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Food Chain Worksheets

Food chain lesson plan, activities and MatchCard


These food chain worksheets are from the MatchCard Science Zoology Unit Study. Students learn that the food web is not an on-line cooking show.

food chain worksheet


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MatchCard Science Food Chain Worksheets

Objective: Tell what class of the food chain an organism belongs to.

MatchCard: Download below.




Download and Use the Food Chain MatchCard

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This is MatchCard #6 of the Zoology Unit Study. Find more information on MatchCard Science below.

Food Chain Lesson Plan

Most students have some concept of what the food chain is: animals eat other animals. This lesson systematically teaches that the plant kingdom is the basis of the food chain, which is consumed by primary consumers. The primary consumers are subsequently consumed by secondary consumers.

Food Chain Activities

Top to Bottom

Start with a meat-eating animal like a lion. Write "lion" on a large sheet of paper (like a poster board.) Don't use large letters and write it in the middle of the poster. You can also use regular sized paper - just write small.

What is one thing a lion eats? Write that below lion and draw an arrow from the lion pointing to it's prey.

What does that animal eat? Write it and point to its food source the same way. In most cases, the first animal is a carnivore which eats a herbivore, which eats a plant (but not always.)

Explain this is a food chain and you will be learning more about them.

Bottom to Top

Now see if they can think of a food chain starting with a plant and going up to a carnivore. Add this to the same poster board. Save the poster board for another activity.



Pictures of Food Chains

plant diagram bunny diagram cougar diagram

Your artistic students may like to do pictures of one food chain or or an entire web.


What Is a Food Chain?

food chain cartoon

Show the Food Chain MatchCard to teach the concept of producers, primary consumers, and secondary consumers.

Producers

In a food chain plants are called producers. Why? (Answer: They produce the food for the rest of the organims on the planet.)

If you already have done the Botany Unit Study, you can explain that the process of photosynthesis results in glucose formation.

Ask them to list different types of plants. Remind them of some less familiar types such as fungi, seaweed, etc.


Primary Consumers

Plant eaters are primary consumers. Here are three vocabular terms the student needs to know. Some of these may be familiar:
  • Herbivore: Plant eater
  • Consumer: Someone or something that consumes (eats or uses)
  • Primary: First
The herbivore is the first (or primary) animal on the food chain.


Secondary Consumers

Meat eaters are secondary consumers. Likely your students are familiar with the terms:
  • Carnivore: meat eater
  • Secondary: second
Older students may be reminded of the nitrogen-cycle where plant proteins are changed to animal proteins.


Food Chain Games

Name that Chain

This can be done as a speed game. It can be done as a competition by two kids (or two or more groups of kids.)

Write as many food chains as you can think of. Do not use any animal or plant more than one time. Do not use any resources to help you.

Give a ten minute time limit to prevent boredom. Save all their food chains to add to the poster started yesterday.



Food Charades

For fun, let each student do a charade of one of their food chains while others guess.


Food Web Poster

Food Web Poster

Add the lists the students developed in the "Name that Chain" activity above to the poster from the first activity. Each student reads one of their examples. As they do, add it to the food chain poster started earlier.

One at a time, let each student or group list one of their examples and add it to the poster.

If someone uses a plant or animal already added by a different student previously, use the same word on the poster but use two different arrows.

For instance, here are two food chain examples written by two different students:
  • Fox   >   Chicken   >   Seeds
  • Hawks   >   Chicken   >   Ants
If the first example (fox, chicken, seeds) was already on the poster, you would add the word "hawk" draw a line to the word "chicken" that was already written, then add the word "ants" as well. Now there would be two arrows pointing TO chicken and two arrows pointing AWAY from chicken.


Food Web

Soon, if the students have enough examples, their will be arrows going all over your poster. Explain that this is the food web. Most carnivores eat more than one type of herbivore and most herbivore eats more than one type of plant. It demonstrates the inter-connectedness of the food supply.


Stack Em

Create a food chain game by printing pictures (or drawing them) of different animals and plants. Glue the pictures either to index cards or styrofoam cups. Write the names of the organism below the pics.

Play a game by putting two cards (or cups) on the table between the players. On their turn they have to add one of their cards (or cups) to the stack on the table. If they can't, they miss a turn.


Your Local Food Chain

Go to a pond, creek or river. Take some bread crumbs or popcorn.

Put some of the bread on the water and some on the ground. Watch what animals eat the food. If you can, take photos of the primary consumers.

Imagine what secondary consumers are likely to prey on those primary consumers.

You now have an example of a local food chain.



MatchCard Science

How To Use MatchCards

MatchCard Science Instructor's Guide

MatchCards are reusable worksheets that correspond to the objectives in the MatchCard Science curriculum. They are used to teach new objectives and to review content previously learned in a fun, interactive method.

See more information about how to use MatchCards in your science program by downloading the FREE MatchCard Science Instructor's Guide.

Investing a little time to set up a MatchCard notebook pays big dividends as your school year progresses.

Zoology Unit Study

Zoology Unit Study Cover

From microscopic protozoa to elephants and whales, learn more about the animals on this planet with the MatchCard Science Zoology Unit Study.

There are a total of thirteen zoology objectives and MatchCards for this unit which will take 6 to 8 weeks to complete.

Download the entire zoology unit study.

12 Complete MatchCard Science Unit Studies

MatchCard Science Cover



There are a total of 12 unit studies, including the Zoology unit study.

Comprehensive objectives, hands-on projects, suggested science fair experiments, and the fun game-like MatchCards keep them interested in learning science. Check out the other eleven MatchCard Science Unit Studies.


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