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Shake It!

Source Institutions

    Lawrence Hall of Science

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Shake It!

In this outdoor activity that can be combined with a hike, learners try to match a "mystery community" by shaking animals out of different trees and shrubs. Learners get a closeup look at organisms living on a particular tree or shrub, and consider which plants seem to host the most animals and how certain interactions among animals in a community help keep the community going.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Field Trip, Game, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • 3" x 5" index cards (1 per learner)
  • hands lenses or bug boxes
  • Shake-It Container Equipment Card (p.5 of PDF)
  • roll of masking tape
  • a few plastic bags
  • small, flat boxes (1 per shake-it container)
  • white paper (1 per shake-it container, optional)
  • plastic bags (1 per shake-it container)
  • box about 30 cm x 50 cm and at least 20 cm high (1 per view chamber)
  • clear plastic wrap


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
      • Populations
      • Biodiversity
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Games
  • 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



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