Food Web Activity


Standard #6


Energy Flow in an Ecosystem:



Organisms get their energy from the sun. The ___________________, or __________________ (self-feeders) produce their own food by the process of ________________________. They turn sunlight energy, water, and carbon dioxide into glucose and oxygen that all other organisms must live off of. __________________________ eat the plants, and in turn are eaten by the ____________________. Sometimes these meat-eaters are eaten by a ______________________. These are most often broken down by scavengers and decomposers when they die, but could be taken by other carnivores when they are young or weakened.


There are pictures of 25 organisms posted around the room. There are producers and different-level consumers. For 5 minutes, everyone will walk around and look at the different pictures and think about what each organism eats. Then each table group will get the opportunity to connect 3-4 different organisms together with yarn to form food chains. Organisms can be used more than once, however, each food chain must be unique.


1.      Examine the pictures of the organisms for 5 minutes.

2.      Within each table group assign the roles of producer, primary consumer (herbivore), secondary consumer (omnivore or carnivore), and tertiary consumer (carnivore), according to the number of people.

3.      Each person in the table group will come up with an organism in a food chain which corresponds to his/her role.

4.      Each group will be given a chance to connect a food chain with string (you can connect organisms across the room).

5.      As each food chain is made, connect the organisms on the diagram below.

6.      After each table group has connected their food chains, answer the discussion questions.

Food Web Diagram -


























Discussion Questions:


1)     What is the name for the pattern of feeding relationships that we diagramed?


2)     How is a food web different from a food chain? Please compare and contrast energy flow through a food chain and a food web.




3)     Which is the most realistic idea, food chains or food webs? Explain.


4)     Please explain why food chains are most often short.


5)     If human beings were added to this food web where would they fit in? What labels would they have (producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer, or tertiary consumer) (herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore)? Which organisms would they be connected to by arrows (pointing two and away from them)?



6)     Where would decomposers, such as fungi and bacteria, fit in the food web?