draw the dots. Since students enjoy making the dice, we encourage
the teacher to allow students to make custom dice. We recommend
creating 60 cards with questions about the main topic, in this case
ecological interactions, in addition to 10 penalties and 10 challenge
questions. Examples of these are provided in Appendix 1. We recommend that each question be printed on a half sheet of paper. The
instructor or someone else must read aloud each question for the
entire class to hear.
Conducting the activity
Our own experience showed that the assistance of two or three
instructors is ideal. One of the instructors should divide the class
into groups of five students, depending on the size of the class. Five
to eight groups per class are ideal for the activity. To begin, one
member of each team must roll the dice to determine the order
of participation. The team with the highest number goes first. During the game, only one student will go forward and stand at the
board. On the first turn, one member from the first team rolls
the dice (Figure 2), and the number on the dice corresponds to
the number of squares that the team will move forward. Then, the
instructor must randomly take a card, which can correspond to a
question or a penalty, and read it (Figure 3). The game will continue
until the students reach the end of the board. If the card indicates a
question, any member of the group may answer within 10 seconds.
The instructor along with the classroom will count down to 10 seconds. If any student of the team knows the answer, the member of
the group will remain in the frame. However, if the student cannot
answer, the instructor may ask the rest of the class to respond to
the question. If no students can remember the answer, this may be
an indicator that the information provided during class was not adequate and that some topics must be reinforced.
The cards with challenges must be separated. When one
member of the team arrives to the challenge frame, the whole
team must do the activity. The dynamic will end when a team
obtains the exact number of steps to get to the end frame. If
the team passes the end frame, then it must regress by the
number of frames exceeded. The team that reaches the end frame
first wins (Figure 4).
For students who cannot perform the challenges that require
physical activity, we suggest that they take on the role of referee
to monitor that the dynamics are being carried out in an orderly
fashion or read the questions to the participants. In addition, we
included some challenges that do not involve physical activities.
This activity was designed to be used with different biology and
ecology topics to promote the understanding and learning of scientific knowledge in a fun and active way. In addition, this activity
motivates students to pay attention in class and to retain complex
concepts. In the present case, students became more aware of the
importance of ecological interactions and how to better conserve
the environment and to discover more about this topic. The Ecological Interactions Olympiad activity is therapeutic because students
shout, run, move the whole body, and laugh; these activities in
Figure 2. The activity begins when a member of each team
rolls the dice to determine the order of participation of the
teams. Then, a member of the first team rolls the dice to
determine the number of frames that their team can move
Figure 3. After rolling the dice, the instructor will randomly
take a card and read it aloud for the entire class to hear, but
only the participating team must answer the question.
Figure 4. The activity ends when a member of a team obtains
the exact number of steps to arrive at the end frame.