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You have learned about food chains and the organisms that are found in them. The reality is that organisms typically eat more than one type of food. Look closely at the diagram below to get an idea of how mixed up food chains can become. This mixed up combination of food chains is known as a food web.
 

In this activity you are going to combine food chains to create a small food web. Choose an ecosystem (prairie, savannah, ocean, forest, desert etc.) and create a food web with organisms from that system. Include at least two decomposers, three producers and five consumers from different levels. Add arrows showing the direction of the energy flow. Label each organism or provide a key indicating whether the organism is a producer, consumer (include the level) or decomposer.

 

Materials

  • Paper
  • Magazines or other picture source
  • Pencils
  • Colored pencils, markers, or crayons
  • Tape and string
  • Scissors
 
Safety concerns: Be sure to keep all sharp instrument safety rules that are specified by your teacher and in all general laboratory experiences. As with all science lab activities, the most important safety rule is to follow all teacher directions.
 

Procedures

  1. Find pictures to represent the various food webs you are going to use.
  2. Create a food web from your pictures.
  3. Presented your food web in the form of a hand drawn poster, computer generated model, printed graphics or other formats
 

Analysis:

  1. Write a paragraph describing the ecosystem you chose and the organisms you used.
  2. Does this ecosystem contain more than one food chain? How many did you find?
  3. What effects would the ecosystem in Southern Utah experience if all of the coyotes were removed from the area?
  4. If the situation in number three did happen, would the biomass (the total amount of living material) in the area increase or decrease? Explain your answer.

Review Science safetey rules here.

Get the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader , and Get Quicktime Player (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.
Remember that no pictures can be used that show any student faces or has a student name on it.

Updated August 4, 2006 by: Glen Westbroek

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