Food Chains

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SWBAT understand the significance of food chains and how they can become penetrated by outside forces.

Big Idea

Students determine the order of food chains using images and will ponder the effects of losing a member of the chain.


5 minutes

Teacher Tip: Food chains are an important aspect to any habitat or biome.  In this lesson, students will organize organisms to reflect their position in a food chain and will contemplate the effects of an organism leaving that food chain, addressing W.6.1c. To prepare for this lesson, you will need to print the images in the EXPLORE section (one set per table) and a device with an internet connection and projection capabilities. 

To begin this lesson, students will reflect on their prior lesson, Types of Consumers, and will answer the following prompt in their student notes sheet individually: 



I eat berries, grass and fruit. What kind of consumer am I?


10 minutes

Pass out the pre-cut EXPLORE images (one set per group). Students will be guided through the task by following the written procedure in their notes sheet: 


1. Using the images on your table, decide which are the producers, consumers, and decomposers.




2. Put them in a line starting with the sun, the producer, the herbivore, the carnivore, the decomposer.

3. Write the names of the organisms in order below.

Food Chain


5 minutes

Next, show the students a short video clip (start-1:11) and explain they will be answering the two questions on their student notes sheets. The video gives a solid visual of food chains, providing examples of animals that may be in a food chain: 

EXPLAIN: Watch the BrainPop Jr. Video (start-1:11) on food chains and answer the question.

What is a food chain?

Can there be more than one in a habitat?

**The video for this lesson is on a subscription based service (Brainpop).  Your school can purchase access memberships OR you can try and search a video with free access, which this video is. If you cannot gain access into the video, you could try a few of these videos instead: 

Food Chains, Food Webs, Energy Pyramid in Ecosystems (from Make Me Genius)

Fabulous Food Chains (from Crash Course for Kids)


10 minutes

Remind students of producers, consumers and decomposers and ask them to reflect on the following prompt: 

ELABORATE: Explain the effect of something missing from the food chain. What would happen? Remove the producer from your food chain. Explain the effects of this.

Ask them to think about which organisms eat the producers.  What would they eat? What would happen to the organisms that eat them? 


5 minutes

Students can play the game below as a final wrap-up to the lesson:

EVALUATE: Play the Food Chain Game, be sure to explain your selection for each turn.

They can play individually or on the SMARTBoard as a whole class.