Tried and True: Disrupted food webs—Exploring the relationship between overfishing and dead zones in the Chesapeake Bayby: Yael Wyner

Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

This inquiry-based activity provides a real-world example that connects to students’ everyday seafood choices. In fact, many students went home and insisted to their parents that they should only buy “green” seafood choices. It was also an effective activity because students were able to use what they learned about ocean ecosystems and apply it to a diagram of a local terrestrial ecosystem. As a result of this activity, students have a better understanding of how we impact food webs and why they are important for a healthy, functioning natural world.

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Reviews (3)
  • on Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:03 PM

Coming from the Delaware/Maryland area, this article is something I can truly relate and make a connection to. Through teaching students that also reside in this area, they also can learn a lot about ecology and human impacts and how it has a direct relationship with an area they are familiar with. I like this resource because it explicitly highlights the species found in the area and the problems are they enduring because of the human impacts around them. Students are also able to identify the specific food web of this community and everything revolves around each other. The higher order thinking questions the lesson has students exploring is also very beneficial. It allows students to explore concepts on dead zones, European settler impacts, large-scale fishing, organism abundancy, nutrient levels, pollution, and more importantly, the cause and effect that all these concepts have on the Chesapeake Bay.

Reanna Reilly
Reanna Reilly

  • on Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:12 AM

This six part activity that deals with a real world problem about the food web in the Chesapeake Bay and student’s choices for seafood. While reading through each part of this activity I found the questions presented to students were of higher-order thinking skills. This activity is presented with all worksheets and information as well as suggested videos to watch. This appears to be a great activity for upper level middle school students that show a relationship to real-world problems as a result of human impact on the environment.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Sun May 22, 2011 5:50 PM

Deep!!! This journal article hits all grades (even elementary-with modifications). After completing an activity that is fully developed by the author, students will be able to describe the feeding relationships in food webs in an eco system, describe and explain how an ecosystem stability is dependent on all ecosystem components. With the article on-line supports are provide that give links to access blackline masters to accompany a short power point (also provided)describing overfishing in the Chesapeake Bay. Also included are visual graphic organizers of Before...After. For the more advanced students, graphing analysis of past and present nutrient levels to compare and contrast past and present oyster bed levels. This finally leads to a summary worksheet for this activity. Almost an entire unit about food webs can be developed with this one article. I loved it.

Sue Garcia
Sue Garcia

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