Students' central challenge is to determine the food web of a local site. By investigating a familiar area, such as their schoolyard or a neighborhood park, students see their everyday environment as an ecosystem of which they are part. After exploring outdoor study plots, students design investigations to answer thier questions about animal feeding behaviors. This unit develops students' communication and application skills through assessment activities. Students set up outdoor study stations to teach others about food web clues, and create an exhibition to share their findings.
Who Eats What?
Day 1: A Research Request
Students recieve a request to survey animals and their food resources on a local site, then talk about what they already know and how they could find out more.
Day 2: Preparing for Fieldwork
Students become familiar with what animals and animal signs to look for outdoors, then practice field research skills and methods.
Day 3: Outdoor Research Excursion
Students visit thier study site to look for animals and clues about their food resources. The next day they process their findings.
Day 4: Feeding Habits Investigations
Students design and carry out indoor or outdoor investigations to learn more about animals' feeding interactions.
Day 5: Outdoor Study Stations-performance assessment
Students create stations with interpretive labels that teach others about signs of animals and what they eat.
Day 6: Making Food Chains
Students make food chains for their study site organisms, and learn food chain terminology.
Day 7: Food for Thought
Students sort items into food and non-food categories, then play a game to get enough food - nutrients and energy - to support six ecosystem organisms.
Day 8: Making Food Webs
Students make food webs of their study site, then trace how a change in one population could affect other populations within the web.
Day 9: Environmental Impact Statements- Written assessment
Students write predictions of how a proposed change to their study site would affect the organisms that live there.
Day 10: Who Eats What Exhibition- Performance Assessment
Students plan, prepare, and present an exhibition of their work to an audience.