Coastal Ecology—Recipe for an Ocean

Summary: This activity will inspire students to brainstorm the components that make up an ocean community and introduce them to the concepts of food chains, energy transfer and food webs. The second part of the activity, designed for older students, challenges them to create a food web in relation to the habitat each animal lives in to further the lesson between interconnectedness of the living community and habitats in the system. This activity is most effective when used after a field experience or at the end of an ocean unit.

Concepts to teach: Food chains and webs, community interactions, interconnectedness

Goals: Students will understand the relationships among living things and between living things and their marine environment.

Standards:
3.2L.1, 4.2L.1, 5.2L.1, 6.2L.2

Specific Objectives:

  1. Students will be able to define the parts of and create a food chain from a list of organisms.
  2. Students will be able to define the parts of and create a food web from a list of organisms and food chains.
  3. Students will be able to describe the interdependence of a marine community in relationship to the organisms themselves and those living in different ecosystems.

Activity Links and Resources:

  • Summary of Recipe for an Ocean from the Oregon Coast Aquarium
  • The Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport has a variety of onsite lab classes, outreach programs, and lesson plans for Grades 3-5, including:
    • What’s for Lunch? (Gr. 1-3)—Introduction to marine food chains
    • Feeding Frenzy (Gr. 4-5)—Complex marine food webs that include humans
    • Fins, Flippers and Flukes (Gr. 4-5)—Marine mammal adaptations and ecological roles

Assessment:

  • Included in the Recipe for the Ocean lesson.