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Salmon Life Lottery

In this game, students learn some of the threats to salmon at different stages of their life cycle. In the wild it is estimated that out of 2,500 eggs of Coho salmon, only two survive to become spawners for the next generation. This game is interactive and representative of the challenges that salmon face throughout life. It is inspired by Salmonids in the Classroom.


  • Identify each stage of the salmon life cycle.

  • Identify factors (natural and human-made) that affect salmon survival.


Key Questions

  • How many of you made it to be spawners?
  • What happened to those who died?
  • How do the dead salmon help nature?

What To Do

Set up

  1. Everyone starts as a Coho salmon egg.
  2. Give each student a card with a code or let them choose their own.


  1. Call out the codes in order. Get students to put up their hand if they have that code. Then tell them their fate, which they can act out if they choose to do so.
  2. Continue through all the life stages. Congratulate those still left.


  • Using the list of threats, examine which ones have a human influence. Discuss how we can help salmon instead of create threats to their life cycles.