BeMED 7. Accumulation

Activity 3 of 3 about plastic pollution
Saviour Bonnici
Age Guide
Year 4-8
Subject Area
Physical Education
Preparation Time 3 minutes
Estimated Duration 30 to 45 minutes
Site Gym/ Yard / Outdoor space
No. of participants Whole class
Educational objectives This is a fun physical education activity with the aim of teaching students about micro-plastics and our impact on the sea, fish life and our health. This activity provides a realistic and practical example of how micro-plastic accumulates in the food web.
Learning Outcomes – Speed. Agility. Stamina. Quick reactions.

– I understand that I am responsible for my actions and am capable of anticipating the problems of consuming plastic and adapt to reduce it.

Link to SDGs



SDG 12: Responsible consumption

SDG 14: Life below water

SDG 15: Life on Land

Remote preparation Playing ‘Uncontrollable’ (Lesson plan 5) and ‘Plastic Breakdown’ (Lesson plan 6) before this activity will prepare students for this activity, however this is optional.
Equipment needed Three types of coloured bibs

·   6 green bibs

·   4 yellow bibs

·   the rest (according to number of participants) red bibs

Internet connection is needed to watch the video links provided in the background information.

Method Objective: Catch your food

Student Organization:

Small Fish (S) – 6 students wearing green bib (or any other colour)

Medium Fish (M) – 4 students wearing yellow bib

Top Predator Fish (P) – 2 students

Fish Food (F) / Plankton – The majority of the remaining students wearing a red bib (FR). It is VERY IMPORTANT to leave only a few without bibs (F).


Playing the Game

Part 1: Fish food is eaten by small fish

·       The playing area represents the Ocean

·       The fish food run in the Ocean

·       Instruct the small fish to go and eat (catch) all the fish food.

·       For now, the other fish are waiting.

·       Whenever a fish food is caught, he/she is transported to a designated captured area where they will remain. Everyone keeps a record of how many fish food they captured.

Game is paused when all fish food is caught.

Part 2: Small fish eaten by Medium fish

Medium Fish introduced. Now the small fish will be eaten by the medium fish and transported to the captured area.

Part 3: Medium fish eaten by the Top Predator fish

Top Predator Fish introduced. Same as part 2 and the game ends here.

Part 4: Explanation

See Recap section below



The reason for the fish food with the red bib (FR) is now revealed. They are the micro-plastic. The others are the actual fish food (F).  The small fish do not know the difference so when they eat, micro-plastics enter the food web. The higher the food web hierarchy, the more micro-plastic accumulation. Apart from killing marine life, when we humans eat fish especially the top fish, we inevitably also ingest the micro-plastics.

Actions students can take:

·       When encountering plastic rubbish, try to dispose of it properly, if this is safe to do so.

·       Refuse unnecessary plastic

Follow-up activities This is the last of 3 activities, the previous being ‘Uncontrollable’ and ‘Accumulation’, covering the plastic pollution topic which integrates PE and ESD subjects.
Background information for educators Video link to understand the science behind micro-plastic accumulation:

How Much Plastic Do You Eat? #OurBluePlanet | Earth Lab

Video clip from ‘BluePlanet 2’ documentary showing the effects of micro-plastics on marine life: