Elementary Science

5 E Lesson On Producers, Consumers, and Decomposers- Searching for Feedback on Engage

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

Why not have your students first make T-charts in their groups and then make a classroom T-chart? That would engage students further.

Also, after introducing consumers and producers, ask about where does the food you do not eat go? Some may name siblings and parents, etc. but refine question to include waste food put into trash. If students have expereince with composting, they may be able to contribute ideas about decomposers. Some students may have experience with dumpster diving for food, so know your students so as to not embarrass them. However, if you talk about gardens and compost, that might be a better avenue for introduction of decomposers. Pointing out or if a student does that not all parts of plants are harvested, what happens to the leftover plant parts in the garden. In terms of animals, I would bring up animals hit by behicles that are left alongside the road and ask what happens to them? Again, depends on your audience if that will work. 

Here is a PBS lesson on producers, consumers, & decomposers. Another lesson on decomposers only. Project Learning Tree has this lesson. Teach Engineering has a unit on decomposers. 

Bev DeVore-Wedding
Bev Bev DeVore-Wedding
4528 Activity Points

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