Biology

Food Webs and Energy Pyramids

Grade Level: 8th grade

State Standards:

Life Sciences (Biology), Grades 6-8: Energy and Living Things:
#14. Explain the roles and relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers in the process of energy transfer in a food web.
(Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Frameworks, 2006)

Lesson Question:

Introduction:

You have been looking at different biomes around the world and are familiar with the varying conditions by which they are identified. We have begun to look at specific ecosystems within those biomes, the organisms that comprise the biotic portion of each and the relationships among those organisms. You will now be using your knowledge to put together energy pyramids and food webs for different ecosystems which will provide you with a snapshot of the community members.

Task:

Your study into an often neglected portion of an ecosystem will assist you in creating food webs and energy pyramids for these organisms. You will complete this task using either PowerPoint, Prezi or Glogster and will share your results with the class.

Lesson Experiences:

Process (include all steps of the lesson procedure):

Prior to beginning your final project, the class will review concepts previously covered in class. This is your opportunity to ask questions and to make sure that you truly understand the roles or different organisms in the transfer of energy within an ecosystem.


DAY ONE:
The class will watch a short YouTube video (5 min, 11 sec) titled "Food Chains, Food Webs, and Energy Pyramids in Ecosystems" and complete a guided worksheet during the viewing. (See resources for handout.)

"Food Chains, Food Webs, and Energy Pyramids in Ecosystems"

You and your partner will be given a list of several organisms found in an ecosystem. You will fill in the energy pyramid for those organisms and create a food web on the back. (See resources for handout and lists of organisms.)

HOMEWORK:
You will take a short quiz on your engrade account which will be submitted and graded online.

DAY TWO:

Food webs show how matter and energy can move in an ecosystem. Which of the following relationships would NOT be found in a food web?

  1. a praying mantis eating a hummingbird
  2. a grasshopper eating a fly
  3. a wasp eating an aphid
  4. a plant eating an insect


Soil contains many important nutrients. Which of the following provides the most nutrients to the soil?

  1. decomposition of dead animals
  2. manmade fertilizers
  3. recycled aluminum waste
  4. rainwater


An energy pyramid shows the transfer of energy in an ecosystem. How much energy is transferred from one level of the pyramid to the next?

  1. 100%
  2. 90%
  3. 50%
  4. 10%

At the conclusion of the video, you may use your correcting pens/crayons to fix any incorrect answers on the quiz. Quizzes will then be turned in.

diagram

HOMEWORK:**

DAYS THREE AND FOUR:


HOMEWORK:
Divide up the remaining work each night and continue the research at home.

DAY FIVE:

Conclusion:

Congratulations! You have completed your investigation into food webs and energy pyramids. As you can see, organisms of all sizes and shapes are dependent on the many other species sharing the ecosystem. It is a delicate balancing act and next we are going to begin looking at what happens when some portion of the web is altered through outside pressures.

Assessments:

DAY ONE:

HOMEWORK:


DAY TWO:


HOMEWORK:


DAYS THREE - FIVE

Rubrics

Resources:

Desert insects

Forest insects

rainforest insects

tundra insects

salt marsh insects

Bibliography

  1. Dillon, Terry. "WebQuest: Biomes/Ecosystems/Interaction Among Living Things: Created with Zunal WebQuest Maker."
    WebQuest: Biomes/Ecosystems/Interaction Among Living Things: Created with Zunal WebQuest Maker. Zunal.com, 6 Sept. 2011. Web. 23 July 2012.
  2. "Down and Dirty Science." : Transfer of Energy through the Ecosystem. WOUB Center for Public Media, n.d. Web. 23 July 2012.
  3. "Energy Through Our Lives - Energy Flow in Ecosystems - Energy Use in Ecosystems." Energy Through Our Lives - Energy Flow in Ecosystems - Energy Use in Ecosystems. KEEP - Wisconsin Energy Program, 2002. Web. 23 July 2012.
  4. Everglades Food Web. Digital image. Zoobotanica. Glencoe McGraw-Hill, 2007. Web. 24 July 2012.
  5. Feller, Walter. "Desert Insects." Insects, Spiders, Moths and Butterflies. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 July 2012.
  6. Food Chains, Food Webs, Energy Pyramids in Ecosystems. Make Me Genius. MMG International, 2010. Web. 24 July 2012.
  7. Fuentes, Lauren. "Food Chains and Food Webs." Web log post. Science Class AIPV. BlogSpot.com, n.d. Web. 24 July 2012.
  8. InsectPest.net, 11 Sept. 2008. Web. 23 July 2012.
  9. "Lesson Plan One - Quadrat Craze." USC Urban Ocean Program. Sea Grant USC, Wrigley Institute, n.d. Web. 23 July 2012.
  10. "Lesson 2." Ecology: How Organisms Interact. Rachel Carson Center for Natural Resources, n.d. Web. 23 July 2012.
  11. Liebergen, Dan. "WebQuest: Ecosystems and Food Webs: Each Organism Is Important: Created with Zunal WebQuest Maker." WebQuest: Ecosystems and Food Webs: Each Organism Is Important: Created with Zunal WebQuest Maker. Zunal.com, n.d. Web. 23 July 2012.
  12. "NAEP Questions Tool V4.0." NAEP Questions Tool V4.0. US Department of Education, 2000. Web. 23 July 2012.
  13. "An Online Catalog of Western Forest Insects and Diseases." Western Forest Insects and Diseases. US Forest Service, 3 Aug. 2011. Web. 23 July 2012. http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/nr/fid/wid.shtml.
  14. "Rainforest Insects." Rainforest Insects. Kidsmongabay.com, n.d. Web. 23 July 2012.
  15. Rampur, Stephen. "Desert Insects." Buzzle.com. Buzzle.com, 26 Aug. 2011. Web. 23 July 2012
  16. Scholtens, B. "Insects." Insects. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 July 2012. .
  17. Sengupta, Saptakee. "Types of Insects in the Amazon Rainforest." Buzzle.com. Buzzle.com, 09 June 2011. Web. 23 July 2012.
  18. Thorn, Nancy. "FLORIDA INSECTS:." Florida Ecosystem. N.p., 16 July 2001. Web. 23 July 2012. http://virtual-explorations.org/Florida_insects/beneficial.htm.
  19. "Topic Four: How Organisms Interact." Intereactions and Ecosystems. MHR, n.d. Web. 23 July 2012.
  20. "Western Forest InsectsRevision." Revision of Western Forest Insects. US Forest Service, Forest Health Protection, 6 Oct. 2008. Web. 23 July 2012.

Teacher Notes:

If enough computers are not available for students to conduct research during the school day, the research can be assigned for homework beginning on day one. Students will be able to find the specific information about the insect and plant species while learning about the webs and pyramids in class.
I have my students email their presentations to me so that the transitions between groups does not require logging on/off of the teacher's computer.