- Give the students the food chain handout and read the first section together
- Sing the food chain chorus for the students (to the tune of Skip to My Lou)
- Invite the students to sing along
- Demonstrate and have the students imitate the actions for the song (roll arms until the last word of the line and then touch side of face with right hand and left hand to right elbow end of each line, clap the rhythm on the last line)
- As a class, make up a verse that has a sentence from the food chain handout (such as “Carnivores eat only meat”) repeated three times and followed by “Singin’ about the food chain.”
- As a class, add a repeated body percussion pattern along with the verse.
- Divide the class into groups and have them each come up with a verse and a rhythm accompaniment for it. Maybe give each group a different part of the food chain to define.
Perform the food chain. Have each group perform their verse. At the beginning have all the students sing the chorus and then repeat the chorus after each verse.
A food chain shows how each living thing gets its food. Some animals eat plants and some animals eat other animals. For example, a simple food chain links the trees & shrubs, the giraffes (that eat trees & shrubs), and the lions (that eat the giraffes). Each link in this chain is food for the next link. A food chain always starts with plant life and ends with an animal.
- Plants are called producers because they are able to use light energy from the Sun to produce food (sugar) from carbon dioxide and water.
- Animals cannot make their own food so they must eat plants and/or other animals. They are called consumers. There are three groups of consumers.
- Animals that eat ONLY PLANTS are called herbivores (or primary consumers).
- Animals that eat OTHER ANIMALS are called carnivores.
- carnivores that eat herbivores are called secondary consumers
that eat other carnivores are called tertiary consumers
e.g., killer whales in an ocean food web ... phytoplankton → small fishes → seals → killer whales
- Animals and people who eat BOTH animals and plants are called omnivores.
- Then there
are decomposers (bacteria and fungi) which feed on decaying matter.
These decomposers speed up the decaying process that releases mineral salts back into the food chain for absorption by plants as nutrients.
In a food chain, energy is passed from one link to another. When a herbivore eats, only a fraction of the energy (that it gets from the plant food) becomes new body mass; the rest of the energy is lost as waste or used up by the herbivore to carry out its life processes (e.g., movement, digestion, reproduction). Therefore, when the herbivore is eaten by a carnivore, it passes only a small amount of total energy (that it has received) to the carnivore. Of the energy transferred from the herbivore to the carnivore, some energy will be "wasted" or "used up" by the carnivore. The carnivore then has to eat many herbivores to get enough energy to grow.
- The further along the food chain you go, the less food (and hence energy) remains available.
- Most food chains have no more than four or five links.