Learning Experience 4: Classifying Animals



For each pair of students:

2 Student Activity Sheets for Learning Experience 4

Research books (if needed)*

For the class:

Chart paper*

Felt tip markers*

*provided by teacher


Read the background information in the Teacher’s Manual.(Please see PDF) A class chart will need to be created for this learning experience.

Evaluation Strategy:

Students will classify the animals in their food web as producers, herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores based on their research of what the animal eats.


food chain

food web








Students will classify the plants and animals that they included

in their food web as producers, herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, scavengers, and give examples of scavengers and decomposers.

How do we classify animals by what they eat?

Create a class chart that would allow students to classify the items from one of their food webs that they created in Learning Experience 3. They are to classify the items as plants, animals that only eat plants, animals that eat other animals, and animals that eat plants and other animals.

PlantsAnimals that eat ONLY plantsAnimals that eat ONLY animalsAnimals that eat animals and plants

Once the plants and animals from the food web have been

categorized, label each category as producers, herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores. Discuss each heading with students.

Ask student pairs to look at the second food web that was created in Learning Experience 3. On the Student Activity Sheet for Learning Experience 4, students can categorize the animals from this food web on their own. Use research books as needed. Discuss results as a class.

Discussion Questions:

Where do most of the animals from the food web fit into the chart?

Where do humans fit in?

What can you tell about the community the animals are in based on this chart?

What would happen if their communities changed and their food source disappeared?

When could something like that happen?


Remind students that ecosystems cycle energy and nutrients. Ask students to think about what happens to the dead plants and animals in the ecosystem. The energy they have taken in from the food they have eaten must be released. That is when scavengers and decomposers come in.


Discussion Questions:

Can you think of an animal or insect that feeds on dead animals/plants? (decomposers - bacteria, fungi (mushrooms, beetles, earthworms, slugs), scavengers - vultures, beetles, coyote).

Why are they important to the food chain?

Where does the energy they consume go? (Back into the air, water, and soil – provides nutrients for things to grow in soil.)



Student pairs could be assigned an animal from the food web, and they could make a list of everything the animal eats. Then students could group themselves into categories in different areas of the classroom.


STUDENT ACTIVITY SHEET for Learning Experience 4


Food Chains & Webs

Use the food web you created for Learning Experience #3 to categorize the plants and animals as producers, herbivores, carnivores, omnivores.


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