Coastal Ecology—Making the Connection

Summary: Students explore food chains and food webs to discover interconnecting relationships among organisms in an ecosystem.

Concepts to teach: Food webs, different ecosystems

Goals: Students will learn about ecological relationships by constructing a simple food chain or food web.

Standards:
4.2L.1, 5.2L.1

Specific Objectives:

  1. Describe the difference between various roles in the food chain.
  2. Display the connections between various creatures in the food chain.
  3. Demonstrate the effects of outside influences on food chains and ecosystems.

Activity Links and Resources:

  • Making the Connection adapted from Michigan Sea Grant‘s Project Flow.
  • Food Chain descriptions and games
    • Who’s Hungry? – Students use body movement and pantomime to simulate the feeding motions of freshwater organisms and demonstrate the interconnectedness of a food web.
    • Food Chain Quiz—This is a good review of concepts in a fun format from the BBC.
    • Food Chain Game—An interactive animated drag and drop game from sheppardsoftware.com
    • Food Web Interactive from eduweb.com—Describes components of pond food chain and webs, and finishes with an experiment to see what happens changes are made to complex food webs.

Assessment:

  • Students look at multiple food chains or webs from different ecological systems and talk about the relationships depicted.