Introduction: Prior to beginning the lesson: (1) Cut out and laminate Vocabulary Cards for display in the classroom; (2) Photocopy Food Chain Example onto transparency paper for overhead projector; (3) Photocopy Ocean Food Chain onto transparency paper for overhead projector.
Group Size: Whole Class
Students will be able to:
· Explain the term food chain.
· Give an example of a food chain.
· Make a model of an ocean food chain.
Materials: Vocabulary Cards (see attachment), Food Chain Example (see attachment), Ocean Food Chain (see attachment), yellow construction paper (1 sheet per student), 1 ½”x9” strips of blue construction paper (5 per student), index cards (4 per student), crayons, glue
1. Ask students: Who can tell me something you have learned so far about oceans? Give students time to share answers.
2. Ask students: We haven’t really talked about what ocean animals eat. Does anybody have any ideas? Give students time to share answers.
3. Display vocabulary card “food chain”. Tell students: All living things in the ocean depend on one another to survive. That is because they eat one another. A food chain links the plants and animals in the ocean by how they eat one another.
4. Display Food Chain Example on the overhead projector. Use the example to explain how a basic food chain works.
5. Tell students: Just like the sun is the base of the food chain on land, the sun is also the base of the food chain in the ocean. The sun helps small plants in the Sunlight Zone Grow. Those small plants are called plankton.
6. Display vocabulary card “plankton”. Tell students: Plankton are small plants and algae that grow in the ocean.
7. Display Ocean Food Chain on the overhead projector. Show students the sun, keeping the other pictures covered. Tell students: The sun helps plankton grow. Therefore the sun is the base of the Ocean Food Chain.
8. Ask students: What depends on the sun to grow? Guide students to answer plankton, and uncover the picture of plankton.
9. Tell students: Some fish only eat plants. We call those fish plant eaters. Plant-eating fish are snails, shrimp, and jellyfish. Uncover the next picture. Give students time to make comments or ask questions.
10. Tell students: Some fish are meat eaters. That means they eat other fish. Small meat eaters are tuna and mackerel. Uncover the next picture. Give students time to make comments or ask questions.
11. Tell students: Finally, larger meat-eating fish eat the smaller meat-eating fish. Sharks and dolphins are at the top of the ocean food chain. Nothing eats sharks and dolphins. Uncover the last picture on the food chain.
12. With the entire food chain displayed, go over it one more time: Sharks and dolphins are at the top of the food chain, because nothing eats them. They eat medium-sized fish, like tuna and mackerel. The tuna and mackerel in turn eat small fish, like snails, shrimp, and jellyfish. These fish are plant-eaters, so they eat the plankton. And finally, the plankton rely on the sun to grow.
13. Distribute supplies to children. Instruct students to: (1) Use the yellow construction paper to cut out a sun; (2) Use the blue strips of paper to construct a paper chain; (3) Use the index cards to illustrate and label each link of the food chain; (4) Attach the sun to one end of the paper chain; (5) Attach each index card to a link of the chain.
14. Display students’ work in the classroom for the remainder of the unit.
Modifications: For students with special needs, provided one-on-one assistance as necessary.
Assessment: Direct students to turn to a classmate and share one thing they learned today.
Benchmark or Standards:
National Science Education Standards
NS.K-4.3 Life Science– As a result of the activities in Grades K-4, all students should develop an understanding of:
· The characteristics of organisms.
· Organisms and environments.
NS.K-4.4 Earth Science– As a result of the activities in Grades K-4, all students should develop an understanding of:
· Properties of Earth materials.