Listed below are the materials and rules you need to know before you play, and the instructions to guide the game. This game has additional preparation activities accessible through the Life as a Lizard Game Unit.
- Predators get prey by tagging them, but can only do so after an action card is read that introduces a predator.
- If a lizard is tagged they have to leave the activity area. A predator leaves with both students "playing" a species even if only one student has been tagged.
- Predators leave the scene when they have eaten their fill or run out of prey to tag.
- Prey need to take note of what their species does in response to a predator every time a new predator is introduced.
- Tails: On the first tag, lizards with autonomy can give their tail to the predator to demonstrate autonomy, but if they are tagged a second time they are eaten because they no longer have a tail to lose. Before and during the game each student must read their species card and see what it says about the tail because not all of the lizard species lose their tails when threatened.
- "Camouflage Coins:" If a predator species tags a lizard species with a coin, the lizard species gets to call heads or tails and then flips the coin. If the coin lands on the side they called, then it is assumed that the camouflage tactic was successful and the lizard can remain on the scene. If the coin lands on the side not called, then it is assumed that the camouflage did not work and the predator can leave the scene with their meal.
- The teacher will read the action cards and the students will respond to what the cards describe. Predator and prey students stay to the side until they are called upon by the teacher’s action card.
- The teacher reads the first action card aloud, “It is 3am and dark outside. The temperature is 68° F. The sky is clear.” The lizard students read their cards to find out where they should be under those circumstances and move to those places. The cards are read in succession and the students continue moving around the room in response.
- Some students are prey and may be eaten (by being tagged) during the course of the activity. If this happens that student is asked to step out of the activity area (they may be recycled later as insect species). Once the prey species is tagged, they leave go to the side. The predator leaves the scene when it has eaten its fill or has run out of prey to tag.
- The students who are predators capture prey by walking around the activity area and tagging a prey species, but only after the teacher reads an action card that introduces a predator. When the teacher reads this certain action card, it is that student’s turn to go find breakfast/tag a lizard. When a predator is introduced on the scene by an action card, the students acting as lizard species need to read their cards to find out what they do to defend themselves from the predator, i.e. camouflage, shelter, etc.
- The game continues in this manner until the teacher has read all the action cards. You may want to do a practice round with a few kids first to model how the game is played, that you want them to walk (if inside), and how they find shelter.
- After the last action card is read, encourage the students to talk about the experience. What things were easiest, most difficult, and most fun for them? What else can we do as a rap-up? Depending on how long they play the game and how long they think that they can devote to this, they might read a book or watch a short movie about lizards or other reptiles?