Students will certainly learn about food chains, pyramids, and also food webs. Student will also learn how every one of nature is connected and dependent on every other.

You are watching: An organism that gets its energy by eating other organisms

A food chain shows exactly how each living thing gets the food. Some pets eat plants and some pets eat other animals. Because that example, a simple food chain links the trees and also shrubs, the giraffes (that eat trees and shrubs), and the lions (that eat the giraffes). Each attach in this chain is food for the following link. All food chains begin with power from the sun. This energy is captured by plants. For this reason the living part of a food chain constantly starts through plant life and also ends with an animal.


plants are dubbed producers because they are able to usage light power from the sunlight to create food (sugar) indigenous carbon dioxide and also water. Pets cannot do their very own food therefore they need to eat tree and/or other animals. They are called consumers. There are three groups of consumers. Animals that eat just plants are called herbivores (or primary consumers). Pets that eat other pets are called carnivores. Carnivores the eat herbivores are called secondary consumers, and carnivores the eat various other carnivores are referred to as tertiary consumers. Animals and also people who eat both animals and plants are referred to as omnivores. Then there room decomposers (bacteria, fungi, and also even part worms), which feed on decaying matter. This decomposers speed up the decaying procedure that releases mineral salts earlier into the food chain because that absorption by plants as nutrients.

In a food chain, power is passed indigenous one attach to another. Once a herbivore eats, just a portion of the energy (that it it s okay from the tree food) becomes new body mass; the remainder of the energy is shed as garbage or offered up by the herbivore to bring out that life procedures (e.g., movement, digestion, reproduction). Therefore, when the herbivore is consumed by a carnivore, that passes only a tiny amount of full energy (that it has received) to the carnivore. That the energy transferred indigenous the herbivore to the carnivore, some energy will it is in “wasted” or “used up” by the carnivore. The carnivore then needs to eat numerous herbivores to acquire enough power to grow. Due to the fact that of the big amount of power that is shed at each link, the quantity of energy that is moved decreases each time. The additional along the food chain you go, the much less food (and thus energy) continues to be available.

Food chain can additionally be stood for in various forms such together this pyramid.


The above energy pyramid shows plenty of trees and shrubs providing food and energy to giraffes. Note that together we go up, there room fewer giraffes 보다 trees and also shrubs and even fewer lions than giraffes. As we go further along a food chain, there space fewer and also fewer consumers. In other words, a big mass the living things at the basic is forced to assistance a few at the top. Plenty of herbivores are essential to support a few carnivores. Many food chains have no more than four or five links. Over there cannot be too plenty of links in a solitary food chain since the animals at the end of the chain would certainly not get sufficient food (and hence, energy) to continue to be alive.

Most pets are part of more than one food chain and also eat an ext than one sort of food in bespeak to satisfy their food and energy requirements. This interconnected food chains form a food web. Food chains deserve to get facility because animals usually eat a range of food.

Food Chains

enough strips the colored paper so the each student has actually four, one on i beg your pardon to draw the sun, one on which to draw a producer, one on i m sorry to draw a major consumer and one on which to draw a an additional consumer.

Food Web

blank cards colored pencils Yarn
an organism the eats largely meat Consumer: one organism, generally an animal, that feeds on tree or other pets Food chain: a sequence of organisms arranged in together a means that each feeds on the organism listed below it in the chain and also serves as a resource of food for the organism over Food web: all the linked or attached food chains within an ecological ar Herbivore: an organism that eats mainly plants Predator: an animal that lives by killing and also eating other pets Producer: an organism, generally a plant, that converts sunlight power into living material; normally the an initial step top top the food chain or food net or very first trophic level the a food pyramid

Cut sufficient strips of paper so that each student will have actually four. Reduced the yarn into pieces that will connect varieties that interact with each other.

Food Chains


on the blackboard, compose the complying with headings: Producers, major Consumers, secondary Consumers, and also Tertiary Consumers. Ask college student to surname some types under every heading. Then show how to produce a food chain, using several of the species listed.

once students understand, have them draw the sun, a producer, a primary consumer, a an additional consumer, and also a tertiary customer on each of their four strips.

These have to then it is in interlocked and also glued with each other to make a chain of varieties in which one eats the other. They can be hung native the rafters to highlight the diversity that food chains the exist in nature.

Food Webs

Note: This task can be added for enlarge students.

Start similar to food chains, placing the three headings top top the board. Have students name varieties under each heading and also tell something around each species’ lifestyle. Then have actually each student pick a varieties from the board, write its name on a card, and also draw a picture of it. (Check every one turn off the list as it’s chosen, come make certain it’s only offered once). Then the student must poke a hole near the bottom the the card.

start the food web by it is registered a photo of the sunlight at one next of the wall. (If you placed it ~ above a wall, it can be saved). Have the students who drew producers carry their cards up. Cave these in a horizontal line beside the sun and also attach each one come the sunlight with a piece of yarn to present the connection. Then have students who attracted primary consumers bring their cards up. Hang these in a horizontal line above the producers.


One at a time, discuss which producer they would each consume. Connect yarn from every primary customer to the producer it would certainly consume. (Remember the most pets eat an ext than one kind of food). The college student will begin to check out how facility a food web is. Next add the secondary and tertiary consumer in rows above the producers. Again, discuss the connections between primary, secondary, and also tertiary consumers. Next add the scavengers: hyenas (can be predators as well as scavengers) and vultures. Finally, comment on decomposers—bacteria, fungi and worms the feed top top the disk matter—and their function in the food web. Students need to now have a complete understanding the the intricacy of the food web. At right is an instance of a food web.

All living points need energy to stay alive. This energy originates from the sun. Plants make their food from power from the sun. Animals get their power from the food lock eat. Pets depend on various other living things for food. Some pets eat plants while others eat other animals. This happen of power from the sun to plants to pets to other animals is dubbed a food chain.

do you recognize why over there are an ext herbivores 보다 carnivores? just how do people fit in the food chain? What can happen if an animal not aboriginal to one area is lugged into the local food chain? What can happen if you eliminate an pet from the food chain? How deserve to sun and rain impact the food chain? Drought? Why is a food net a an ext accurate explicate of nature than a food chain or pyramid?

1. Net of Life


college student will understand the concept of a food chain and also demonstrate a grassland’s food chain.


images of animals, river, tree, grass, sunlight A ball of yarn/spool of twine


read The an excellent Kapok Tree, by Lynne Cherry. Ask college student to name all the different animals that room dependent ~ above the one tree.

give each participant a picture.

very first demonstrate a food chain, a simple interdependence, by linking the student through the sun card (the resource of every energy) come the student through the grass map to the student through the zebra card to the student with the lion card.

present the results of male on the straightforward food chain. Male can:

cut trees (no trees, nothing for grazers to eat, grazers will die, lions and other predators will have nothing to eat. Castle will begin to eat ours livestock.) hunting in overfill (If we death the lions, there will be too many zebras and also they will certainly need much more grass. They will certainly eat the grass from our pasturelands.)

Balance is key! describe that the interaction in a grasslands system are more complex than this. For example, the sun offers for an ext than simply grass, and lions don’t just eat zebras.

have actually the participants now stand in a circle, out of order (i.e. Not every one of the producer together, climate the primary consumers, then the an additional consumers, etc.)

offer the ball of string to the human with the sun. Then ask that person to pass the yarn come the human being with a map of an organism the the sun supports. If the sunlight supports an ext than one biology in the circle, happen the string back to the sun and from the sun to the other organism that it supports.

continue by asking the tree which organisms they have the right to support and also so on.

store going through the chain till you get to the height consumers. The string will certainly be a tangled net in the middle of the circle. Food chains are complicated, and the balance they create is essential.

Again discuss the impacts of man on the net by having students drop your string if man’s influence kills off their organism. For example, the influence of overhunting will reason the lions come drop your strings. What happens?

Possible questions

perform you know why there are more herbivores 보다 carnivores? What if one pet from the food chain disappeared? What about one level the the food chain? Producers? Decomposers? Herbivores? exactly how do humans fit in the food chain? What might happen if an animal not indigenous to one area is carried into the regional food chain? What might happen if you remove an animal from the food chain? How deserve to sun and rain impact the food chain? Drought? Why is a food net a more accurate relenten of nature 보다 a food chain or pyramid?

2. Food Chain Tag

This activity requires a large open area. In a class of 25 to 40 students, pick three to five to it is in predators and also seven to ten to it is in plant-eaters. The remainder will be plants. This represents a well balanced system wherein plants are much more plentiful 보다 plant-eaters, plant-eaters much more plentiful than predators, and also predators are the least plentiful. The students can choose which plant-eaters and predators will be in your groups. (Example: Grevy’s zebras room plant-eaters and lions room predators).

Each team selects hand-signals the will distinguish them from the other groups. (Example: the plants might want to organize their hands the end to their sides to represent leaves, the plant-eaters (oryx) may hold their hand on the top to stand for horns, and also the predators (lions) may hold their hand up like paws v the claws showing). The predators try to tags the plant-eaters who try to sign the plants. Because predators decompose once they die and become fertilizer, the plants try to tags the predators. Once you are tagged, you turn into every little thing tagged you.

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after a period of time, prevent the video game to see how countless plants, plant-eaters, and also predators are left. Play must resume however should be quit a few times prior to the end to determine what has actually happened and also why. After play a few rounds that the game, select one that the tree to re-enter the video game as a human. The rules because that the human are different: the human deserve to tag anyone, yet no one can tag the human. Each time the human being tags someone, the player becomes an additional human. See exactly how long it takes before all players have become changed into humans.

talk about the changes and also relationships the the video game illustrates. Some questions for discussion could include:

What wake up to the plants and also plant-eaters if numerous of the predators have been caught? What happens to the plants if countless of them have actually been caught? What happens when human beings use too lot of the food chain? How have the right to we keep that native happening?