Early Childhood

5E Lesson Plan on Consumers Producers and Decomposers- searching for feedback

Hello! My name is Anayvette Ramon. I am a Senior at the University of Houston. I am currently a 4th grade student teacher in Lamar CISD. I teach math, science and social studies. 

I am currently working on creating and refining a upcoming 5E lesson plan on producers, consumers, and decomposers. One of the ideas I currently have in mind in order to engage my students is that I will start my lesson by asking them if they can share what they ate for dinner the night before. After my students have shared a few things, I will select one of the food items and draw a T-Chart on the board. On the T-Chart I will separate the components of the meal into ingredients that come from plants, and ingredients that do not come from plants, such as meat. Then, I will ask my students, "If we know that plants create a lot of the different ingredients we eat every day, what is a word that we could use in order to describe them?" (Producers). After I have heard a few of my students’ responses, I will ask them one more question, "On the other hand, we also know that we rely on animals to obtain energy. Is there a name we can give to the types of organisms that rely on other sources for energy?” (consumers).  

I would like to receive some feedback regarding this idea. Is there anything I could add to make it better, and incorporate or introduce the idea of decomposers?


Anayvette Ramon
Anayvette Ramon
610 Activity Points

Hi Anayvette, You might also want to post your question in the “Elementary” science forum. The Early Childhood forum is visited by educators of children in preK-grade 3, who will probably have ideas and suggestions but may not be as familiar with 4th grade expectations. Two suggestions: Be aware that some people do not eat animal products and rely on plants for energy, so you might rephrase to: "On the other hand, we also know that many people and other animals rely on eating animals to obtain energy. Is there a name we can give to the types of organisms that rely on other sources for energy?” First hand experience with decomposers such as a worm bin of red wigglers or a tub of isopods breaking down plant matter will make a big impression. Best wishes, Peggy

Peggy Ashbrook
Peggy Ashbrook
8395 Activity Points


It would be cool to add an environmental component to this lesson, such as highlighting the environmental sustainability and vastly energy conservative properties of eating plants as opposed to animals. For example: 

"It takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of meat. (The Global Benefits of Eating Less Meat by Mark Gold and Jonathon Porritt). Fish on fish farms must be fed 5 pounds of wild-caught fish to produce one pound of farmed fish flesh (“The Food Revolution” by John Robbins)
The world’s cattle alone consume a quantity of food equal to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people—more than the entire human population on Earth (“The Global Benefits of Eating Less Meat” by Mark Gold and Jonathon Porritt)"


Thanks for sharing great ideas about connecting our students with the natural world!



Meghan Burke
Meghan Burke
55 Activity Points

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