Life Cycle - Natural Environment (KB)
Pre Lab

   
OBJECTIVES:
  • Comparing who eats whom
  • Exploring the order of a natural community.
VOCABULARY:
  • community
  • consumer
  • food chain
  • nutrient
  • producer
MATERIALS:

Students learn  “who eats whom,” by completing a coloring exercise.  


BACKGROUND:

There is some type of order to any living community.  Life is dependent on many interrelated factors in order for organisms to survive.  This coloring exercise focuses on the food chain.  Large organisms eat smaller organisms to obtain their nutrients.  There must be more of the smaller organisms in order to sustain the larger ones.  Here the larger fish (a consumer) is eating a smaller fish (another consumer) who in turn is eating the smallest fish (another consumer).  Emphasize with your students that if the smallest fish die out, there will be no more food for all the smaller fish to eat.  If all the smaller fish die, then all the big fish will have nothing to eat and will also die.  This would cause a "chain reaction" of disastrous results.

PROCEDURE:

  1. Ask students what the smallest fish is eating.  The smallest fish eats little marine plants which make their own food using sunlight through a process called photosynthesis. Organisms that make their own food  are called producers.   All links in the food chain are important when it comes to keeping all the organisms alive. 
      
  2. All organisms have their own specific food chain, or who eats whom.  You may want to go over some food chains that students may be familiar with.  A human food chain may be:  human: cow: grass.  A cat's food chain may be: cat: bird: worm: microbes.  

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