Who Eats What? Food Chains & Food Webs

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Introduction

In an ecosystem, plants and animals all rely on each other to live. Scientists sometimes describe this dependence using a food chain or a food web. 

Food Chain 

A food chain describes how different organisms eat each other, starting out with a plant and ending with an animal. For example, you could write the food chain for a lion like this: 
                                                grass ---> zebra ---> lion

The lion eats the zebra, which eats the grass. Here is another example in picture form: 

Food chain picture example


The grasshopper eats grass, the frog eats the grasshopper, the snake eats the frog, and the eagle eats the snake. 

Can you illustrate and write about the food chain?

Task

This learning segment was create for first grade students

State Content Standard: Standard 2c: Students know animals eat plants or other animals for food and may also use plants or even other animals for shelter and nesting. Students are introduced to idea that all living organisms in an environment are interdependent. 

Classroom Ecology BoardClassroom Ecology Board

Objective: This learning segment will introduce students to the concept of the food chain.Students will illustrate a food chain on an endangered specie of their choice (i.e. panda, bald eagle, polar bear, cocoa tree). They will draw three links, connect the links in the correct sequence, and write a sentence on how the three links are interconnected. 

Watch the following video "The Magic School Bus in the Rainforest"

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAZgopW6qVI

Process

For purpose of this learning event, we will be having a Paideia Seminar. Students must watch the video "The Magic School Bus in the Rainforest" prior to the seminar. Everyone must come prepared to class. Be ready to answer the following discussion questions:

1. Define the food chain (knowledge)

2. What is a link? (knowledge)

3. Provide an example of a food chain (comprehension)

4. Using yourself as a link, provide an example of a food chain (application)

5. How do plants, animals, and humans depend of each other for food and shelter? (analysis)   

6. If one of the links disappears, how are the other links affected? (analysis)

7. Explain what must have happened to the food chain when one of the links was removed? (analysis)

8. What are some of the problems with removing links? (analysis)

9. How can you related the food chain to endangered species? (synthesis)

10. When an endangered specie becomes extinct, what happens to the food chain? why?(evaluation)

11. How are we interdependent? (evaluation)

**Discussion questions were formulated through the use of Bloom's Taxonomy of Higher Thinking Skills.

Bloom's TaxonomyBloom's Taxonomy



Evaluation

Students will illustrate a food chain on an endangered specie. They will draw three links, connect the links in the correct sequence, and write a sentence(s) on how the three links are interconnected. This assignment is worth a total of 5 points: one for each link (3pts), one for connecting the links in the correct sequence through the use of arrows (1pt), and one for writing a sentence or a couple of sentences describing the order of the food chain (1pt). 

Food chainFood chain




Conclusion

After this learning event, students will be able to connect the world around them to the science content they are learning in the classroom. This lesson incorporates a constructivist approach to learning. Constructivists suggest that learning is more effective when a student is actively engaged in the learning process rather than attempting to receive knowledge passively.