Before/ Engage: Food Chain Sorting Game
Estimated Duration: 10-15 minutes
Lesson Material: Sorting cards for the group sorting game.
Students should be divided into groups of four to six members to complete the game. Each group should be given a set of sorting cards. The object of the game is to correctly sort the picture cards into each category (producers- make food from the sun, consumers- eat producers, decomposers- conduct the rotting process). Once the groups correctly sort all the cards, the teacher can choose other categories to sort the game cards, (i.e. - primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary).
The picture cards are designed to get students to begin the questioning process. Students may have different opinions of some of the placements of cards. The teacher will be moving from group to group to check work. This creates great classroom dialogue for teacher instruction of the background knowledge. The teacher should make sure that each group can give at least one example of a producer, consumer, decomposer which will ultimately be assessed through the exit ticket at the end of the lesson.
During/ Explore/ Explain: Food Chain Models
Estimated Duration: 20-30 minutes
Web Links: Students may want to use the following websites to gain knowledge about unknown ecosystems to create their food chain model:
Students should have the art supplies listed in the materials needed section. Provide students with a class demonstration of cutting strips of construction paper to glue together to make a paper chain as pictured in an activity seen here. The teacher should perform an informal assessment of students while they complete this activity to ensure students are arranging the images in the correct order. To ensure no confusion, allow students to brainstorm their chain while they are exploring on the web on a sheet of notebook paper. The teacher should use this to check and make sure of understanding and that their arrangement is correct.
Students should create a chain starting with the producer then onto the primary, secondary, tertiary consumers and end with a decomposer. Each paper chain should have a simple (hand drawn) picture illustrating the organism on the chain and should also be labeled with the level of which the organism belongs to in the food chain, (i.e. a drawing of a sun, labeled as a producer on one chain). Remind students of the examples they discussed in the sorting card game, but explain that they are NOT to use the examples that were already discussed. The goal of this activity is to get them to explore the above links (and beyond) and create a chain that was not discussed. Students can use the links provided to trigger excitement to research other biomes not listed. For students who may need accommodations, allow them to use examples from the class discussion in the sorting card game or the examples seen online through the links.
**This activity should be used as an informal assessment tool for the teacher. Students are using this time to explore and learn new information, therefore, this is not to be used as a formal assessment tool.
After/ Explain, Elaborate: Exit Tickets
Estimated Duration: 5-10 minutes
Lesson Materials: Exit ticket quiz worksheet and the answer key for student grading.
Students will be given the exit ticket before the completion of science class. See attachments for the quiz and the answer key.