Web of Life

This team-building activity invites students thinking about the interconnectedness of the world around us.

Web of Life


Teamwork, collaboration, and developing awareness of the importance of webs.


  • Students stand in a circle. 
  • Start by saying, “I am the sun,” and throwing a ball of yarn to a student, without letting go of the end. 
  • The student who catches the ball must name something that depends on the sun to live (e.g., a tree) by saying, “I am a _________.”
  • Without letting go of the string, they throw the ball to another student, who must name something that is either dependent on or connected to the previous life form. 
  • Whoever catches the ball of yarn continues to build the web of life until everyone has answered.
  • Once the web is established, the Teacher places a beach ball or other soft object in the center of the web. Ask the students to move the object around without letting it fall, by moving their yarn around. 
  • Reflection: The whole group reflects on the key elements of a web as a system of support. You can close by posing the following questions: 
    • “How are you supported by the web of life?” 
    • “How is the web of life being threatened in your communities?”

Transition into Activity

Ask students to form a circle. If needed, stagger the group’s transition with a strategy like, “Anyone whose name starts with a vowel, make your way to the circle.”

Transition out of Activity

“Travel back to your desk as the living thing you named as part of the web.”

Classroom Arrangement

Open space, or space around desks to stand in a circle.

Supports/Adaptive Materials/Tools

  • Big ball of yarn or twine.
  • Beach ball or soft plushy (at least the size of a basketball).
  • Students can be standing or sitting. 
  • Students with fine motor challenges can loop the yarn behind their back instead of holding with their hands.
  • Guided visualization of a particular ecosystem or environment may be a helpful starting point.
  • An image of a spider web can be shared to guide their process.
  • Passing instead of tossing the ball can support students with low vision or coordination challenges.
  • Students who are less verbal or nonverbal can fill in the blank by sharing a movement or shape without naming what they are. 
  • Group brainstorming can support choice-making.

Possible Role of Classroom Professionals

  • Participate in the circle.
  • Act as “the wind,” helping the ball get from one side of the circle to the other.

Adjustments for Remote Instruction

Laptop IconStudents can create a verbal/visual web throughout the virtual circle.

Art forms

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10 mins