Lesson Plan Reference
Grade Level 6-8
Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)
Type of Assignment Individual or GroupCommon Core Standards
- [SCI-5-PS3-1] Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.
- [SCI-MS-LS2-2] Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
- [SCI-MS-LS2-3] Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
In this activity students are going to demonstrate their understanding of the transfer of energy between living things by creating different food chains.
This would be a great opportunity to speak to your students and explain what the arrows in the food chain represent: the flow of energy and also the transfer of matter.
As well as putting the animals in the correct trophic levels, students will have to find images of the animals (using Photos for Class or the Animals Character tab) and label the animal as a herbivore, omnivore or carnivore. Remind students that all food chains start with energy from the Sun. In most food chains, this energy is converted to glucose by photosynthesizing green plants.
The following food chains are used in the given example:
- Sun → Grass → Caterpillar → Sparrow → Hawk
- Sun → Tree → Squirrel → Fox
- Sun → Grass → Cow → Human
- Sun → Red Oat Grass → Termites → Mongoose → Caracal
Other examples of food chains
- Sun → Grass → Vole → Owl
- Sun → phytoplankton → Krill → Leopard Seal → Orca (Killer Whale)
- Sun → Typha (cattail) → Mouse → Opossum → Red Fox → Puma
- Sun → phytoplankton → zooplankton → Jellyfish → Shark
Have your students be more creative by giving them a habitat and getting them to research food chains in these habitats.
After completing this activity with students there is a great opportunity for them to evaluate their models. Lead students through the strengths and limitations of the models giving them an opportunity to make suggestions for improvements.
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)
Show your understanding of food chains by reordering the following plants and animals into food chains. Remember to use arrows to show the flow of energy.<
- Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
- In the first row, put these animals into a food chain: Sparrow, Caterpillar, Grass and Hawk.
- In the second row, put these animals into a food chain: Squirrel, Tree, and Fox.
- In the third row, put these animals into a food chain: Human, Cow and Grass.
- In the last row, put these animals into a food chain: Mongoose, Caracal, Red Oat Grass, and Termites.
- For each food chain, label each organism as a herbivore, omnivore or carnivore.
- Use Photos for Class to find an example image for each one.
- Save and submit your storyboard. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.
(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)