Energy Learning Community

Organisms' Roles & Energy Transfer in Food Chain/Food Web

State Standards:
Massachusetts Framework, October 2006: Life Science (Biology) Grades 6-8
#14. Explain the roles and relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers in the process of energy transfer in a food web.
#15. Explain how dead plants and animals are broken down by other organisms and how this process contributes to the system as a whole.

Lesson Question:

How energy is transferred between producers, consumers and decomposers in the food chain or food web?

Introduction:

Students already learned about the food chain in Grade 3-5 science curriculum (referenced Massachusetts Framework October 2006, Life Science (Biology), Grades 3-5 standards #11 for details). In these lessons, we add the energy component to introduce how energy is transferred in the food chain/food web. In addition, we want to include energy transfer by decomposers when they break down dead animals.

Duration: 4 class period(s)

Task:

Students will be able to understand the role of each organism & their energy transfer in the food chain or food web – producers, consumers, and decomposers. They exist in various habitats. All findings about the roles of these organisms in four different habitats will be summarized at our online class homepage (wiki or Edmodo).

Day 1:

1. Lesson Opener/”DO Now” activity:

2. Hands-on Game: Whole Group

  1. Each student will be assigned an animal ( i.e. wolf, raccoon, eagle, and bear). Each student will get 2 resources "R" cards.
  2. Each animal will need 250 calories to I survive daily. If any animal ends with less than 250 calories, then it dies.
  3. Everyone picks a predator "P" card, which tells if you live or dies ( i.e. in ELL science idioms building, the word "die" is replaced with the phrase "kick the bucket" instead.)
  4. Everyone calculates the total calories from all the cards and record it on the index card (use the back of guestimation).
  5. If any predator doesn't eat for 2 rounds of game, the predator is dead.
  6. Any animal that dies in the game will write about "how their energy gets back to the food chain."
  7. Teacher can stop after at least 2 rounds of this game to explain energy transfer in food chain & food web.

3. Hands-on Conservation of Energy Lab: Small-Groups

    1. Each small group is given a cup of 20 beans. (NOTE: Beans can be replaced by paper clips or other small objects, see materials above for details.)
    2. The cup is soil or Earth. Each bean equals 10 units of energy from food sources. Write 2 animals from the Oh, Deer! Game on index cards.
    3. Place the number of beans on each index card to match an estimate of the daily energy needs of each animal in the game.
    4. Assume the animal dies and its body decomposes and think about what happen to the beans on this index card. (Answer: Beans on index card return to the soil and grow more plants, so energy is recycled in the food chain.)
    5. Explain the “Conservation of Energy” (i.e. Energy is not loss or created!) in this activity

4. Formative Assessment: Individual

  1. What happens to energy when an animal eats a plant?
  2. How do energy “recycled” in the food chain after an animal dies?
  3. (additional ELL support) Write a word problem. Incorporate the following information. What animal were you? How much energy did you begin with? How much energy did you gain/lose?

(At the beginning of the next class, students will answer a survey. They will be asked how much energy their animals had at the beginning of the game. They will total the energy. They will then be asked how much energy they had at the end of the game. Are the amounts more or less the same?)

Day 2:

1. Activate prior knowledge/ Explore:
a. Students will be given 2 groups of organisms to review how organisms are related in a food chain. Group 1 includes flowers, trees, worms, birds, eagle, rabbit, and fox. Group 2 cards will include grass, worms, chicken, cow, and human.
b. We can use a trophic pyramid to understand energy transfer at 10% efficient up each level.

trophic pyramid

2. Discussion:
a. Think Pair Share - Students learned the roles of producers, consumers and decomposers through a think-pair-share activity from the textbook.
b. As for whole group, the web link on Food Chain & Food Web will be used for class discussion. Food Chain & Food Web link.
c. Watch a video on decomposers and their roles in our food web.

3. Practice:
a. Students work in small group to create one food web in an assigned ecosystem. Each student is assigned a different ecosystem from "Forest, Grassland, or Desert" to research using the internet. Each diagram must include one producer, one consumer and one decomposer in that environment. Students will work in the computer lab to do a quick research on relevant organisms. Briefly describe the organism in this habitat such as what do they eat, where do they live (e.g. in water or land).
b. Next, our class will look at the marine ecosystem and how ocean acidification (i.e. increased carbon dioxide levels) has certain effects on organisms in this food web. Students will watch a video on "ocean acidification" and discuss about the Kelp Forest Food Web diagram below. Also, brought up how ocean acidification caused by increased carbon dioxide affects ocean planktons as well as the seafood we may eat in this case. Our worksheet will mention ocean acidification and we can learn different ways to reduce carbon dioxide outputs on our part as human. Then they are given a worksheet (see link) that will give them 3 questions on Food Chan & Food Web at Middle School level to look at. Worksheet link. (Worksheet can be submitted the next day if not completed in class.)

Kelp Forest Food Web
Kelp Forest

c. We will look at energy levels changed in the marine ecosystem using the diagram below.

Food chain pyramid

4. Assessment using Exit Ticket:
Q1: Compare and contrast a producer, a consumer and a decomposer on a food web.
Q2; If the grass has 1000 units of energy, a rabbit eats the grass then the fox eats a rabbit. How many units of energy are transferred from the grass through the rabbit to the fox?

5. Homework or Early Finisher:

Play an online game
Food Game thumbnail

Day 3:

1. ”DO Now” activity:


2. Small group research – each student will be responsible for one habitat. You will research online for each picture:

    1. Find one of each – producer, consumer and decomposer
    2. Briefly explain what each organism’s role is in the food chain

Picture 1: farm

Farm

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Farm_land_in_Da_Lat,_Vietnam.JPG

Picture 2: tropical rain forest

Tropical Rain Forest

http://haiglersclassmvps.pbworks.com/w/page/31335703/Avry

Picture 3: desert

Desert

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Wandering_in_the_desert.jpg

Picture 4: marine ecosystem

Marine ecosystem

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aquarium_in_Ocean_Park_2.jpg

3. Students should enter their findings into the class wiki or Google doc then post to Edmodo class homepage to summarize their findings for presentation to the whole class. Each group will prepare to present their findings online. Students have the option to continue working on this at home, if needed.

Early Finisher in the above steps can check out the online games/videos or step up their online presentation using Glogster or Prezi.

Online Games on Producers, Consumers & Decomposers as suggested below:
  1. Game from Kids’ Corner
  2. Fun with Food Webs Game
  3. BrainPop on Food Chain (video)

Day 4:

  1. Imagine each producer can produce 100 units of energy. Discuss in your small group how these 1000 units will move through the 3 organisms in one of the habitat of your choice. Use your online presentation to explain how these 1000 units of energy will be transferred between producers, consumers and decomposers.
  2. Each group will present their findings to the whole class.

Conclusion:

After a few class periods of investigating the organisms and energy transfer in food web and food chains, we should be able to understand how all of them play an important role in each ecosystem and in the energy transfer within each habitat. We will revisit and discuss the following objectives to be sure students can ask questions:

Assessments:

Day 1: Verbal assessment during game, teacher observations, formative assessment using student response on exit ticket (see resources for a Ticket-Out-The-Door template)
Day 2: Quick research food web diagram, journal entries, teacher observations, exit ticket
Day 3 & 4: online presentation on wiki or Edmodo

You will be able to....
Strong
Good
Adequate
Inadequate
Weighting
complete formative assessments
(exit tickets in
Day 1 & 2)
Use complete sentences and science vocab correctly.
Answer the questions concisely with supporting details.
Use complete sentences and science vocab correctly.
Answer the questions with mostly (above 50%) correct supporting details.
Use partially complete sentences but all science vocab are used correctly.
Answer the questions with some supporting details.
Use incomplete sentences or use science vocab incorrectly.
Did not answer the questions or answer without supporting details
10 pts.
accomplish a quick research of your assigned ecosystem (Day 2)
List one of each producer, consumer and decomposer with brief descriptions for each.
List one of each producer, consumer and decomposer with brief descriptions for at least two organisms.
List one of each producer, consumer and decomposer with brief descriptions for at least one organism.
List one of each producer, consumer and decomposer only..
15 pts.
finish the worksheet -Middle School Level only (Day 2)
Answer all 3 questions using relevant content knowledge and include supporting details.
Answer all 3 questions using relevant content knowledge and include partial supporting details.
Answer all 3 questions using relevant content knowledge.
Did not answer all 3 questions
30 pts.
complete journal entries (Day 2)
Use complete sentences and include relevant information.
Use complete sentences and include some relevant information.
Use partially complete sentences and include some relevant information.
Did not use complete sentences or not legible.
5 pts.
complete an online presentation
(Day 3 & 4)
Presentation is well-organized & include detailed information of organisms that demonstrate of the role of each organism as producer, consumer and decomposer. Demonstrate high quaility work with diligent efforts.
Presentation is organized & include detailed information of organisms that demonstrate of the role of each organism as producer, consumer and decomposer. Demonstrate good quaility work throughout.
Presentation is understandable & include detailed information of organisms that demonstration of the role of each organism as producer, consumer and decomposer. Demonstrate acceptable work presented at grade-level.
Presentation is disorganized or not easy to understand OR information does not show students understanding of the organisms' roles in the food chain/food web.
100 pts
small group oral presentation (Day 4)
Presentation allows each group member to participate; pacing and time management of presentation is within the 10 minutes assigned; explanation of the 1000 units of energy transfer is clear and concise.
Presentation allows each group member to participate; pacing and time management of presentation is reasonably close to the 10 minutes assigned; explanation of the 1000 units of energy transfer is clear.
Presentation allows each group member to participate; pacing and time management of presentation is outside the 10 minutes assigned; explanation of the 1000 units of energy transfer is acceptable.
Presentation does not include each group member to participate; pacing and time management of presentation is outiside the 10 minutes assigned; explanation of the 1000 units of energy transfer is unclear or not understandable.
50 pts.

Supplies and Materials:
Day 1:

Day 2:

Day 3 & 4:

Resources:

Day 1:
1. Black Bear info
2. Eagle info: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/eagle/ExpertAnswer06.html
3.Mountain Lion info: http://www.aws.vcn.com/mountain_lion_fact_sheet.html
4.Wolf info: http://www.wolf.org/wolves/learn/basic/biology/ungulate_dep.asp
5. ELL resources: Science Idioms

6. Exit Tickets info:

Day 2:

  1. Food chain & Food Web overview: http://www.vtaide.com/png/foodchains.htm
  2. Science food chain worksheet (PDF)
  3. Ocean video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55D8TGRsl4k
  4. Trophic pyramid diagram from http://ecosystemsareecofriendly.wikispaces.com/
  5. Kelp Forest Food Web from http://kelpforestwebsite.weebly.com/food-chain.html
  6. Trophic Energy diagram from http://pic2fly.com/Food+Chains+and+Energy+Pyramids.html
  7. Food Web game http://www.coolclassroom.org/cool_windows/home.html
Day 3:

  1. Overview for food chain:
    http://www.geography4kids.com/files/land_foodchain.html
    http://library.thinkquest.org/11353/food.htm
    Food Web Chain
  2. producers & consumers:
    Slideshare
  3. Decomposers picture
  4. Farm picture
  5. Tropical Rain forest picture from http://haiglersclassmvps.pbworks.com/w/page/31335703/Avry
  6. Desert picture
  7. Marine ecosystem picture
  8. Edmodo website https://www.edmodo.com/
  9. Glogster website http://www.glogster.com/
  10. Prezi website http://prezi.com/
Online Games on Producers, Consumers & Decomposers as suggested below:

  1. Game from Kids’
  2. Fun with Food Webs Game http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/food/food_menu.html
  3. BrainPop on Food Chain (video) http://www.brainpop.com/science/ecologyandbehavior/foodchains/

Exit Tickets