Food Grab

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In this outdoor activity, learners design devices that will catch prey or gather plants. After testing their devices, learners investigate the food-gathering adaptations of animals in their activity site. Activity background information gives multiple examples of real animals and their food-grabbing mechanisms including shark jaws, rodent teeth, hawk talons, etc. Learners consider the concept of food-gathering adaptations of animals and compare them with human methods. An extension of this activity is observing various animals around the neighborhood as they capture prey and eat plants.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Food-Grab Junk Box (toothpicks, rubber bands, cotton, etc.)
  • leaves, twigs, rocks and other natural materials
  • scissors
  • Action Card duplicated for each learner (on page 5 and 6 of PDF)
  • seeds or nuts
  • rubber fishing worms or cooked spaghetti
  • hardboiled eggs
  • trowl
  • tennis ball or rock
  • clear plastic cups
  • index cards
  • bug boxes or hand lenses


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Animals
    • Evolution
      • Evidence for Evolution
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • The Design Process
      • Invention and Innovation

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, The Regents of the University of California, 1979