Students explore Food Chains and Webs through twelve hands-on activities and the Delta Science Reader. Every bite we take connects us to a complex network known as a food web. Because most food webs begin with plants, students first explore plants as food producers. They experiment with soil and light to find the best growing conditions, and plant ryegrass in terrariums. Then they introduce crickets, earthworms, and anoles, and watch what happens. Students are soon able to classify each animal as a primary, secondary, or tertiary consumer, or decomposer, based on what it eats. For reinforcement, students role-play various predators and prey in a food chain game. By the end of the unit, students can apply their knowledge of specific plant and animal relationships to the understanding of food webs in nature.
In the Delta Science Reader Food Chains and Webs, students read about what an ecosystem is, how living things in an ecosystem get energy, and how ecosystems can change. Students explore the interaction of living things and discuss food chains and webs. The book also presents biographical sketches of key scientists, Charles Darwin and Rachel Carson, and describes the work of an ecologist. Students also will discover the relationship between moose and wolf populations on Isle Royale and consider the varied ecosystems on a mountain.