Download This Lesson: Everybody Is Somebody’s Lunch
Brief Description: Students will research, observe, compare and contrast, and discuss the food chain and how pest management can affect them. They will determine how living things are connected and in what ways as well as the overlap of different food chains and webs.
Focus Areas: Pest Control: Biological/Natural; Environmental Science
Focus Skills: observing, discussing, comparing and contrasting, researching, concept forming, evaluating
- To determine in what ways living things are connected
To understand that systems are complex in their connections
To learn what happens if certain components of a system are removed
To determine the effect of pest management strategies on food chains and food webs
- To understand that systems are complex in their connections
- What is a food chain?
- What is a food web?
- What is the effect of a species being eliminated in a food chain?
– In a food web?
- How can Integrated Pest Management (IPM) help protect the way plants and animals interact in an ecosystem?
- How can the use of chemical pesticides impact a food chain and a food web?
- Food chains transfer energy from one organism to another.
- Food chains that overlap and interconnect are called food webs.
- When one species is eliminated in a food chain, the survival of the other links is threatened.
- Creatures in a food web have a better chance of survival when a plant or animal is eliminated because they can feed on other species.
- Integrated Pest Management (IPM) helps to protect the creatures in both food chains and food webs by using natural controls, such as insect predators, rather than chemicals to control and only eliminate target pests.
Food chains are a part of the web of life. A food chain starts with plants,producers, which use the sun’s energy to produce food. The chain of energy next passes on to plant-eating animals, such as mice, known as primary consumers. It then proceeds to the animals that eat the primary consumers – for example, weasels – known as secondary consumers. If a third animal, such as an owl, were to eat the secondary consumer, it would be known as a tertiary consumer. Various organisms break down dead plants and animals into nutrients and energy. These organisms – such as earthworms, bacteria, fungi, and some types of insects – are known as decomposers.
carnivore – an animal whose diet is mostly meat. Examples: wolf, owl
decomposer – an organism that breaks down the remains of plants and animals
herbivore – an animal whose diet is plants. Examples: rabbit, deer
insectivore – an animal that eats insects. Examples: some bats, frogs instinct the natural behavior a creature exhibits without thought or reasoning
microorganisms – fungi, molds, and bacteria that are only visible to the naked eye when present in large numbers
omnivore – an animal that eats both plants and animals. Examples: fox, bear
predator – an animal that hunts other animals for food
prey – an animal that is eaten by another animal for food
Time: 45 to 60 minutes
Group Size: two groups of 10 to 15 children to play the Food Chain Game
Space: a room with comfortable seating and an area outside
- Overhead 1 for Session II “Food Energy Pyramid” *
- Handout 1 for Session I “Food Chains” *
- Handout 1 Answer Key *
- Handout 2 for Session II “Focusing on Food Webs” *
- Handout 2 Answer Key *
- Books from the school library about food chains and food webs. An excellent resource is: Everybody Is Somebody’s Lunch by Cherie Mason and Julie Kellogg Markowsky. (A teacher’s guide is available for purchase with the book.)
- Word and picture cards, 8 ½” x 11” per word/picture *
- Food Chain Picture Card Set *
- boxes to paste food chain pictures on
- Note: Materials needed for the Food Chain Game are found on page 7.
* single copy provided
- Obtain the word and picture cards.
- Tape the Food Chain picture cards on boxes of various sizes to represent the different links of the food chain. Cereal boxes work well. Use the snack pack size for plants and a family size box for the secondary predators.
Correlations to State of Maine Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction
ELA = English Language Arts, HE/PE = Health Education and Physical Education, MA = Mathematics, SCI = Science, SS = Social Studies, VPA = Visual and Performing Arts
** Alignment possible only if lesson extension is done
Maine Learning Results
ELA – C. Research
E. Listening & Speaking
E1. Students apply active listening skills.
a. Ask clarifying questions.
b. Attend and respond appropriately to classmates and
c. Follow multi-step oral instructions
SCI – E. Ecosystems
E2. Students describe ways organisms depend upon,
interact within, and change the living and non-living
environment as well as ways the environment affects
a. Explain how changes in an organism’s habitat can
influence its survival.