In the FFS we learn about the many beneficial organisms prevailing in the crop field. To create awareness among the participants, a role play on “Predation” can be organized to show how a spider can kill a Brown Plant Hopper (BPH).
- To create understanding on the role of natural enemies who help control pest populations by predation.
- To create a happy atmosphere
- 15 minutes
- Some rice plants
- Polythene sheet
- Two pieces of newsprint, one with a big drawing of a spider, one with a big drawing of a BPH
- Paper tape
- Straws or pens
- Create a mini rice field of a few rice plants and spread a polythene sheet near this mini plot.
- Select two participants, one will act as a spider and other will act as a BPH. With paper tape fix the drawings of spider and BPH on their back.
- All the participants now sit down in a circle around the mini rice field.
- The person who acts a BPH will come inside the circle and starts talking in a dramatic fashion. For example:
“I am a gravid BPH. I want to lay eggs on a rice plant. Where can I get it? Oh! Yes, there’s a nice rice field. The farmer has applied high dose of N-fertilizer. The field has close plant spacing and there are weeds inside. I like this very much. This is a very good micro climate for my offspring to be grown up. And it is also good food for me. I will sit here and will start laying eggs and suck saps of the plants.”
- The BPH man will sit in the field and start pretending to eat. He uses a pen or straw to simulate to mouthparts of the BPH.
- The spider now runs into the circle and starts jumping around while talking:
“Oh! I am very hungry. I need food. I have a big belly and I always need to eat. I like to eat small insects. Where can I get some prey? I should search for some prey.”
The spider runs around a bit more and then discovers the BPH. Now talking again:
“Oh! Here is some good prey. It is juicy and fat. Of course it will taste delicious” (the spider will be dancing with joy). “I’ll prey it right now!”
The spider then jumps on the BPH and inserts its venom into the prey by touching the prey’s body with a pen (putting it inside its mouth).
- The BPH starts to move a bit, but then suddenly is paralyzed and finally when the spider has sucked all the sap of its prey the prey will drop dead.
Some guidelines for discussion
- What kind of environment does BPH like?
- How does BPH feed?
- Where does BPH place its eggs?
- What does a spider eat?
- How does a spider feed?
- What would happen if we spray pesticide?
- A spider is a predator. Do you know other predators in your rice field?