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Food Web

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Summary

Students will identify producers and consumers including scavengers and decomposers and the role they play in the food web.

Coin Type(s)

  • Quarter

Coin Program(s)

  • 50 State Quarters

Objectives

Students will identify producers and consumers including scavengers and decomposers and the role they play in the food web.

Major Subject Area Connections

  • Science
  • Social Studies

Minor/supporting Subject Area Connections

  • Art

Grades

  • Fourth grade
  • Fifth grade
  • Sixth grade

Class Time

Sessions: Four
Session Length: 45-60 minutes
Total Length: 151-500 minutes

Groupings

  • Whole group
  • Small groups
  • Individual work

Background Knowledge

Students should have a basic knowledge of:

  • Energy in a life process
  • Habitat
  • Producers
  • Consumers

Terms and Concepts

  • Quarter
  • Obverse (front)
  • Reverse (back)
  • Decomposers
  • Scavengers
  • Food Chain
  • Food Web
  • Food Pyramid

Materials

  • 1 overhead projector (optional)
  • 1 overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the “Montana Quarter Reverse” page
  • “Food Web Research” worksheet
  • “Food Web Poster Rubric”
  • “Pyramid” worksheet
  • 1 class map of the United States
  • 1 copy of a text that gives information about food chains and food webs, such as:
    • Food Chains and You by Bobbie Kalman
    • Who Eats What?: Food Chains and Food Webs by Patricia Lauber
    • Forest Food Chains by Bobbie Kalman
  • 1 copy of a text that gives information about scavengers and decomposers, such as:
    • Scavengers and Decomposers: The Cleanup Crew by Pat Hughey
    • The Wonders of Fungi by Lucy Kavaler
    • The Amazing Earthworm by Lilo Hess
  • Computers with Internet access
  • Chart paper
  • Markers
  • Drawing paper

Preparations

  • Make an overhead transparency (or photocopy) of the “Montana Quarter Reverse” page.
  • Make copies of each of the following:
    • “Food Web Research” worksheet (1 per student)
    • “Food Web Poster Rubric” (1 per student)
  • Locate a text that gives information about food chains and food webs (see examples under “Materials”).
  • Locate a text that gives information about scavengers and decomposers (see examples under “Materials”).
    • Arrange to use the school computer lab for one session.
    • Bookmark Internet sites that contain information about animals found in Montana.
    • Depending on the season, prepare for an outside activity.

Worksheets and Files

Lesson plan, worksheet(s), and rubric (if any) at www.usmint.gov/kids/teachers/lessonPlans/pdf/312.pdf.

Session 1

  1. Describe the 50 State Quarters® Program for background information, if necessary, using the example of your own state, if available. Then display the transparency or photocopy of the “Montana Quarter Reverse” page. Tell the students that the back of the coin is called the reverse, and “obverse” is another name for the front of a coin. Locate Montana on a classroom map. Note its position in relation to your school’s location.
  2. With the students, examine the coin design. Have the students identify the images and writing included in this design, including the skull.
  3. Ask the students what the skull is from and how the skull got this way.
  4. Introduce the terms “producer,” “consumer,” and “decomposer” by writing the words on chart paper. Check student knowledge for definitions and write their responses on the chart paper.
  5. Introduce the students to the selected text about the food chain and food web. As a group, preview the text. Read the text aloud to the students. Attend to unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts.
  6. During the reading, have the students list some examples of producers, consumers, and decomposers that were named in the text. List examples under the headings on the chart paper.
  7. Distribute the “Pyramid” worksheet. Make a diagram of the possible food chain that the skull on the coin may be part of. Have the students copy and illustrate the food chain on the “Pyramid” worksheet. Show the students an example of a food chain pyramid on chart paper showing the flow of energy through the pyramid. Using the food chain for the skull, have the students change the food chain to the pyramid.
  8. Collect the “Pyramid” worksheets.

Sessions 2 and 3

  1. Review the food chain from the previous session. Review the definition of “consumers.” Introduce the term “scavengers” and define it as an example of a consumer that eats only dead animals. “Introduce the students to the selected text about the scavengers and decomposers. As a group, preview the text. Read the text aloud to the students. Attend to unfamiliar vocabulary and concepts.
  2. Have the students participate in a scavenger hunt. (This may be done in the classroom if outside activities are not possible.) Make a list of items for the students to collect (for example, a twig and a leaf.) Divide the students into small groups. Take the students outside and have them search the school yard. After returning to the classroom, discuss what the students on the scavenger hunt have in common with animal scavengers.
  3. Illustrate the example of a food chain with the flow of energy through the chain. Refer back to the food chain from the previous session. Illustrate the idea of a food web, which consists of several food chains that overlap. Focus on the role that scavengers and decomposers have in the food web.
  4. Distribute the “Food Web Research” worksheets. Explain to the students that they will be researching the plant and animal life found in Montana. Tell the students that they will need to choose at least two animals that are found in Montana and list what types of things they eat and what types of things eat them. They need to also find information on different scavengers and decomposers that could be part of the food web.
  5. Take the students to the computer lab and allow them time to research.
  6. Collect the “Food Web Research” worksheets.

Session 4

  1. Distribute “Food Web Research” worksheets from the previous session. Distribute the “Food Web Poster Rubric” and review the rubric with the students. Explain to the students that they will be creating a poster of a food web to include the animals they researched. Explain to the students the need to label the diagram and show the flow of energy through the web or pyramid. Remind the students to add some scavengers and decomposers to their web.
  2. Allow the students time to complete their poster.
  3. Display the students’ posters in the classroom. Have the students do a gallery walk to view the posters.

Differentiated Learning Options

  • Allow students to work in pairs on the poster.
  • Have pictures already run off for the students to use for their food web.
  • Have magazines or clipart available for students to use for their food web.

Enrichments/Extensions

  • Have students design the web using visual learning software.
  • Have students create a giant wall mural food web using all the animals that were researched by the class.
  • Have students create a personal food web with animals and plants they eat.
  • Have students act out a food web.
  • Use marine food chains to help the students better understand the concept of food chains.

Use the “Food Web Poster Rubric” to evaluate whether the students have met the lesson objectives.

There are no related resources for this lesson plan.

This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: Science, Technology, and Society
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • enable learners to identify, describe, and examine both current and historical examples of the interaction and interdependence of science, technology, and society in a variety of cultural settings
  • provide opportunities for learners to make judgments about how science and technology have transformed the physical world and human society and our understanding of time, space, place, and human-environment interactions
  • have learners analyze the way in which science and technology influence core societal values, beliefs, and attitudes and how societal attitudes influence scientific and technological endeavors
  • prompt learners to evaluate various policies proposed to deal with social changes resulting from new technologies
  • help learners to identify and interpret various perspectives about human societies and the physical world using scientific knowledge, technologies, and an understanding of ethical standards of this and other cultures
  • encourage learners to formulate strategies and develop policy proposals pertaining to science/technology-society issues

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: K-4 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students understand and use similarities and differences between characteristics of the visual arts and other arts disciplines
  • Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum

Discipline: Science
Domain: 5-8 Content Standards
Cluster: Life Science
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Structure and function in living systems
  • Reproduction and heredity
  • Regulation and behavior
  • Populations and ecosystems
  • Diversity and adaptations of organisms

Discipline: Visual Arts and Music
Domain: 5-8 Visual Arts
Cluster: Standard 6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Students compare multiple purposes for creating works of art
  • Students analyze contemporary and historic meanings in specific artworks through cultural and aesthetic inquiry
  • Students describe and compare a variety of individual responses to their own artworks and to artworks from various eras and cultures

Discipline: Science
Domain: K-4 Content Standards
Cluster: Life Science
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

  • Characteristics of organisms
  • Life cycles of organisms
  • Organisms and environments

Discipline: Social Studies
Domain: All Thematic Standards
Cluster: People, Places, and Environment
Grade(s): Grades K–12
Standards:

Teachers should:

  • Enable learners to use, interpret, and distinguish various representations of Earth such as maps, globes, and photographs, and to use appropriate geographic tools
  • Encourage learners to construct, use, and refine maps and mental maps, calculate distance, scale, area, and density, and organize information about people, places, regions, and environments in a spatial context
  • Help learners to locate, distinguish, and describe the relationships among varying regional and global patterns of physical systems such as landforms, climate, and natural resources, and explain changes in the physical systems
  • Guide learners in exploring characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on Earth’s surface
  • Have learners describe how people create places that reflect culture, human needs, current values and ideals, and government policies
  • Provide opportunities for learners to examine, interpret, and analyze interactions of human beings and their physical environments, and to observe and analyze social and economic effects of environmental changes, both positive and negative
  • Challenge learners to consider, compare, and evaluate existing uses of resources and land in communities, regions, countries, and the world
  • Direct learners to explore ways in which Earth’s physical features have changed over time, and describe and assess ways historical events have influenced and been influenced by physical and human geographic features

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