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Activity Overview


Animals rarely exist in single, one-dimensional food chains. In order to demonstrate a more realistic representation of how energy passes from living thing to another, students will create a food web from different food chains in a single habitat. In a similar way to food chains, the arrows represent the flow of energy from one animal to another. The different colors are there to emphasize the different trophic levels, but are not necessary.

As an alternative to this assignment, give students the example food web and get students to identify different food chains from it. As an extension, get students to start to thinking how the population of one type of living thing affects another. For example if the number of Mussels increase, how will this affect the population of whelk?

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-8

Difficulty Level 4 (Difficult / Complex)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group

Common Core Standards
  • [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.


Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Student Instructions

In the real world animals rarely exist in single food chains. Often animals need to eat different plants and animals to get all the nutrients they need. One way of showing more complex energy transfer relationships between living thing is using food webs. Create a food web from different food chains. Remember that all food webs start with energy from the Sun.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Use these food chains to put together your food web. Use Photos for Class to find images and label them with their names. Make sure to use arrows to show the flow of energy from one living thing to another.

    • Sun → Phytoplankton → Zooplankton → Caridean Shrimp → Cod
    • Sun → Phytoplankton → Zooplankton → Caridean Shrimp → Laughing Gull
    • Sun → Phytoplankton → Mussels → Laughing Gull
    • Sun → Phytoplankton → Mussels → Jonah Crab → Laughing Gull
    • Sun → Phytoplankton → Mussels → Whelk
    • Sun → Phytoplankton → Mussels → American Lobster
    • Sun → Seaweed → Limpet → Jonah Crab
    • Sun → Seaweed → Limpet → Whelk → Laughing Gull



Rubric

(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)



Food Webs
Using the food chains given in the the assignment construct a food web. Find pictures of the animals using photos for class and label with the name of the animal.
Proficient
33 Points
Emerging
16 Points
Beginning
0 Points
Animals images and labels
There is a clear photo for every animal and every photo is labeled with the name of the aminal.
There is a clear photo for most animals and most photos are labeled with the name of the aminal.
There isn't a clear photo for most animals and most photos aren't labeled with the name of the aminal.
Energy Flow arrows
All the necessary arrows are drawn correctly.
Most of the necessary arrows are drawn correctly.
Not many of the necessary arrows are drawn correctly.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.




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Image Attributions
  • Buccinum undatum (Common Whelk) • S. Rae • License Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
  • Cod • Cocayhi • License Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
  • fish1879 • NOAA Photo Library • License Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
  • fish3260 • NOAA Photo Library • License Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
  • Jonah crab • U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region • License Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
  • Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla) • acryptozoo • License Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
  • limpet shell • S. Rae • License Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
  • Lobster • Jim, the Photographer • License Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
  • Mussel • Andy Gant • License Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
  • prawn • Dan Hershman • License Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)
  • seaweed • cluczkow • License Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)


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