Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Jungle Jeopardy - A Game About Ecosystems

Jungle Jeopardy is an online game produced by PBS Kids for students in first through fourth grade. In the game students have to construct a small ecosystem and keep it healthy for twelve days (a day refers to one round of the game).

In Jungle Jeopardy students keep their ecosystems healthy by adding plants and animals to it to maintain a balance. Students earn points based on how healthy their ecosystems are at the end of each day. At the end of each day students receive a report on the health of their ecosystems. Based on those reports students then have to add more or less of a plant or animal for the next day. For example, in one of the rounds that I played I didn't have enough insects in my ecosystem to support the lizards that I had added into the ecosystem. In the next round I made sure to add more ants to keep my ecosystem balanced.

Applications for Education
Just playing Jungle Jeopardy could help students understand how an ecosystem needs to stay balanced. The game can also be used as part of a larger lesson plan from PBS Learning Media called Ecosystem Challenge. The free lesson plan incorporates Jungle Jeopardy and three other similar games in which students try to maintain balanced ecosystems.