Early Childhood

Introducing Food Chains to Elementary

Hello everyone!

I am currently a student teacher and am working on creating a lesson plan where I teach about the flow of energy in a food chain. How can I properly tie this with the childrens' everyday lives? I want to make this content meaningful to my students. If anybody has some ideas for some activities for this kind of lesson I would really appreciate it!


Jasmine Mercier
Jasmine Mercier
1120 Activity Points

Hi Jasmine,

Have you thought about asking your students to list x number of foods that they consume and they can trace it back to where it grows or lives? I don't know if that is practice for your age group but it could be a start to the discussion of food webs.

In the attached collection is one that may help you but I wasn't able to attach just the file, Whoo Eats What?

Another way is to have students think about local animals, and then figure out what they eat, etc. After you have a web or list, then talk about food as fuel. 

The Cycle of Life lesson is for grades 3-5 but it may give  you more specific ideas. 

Project Learning Tree has lessons about ecosystems that introduce food webs & chains as well. 

Hope this gives you ideas and activities you can use!

Energy Collection
(5 items)
Teaching Through Trade Books: Whoo Eats What?
     -Journal Article
Energy: Different Kinds of Energy
     -Science Object

Bev DeVore-Wedding
Bev Bev DeVore-Wedding
5068 Activity Points

Hi Bev,


I'm not the original poster, but I wanted to comment and say that I love these resources that you shared! As a future teacher, I am always looking for new information that I can file away and use for another day in my classroom. :)

Project Learning Tree is very intriguing and has plenty for me to utilize with the younger students.

Thanks again!

Christopher Ernstes
Christopher Ernstes
120 Activity Points

Hi! I am currently a pre-service teacher looking around on this site for ideas to use in my future classroom. I wanted to say thank you for putting these resources out there, they seem super helpful for teaching kids about ecosystems and food chains and I am so excited to implement them into my future lessons! Thank you for your help!

Katie Casablanca
Katie Casablanca
33 Activity Points

Thanks for the response!

I also want to focus on the energy that flows within the food chain. As for the tracing back the children's food I feel there might be backlash (on the parents side) if I tell their child that they have eaten other animals (e.g bacon --> pig, beef --> cow). I just want to cover all the pros and cons of the lesson. 

Thank you so much for the resources I will definitely look into them!

Jasmine Mercier
Jasmine Mercier
1120 Activity Points

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