Learning Experience 3: Food Chains & Webs

TEACHER’S GUIDE

Materials:

For each pair of students:

2 Student Activity Sheets for Learning Experience 3 (Please see PDF)

13 cm x 20.5 cm (5” x 8”) index cards*

For the class:

Research books*

Chart paper*

Felt tip markers*

*provided by teacher

Preparation:

Read the background information in the Teacher’s Manual. (Please see PDF) Gather books and research materials for food chain and food web activity.

Basic Skills Development:

Collecting Data

Organizing Data

Interpreting Data

Discussing

Evaluation Strategy:

Students will read about a variety of plants and animals and create a food chain and food web based on schoolyard animal communities and county wide animal communities.

Vocabulary:

food chain

food web

community

Objective: Students will list possible food chains from the plants and animals observed in the schoolyard and in the county area and combine them into a food web.

What do the animals eat to survive?

Session 1

Discuss with students the many plants and animals we have observed in the schoolyard. Some they have observed close-up, as in Learning Experience 2, and others they have observed from a distance (birds, etc.). Create a list of these plants and animals on chart paper.

Ask student pairs to use a variety of books from the library on these animals to discover what they eat. Students will begin to see some of the animals or insects eat plants, while others will eat other animals or insects. Students are to create a food chain based on their research of the animals. Students may even go beyond the animals they visibly see in the schoolyard. Each food chain must begin with the sun because plants make their own food from the sun. Then, after the sun, students should name a plant, then an animal that eats the plant and continue on from there.

Students can complete the food chain drawing on the top of their activity sheet for Learning Experience 3 in the Schoolyard Studies Student Activity Book. (Please see PDF)

Students can then present their food chain to the class by having each member of the group be a member of the chain. Draw the sun on the chalkboard to signify that we know that each food chain starts with the sun.

Students can hold signs made from 13 cm x 20.5 cm (5” x 8”) index cards in front of them to help label what they are.

Discussion Questions:

What is common with all the food chains? (All begin with the sun)

How do plants make their food? (Photosynthesis – convert the sun’s energy to sugars they use as food with help of chlorophyll)

Can we connect any food chains?


Students may begin to notice that certain animals in the food chains eat the same things. Students can then combine the food chains to create a food web with the cards.

Session 2

Now that student groups have the experience with food chains and food webs with the plants and animals in the schoolyard, these groups are to research the plants and animals living in their county area and create a food chain with those animals. Complete the food chain drawing on the bottom of the activity sheet for Learning Experience 3 in the Schoolyard Studies Student Activity Book. (Please see PDF) Student groups can then combine the food chains to create food webs of the plants and animals in the county area. The food webs should include ten or more plants and animals.

For the accompanying Schoolyard Studies Student Activity Book, please refer to the PDF found here. (Please see PDF)

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