gator science

active adventures in lower school science

Food Web Models – Domino Causality

on October 4, 2013

5th grade students played the role of different organisms in the ecosystem and created a complex food web using string and picture name cards  The model helped students see energy traveling like dominoes in a straight direction with a clear beginning.  Students could feel and visualize the pull of energy traveling from the sun all the way to the owls and decomposers.   Students noted that if the sun was taken away all the living organisms would perish.   Even though the owl does not eat plants, the predator is indirectly related to the plant life by a complex chain of energy.   If the mice were to die in the web, multiple living things would be affected in the chain.  After creating our web model, students created branches of dominoes and watch them topple over just like the food web we created earlier in class.  The next day we played a “pyramid game” that helped the students understand the complexity of a food web.   Using models helps students understand the concepts of ecology, rather than simply memorizing facts.

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