many people.
• Identify two activities that work better with fewer people.
• Work cooperatively in a small group.
The challenge of this activity is for the group to move like a millipede for a few moments. This will take both cooperation and coordination from every student. Begin by asking the class if they know what a millipede is (a description follows and an image is provided).
1. Direct the students to form a line. (The longer the line, the more fun and challenging the activity.) Each person in the line should put his/her hands on the shoulders of the person in front of him/her, keeping arms straight, so each student is one arm’s length apart. Everyone becomes part of the millipede. The leader of the group will be the head of the millipede.
“A millipede is a long bug-like creature with lots of legs, sometimes as many as 100! All those legs have to move the same way at the same time. We’re going to try and do that together to find out what it is like to work together in this way.”
2. Explain that at your signal, the millipede should begin to walk as instructed by the first person in the line (the head of the millipede). The segments (children) should remain one arm’s length apart, and no more. If any segment separates, the rhythm, and the millipede, will be broken.
3. Give the signal for the millipede to start walking. One to three minutes of the activity should be enough to demonstrate the millipede’s ability to work together.
1. How does moving like a millipede compare to walking by yourself?
2. How would you like to walk to school or to the park everyday as part of a millipede of people?
3. Imagine if your whole school had to move together like that. Would it be hard to do with that many people?
4. When are some things easier, or maybe even only possible if you have a small group of people? What activities are more appropriate for a large group of people? [In advance, think about population density and how it relates to young students’ lives at home and at school. Feel free to add other examples to the following list. Use the list to stimulate group discussion.]
1. Divide the class into teams of four students each.
2. Inform the teams that each group will become a single, moving creature of its own creation. The movement of the creature will only work if everyone is cooperating and working together. Each member of the group must be in contact with the person next to him or her, and all four students must move together so that all parts of the creature function as one unit. Students must decide how their creature will move (e.g., hopping like a frog or wiggling like a snake). Students can name their creatures, describe where they live, and what they eat.
3. Allow 10-15 minutes for each team to create its creature. During the brainstorming period, each group will test its creature’s ability to move a pre-determined distance (a few feet or the length of a hallway, for example) successfully.
4. Finally, each group will present its creature to the class and demonstrate how it moves.
1. What problems did you have walking as a team?
2. Why did the creatures have to move together in the same motion and at the same time?
3. Was it hard to do exactly what the person next to you or in front of you was doing? Why? Did you choose a leader?
4. When else do groups of people need to cooperate? [Relate question to the larger concept that doing anything as a group requires teamwork.]
5. What insects or animals have to move and work together to survive? (Possible answers: ants, bees)
Resource Type:Lesson Plan
Subject(s):Science, English / Language Arts, Social Studies,
Topic:Solutions, Sustainable Development,
Level:Primary / Elementary
Grade:JKK 1 2 3 4 5 6
Web Pages Used
"The lesson would need to be connected with others lessons about population density." (Posted By: Kathy Worobec)
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