Let's Talk About It
The Food Webs activity teaches students that different environments are home to different communities of organisms, and that different kinds of organisms have different needs. This activity helps students to understand the concept of a food chain within an ecosystem. As students construct possible food webs for different ecosystems, they will learn that energy is passed from one organism to the next at each step in the chain.
Have each group share the information about its ecosystem and food web with the rest of the class. Begin a discussion about students’ observations by asking, How many lines did you draw in your food web? Which organism in your ecosystem is a carnivore? Which organism is a herbivore?
Encourage students to think about the complex relationships within ecosystems by asking, What would happen if there were no producers in your ecosystem? What if there were no decomposers? Where would humans fit in your food web? Do humans also depend on many different plants and animals?
Keywords: animal | consumers | ecosystem | environment | experiment | food chain | food web | herbivore | humans | lesson | organism | plant | producers
- Photo of aphid feeding on sap © Sanjay Acharya CC-BY-SA 3.0.
- Photo of Emperor penguins courtesy of the U.S. Antarctic Program Photo Library\Josh Landis. Public domain.
- Moreno N., and B. Tharp. (2011). The Science of Food: Teacher’s Guide. Fourth edition. Baylor College of Medicine. ISBN: 978-1-888997-76-7.
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Funded by the following grant(s)
My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932