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Food Webs and Food Chains

By Patsy
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"Where do animals and plants get their energy from?"

 Understandings & Objectives


 At A Glance

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Part One - Prior Knowledge
Use the instructional strategy, KWL, to find out what you know about food chains and ecosystems. 

Make two lists: "What We Know" and "What We Learned" using this  KWL Chart.

Before the teacher starts the lesson, volunteer your knowledge to list what you know as a group.  The second heading "What We Learned" will be used at the end of the entire lesson, as a means of infomal assessment.

Part Two - Fresh Knowledge
Review the PowerPoint presentation (PowerPoint) to introduce you to
  • what a food chain/food web is. 
  • become familiar with terminology and diagrams. 
  • access the teacher created web resource page and watch an animated movie that explains food webs. (click Food Webs: All Flies Welcome to view web resource page)
  • view an example of a cold desert food web. 

Throughout the presentation, take notes on Your Notepad.

Art Project

Numerous examples of different types of food webs and ecosystems will
be provided for you to refer to as you make your own food web.

  • Use numerous materials including construction paper, glue, scissors, and markers/crayons to create your web. 
  • Draw your own animals and plants, as well as placing yourselves in the web. 
  • Label which ecosystem your web belongs to. 

Creative Writing

Imagine a world where spiders have disappeared. 

Write a one page short story about the impact on an ecoystem that has lost its spiders. 

The goal is to have you think about immediate consequences as well as long-lasting consequences.  Before you begin the writing assignment, look at these links on spiders so that you are familiar with the habitats, natural predators and prey, and ecological values.

Spider Movie
Spiders for Kids

Student Assessment

Part One - Informal Assessment

Participate in a group discussion on what they learned about food chains and ecosystems.  After the responses are written under the heading "What We Learned," compare prior knowledge to gained knowledge.  Now you will be able to visually see your progress over the span of two weeks.

Part Two - Student Survey

Fill out the Student Survey evaluating how much you learned from the project.  Fill out a general questionnaire as well as a written response.