1. Place two parallel lines on the floor or ground, ten to twenty feet apart.
2. Count the group off in fours (1,2,3,4,1,2…)
3. Ones become deer, the others are needs of the deer, which are three: food, water and shelter.
4. Show the groups what the symbols are for each of the needs, which include: holding hands over head for shelter, holding hands on stomach for food, and holding hands on mouth for water.
5. The groups (both deer and needs) turn their backs to each other and pick a need by placing hands in one of the 3 positions.
6. At your signal (count of three), both groups turn towards each other holding their signs clearly.
7. The deer must then run to “need” that is holding the same sign. Each need may only have one deer.
8. Any deer who finds the “need” they are searching for, then takes the “food”, “shelter” or “water” back to their side of the lines. Those needs then become deer as well, as deer are able to reproduce if they find what they need. Any deer who does not find what they are looking for, dies and becomes part of the habitat, or stays on the need side of the line.
9. Continue play for 10 –15 rounds.
10. Have a discussion about how the deer population continues to change because of cycle of available needs.

“This activity was inspired by the activity “Oh Deer!” from Project WILD: K-12 Curriculum and Activity Guide pp. 36-40, © Copyright 2011 by the Council for Environmental Education. For more information or to participate in a Project WILD workshop, contact the Project WILD Office in your state. For contact information, please visit our national web site,”


Rope (2 6-10 foot long pieces)
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