Food web model

Students build a food web by connecting different living things with wool.
Science content
Biology: Food Webs, Ecosystems, Biomes (3, 4)
Lessons activity is in
  • cards with living things written on them (deer, worm, wood bug, plants, cougar, bird...)
  • yarn lengths to stretch between cards

Tabletop version:
Give student groups a stack of index cards with a living thing named on each.
Students lay the cards on a table, then use lengths of wool to connect the living things that eat each other.
Students could add their own living things to their food web.
Compare the food webs that each group made.

Standing/sitting in a circle version:
Hand each student a label or large card with a living thing written on it. Students stand or sit in a large circle, with their living thing label displayed for the rest of the students to see.
Pass a ball of wool to a student who has a plant on their label and ask them to roll/throw it to a student that has a living thing that would eat their plant, so that a line of wool stretches between them. Then that student keeps hold of the line and passes the ball to another living thing that would eat the organism on their card. Keep passing the ball and creating criss-crossing lines of wool, until you get to a carnivore at the top of a food chain. Then cut the wool and start again at a plant. Make sure all students are included in the web that is created.. (see the Explore/Explain section). This lesson also includes the sun and talks about transfer of energy through the food chains.

As a class, discuss how complicated a food web is, and how living things depend on each other. If one living thing is removed, through habitat change or human interference, other living things are affected.

This activity can be incorporated to a study of an ecosystem, after students have discovered many living things in it e.g. pond dipping, soil study.

Grades taught
Gr 1
Gr 2