Does anyone have any great ideas on how to introduce food chains in a 3rd grade classroom?

Maria Elena Gonzalez
Maria Elena Gonzalez
2300 Activity Points

I came across this Science and Children article on trade books with a good review ! [b] Teaching Through Trade Books: Figuring Out Food Chains[/b] http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/4/sc13_050_06_24'' target="_blank">http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/4/sc13_050_06_24' target="_blank">http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/4/sc13_050_06_24 [i] This column highlights good fiction and nonfiction children’s books to help teachers combine literacy with science content. This month’s selections are about food chains and planting edible gardens. After sharing the two book selections, the author provides two different lessons, one for students in grades K – 3 and one for students in grades 4 – 6. The first lesson has students identifying what foods different animals eat and how the animals contribute to a food chain. The second lesson has students constructing a food web through a simulation game. The last page of the article provides connections between the science content of these lessons and the common core standards. It also lists additional book selections and interesting Internet resources.[/i]

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
44543 Activity Points

I am currently a student at FIU where I am taking a science course as a required course. To engaging and introducing the students to learning about the food chain in my science class of teaching science on an elementary level, my professor began class by having each student as an animal on the food chain and have the students to scatter around the classroom to finding their food source. Being a college student, it allowed me to gain a better understanding of what I would eat and how to escape from what would eat me. This made a cooperative learning experience and allowed for the students to work together.

Tarlyn Robinson
Tarlyn Robinson
545 Activity Points

There is a great brain pop video on food chains. There are also many books that can introduce food chains to the students. I think the best way to teach food chains though is to teach them in a way where they are actively engaged. For example, they can pretend to be parts of the food chain. Also get pictures of food chains that are in no particular order, and have the students put the food chain in the proper order.

Guadalupe Soto
Guadalupe Soto
1385 Activity Points

Brain pop is my go to as well! Great to know that there is a video on food chains! I find it difficult to introduce food chains!

Angel Chan
Man-Wai Chan
2585 Activity Points

I just did an awesome activity with second graders that you could also use for 3rd grade! It is an interactive activity. You are basically creating a giant food chain. First step is to put your students in groups of 2 because it is hard to create a food chain with 23 living organisms. I only had to make a food chain with 12 living organisms since I put them in groups. You will create the food chain and give each group a picture of one animal/organism from the food chain of your choice. You will then have them go around and tell the class what their animal is so every one is aware of the living organisms we are using. We have been discussing food chains and they know that the sun is the primary source of energy and we always start with the sun in a food chain. Once we figure out as a class what we use first, the teacher will give them the beginning of a yarn ball. As a class we will discover what comes next in the food chain and pass the yarn ball to that group. They have to hold on to the yarn the entire time until we complete the giant food chain. Once the food chain is complete you can go into greater depth and talk about interdependence, etc. Hope you like it!

Heather Peacock
Heather Peacock
1400 Activity Points

In my science classroom, we an interactive game with the Food Chain where each student represented a different species of animal, and we went around eating one another. It was silly and crazy but very fun and interactive! Great for elem. school students.

Larosa Etienne
larosa etienne
1220 Activity Points

Ive seen a grew method to introduce food chain to students which is the stacking of cups for them o visually see how the food chain "works. Theres a great example of the activity shown on this website: http://mrmusselman.blogspot.com/2013/03/food-chain-stacking-cups.html From this point, you can talk more about the energy levels and such so students fully understand the concept of food chains.

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Maria Martinez
Maria Martinez
1555 Activity Points

The brain pop video on food chains is actually quite good. I also start with the very basics sun, producer, and consumer. I take a great bit of time explaining the root word vocabulary of producer and consumers. Then have children explore on their own with a card sort. They love this!!

Raven Davidson
Raven Waikel
2145 Activity Points

I have an activity where students actually measure feed conversion in mealworms so they can see first-hand how biomass decreases up the trophic pyramid. The only unusual item of equipment you need is a drying oven for drying the feed so that you have standardized measurements. Here is the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVBxWqRswIA

Antonio Chaves
Antonio Chaves
150 Activity Points

I actually just taught food chains to my third grade classroom not too long ago. I used the BrainPOP video as well. However, I did not use it until I introduced the concepts of thriving and perishing. Instead of using my district's resources, I created my own. I'll attach the simple PowerPoint I created. The last slide has a link to a fun, interactive game that the students did on the SmartBoard.

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Kristen Wright
Kristen Wright
1165 Activity Points

I know that one episode of Adventure Time is centered around the Food Chain, and there may be students who've seen that. It's a very popular children's show. You could either ask them if anyone has seen it or show a short clip from it at the beginning of the lesson. It's a great link to pop culture and intro to the topic.

Carolyne Cohen
Carolyne Cohen
460 Activity Points

My professor once cut out several little pieces of paper with various animals and organisms on them, and we were required to make our own food chains using the cards provided. It was a great way for us to get out of our seats and start moving! It also encouraged peer interaction and discussion.

Mary Mull
Mary Mull
900 Activity Points

I am currently in my last year of school and almost getting my teaching certificate. For my elementary science class my teacher demonstrated a food chain lesson. She introduced the lesson by giving each students a different resource and then they will get in a line based on who ate who or what. When students were done, the teacher explained that what they just did was a food chain. I think it was a fun activity, you can either have students in groups or do it with all students together.

Jessica Tapia
Jessica Tapia
1245 Activity Points

Great post. Interesting information. Thanks for posting!

Pamela Lopez-Martinez
Pamela Lopez-Martinez
1280 Activity Points

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