We spent the better part of two lab classes working on food webs. The students worked in groups of two or three to make a food web poster. One group chose an ocean habitat and the other chose forest. They had access to some reference books and the internet to find out what the predators and prey of various creatures were. I had them mount each picture on colored paper to represent each organism’s place in the food web:
- yellow-primary consumer
- blue-secondary consumer
- red-tertiary consumer
They connected the organisms with arrows depicting the flow of energy from producers on up.
It didn’t take them long to discover how complex even a simple food web could be. Some organisms could vary in their classification of primary, secondary, or tertiary consumer depending upon what a particular meal consisted of. The arrows sometimes wound around the poster connecting an organism with several different prey and predators. The ocean group in particular learned quite a bit about ocean life as they researched various creatures.
This project took much longer than I had expected, but turned into a great group project!