Who eats what? : A food web activity for homeschool science
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A tiger eats practically anything it can, while a deer gets eaten by just about anything with fur and fangs. Once Motito accepted that Bambi’s relatives are standard fare for Bhagheera’s kind, it became easier for me to teach him about the food chain and the food web.
For one homeschool science activity, Motito put together a food web using printables found online. Additionally, we also consulted this Who Eats Who chart from the U.S. National Park Service. This food web activity is simple and easy, but also suffers from lack of “localized content.” I mean, we don’t have bears or coyotes in the Philippines. Alas, I couldn’t find food web printables using plants and animals indigenous to the Philippines, so we had to make do with ones that had squirrels and bears.
To supplement our food chain lesson, we also played a few food web games online. Here are the ones we liked:
The Food Chain Game by Sheppard Software. In this game, you drag the parts of the food chain to their correct place. Once you complete the chain, watch it come alive in a simple food chain animation. The game starts with a simple food chain and builds up to a simple food web. Nothing too complicated for kids up to 2nd Grade.
Fun with Food Webs by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has meadow, arctic and pond food webs, where you drag each organisms in proper place in the food web. By way of a hint, the game won’t allow you to drag an organism to an incorrect position. So you try another position until the organism “clicks into place.”
Food Web Game 2.0 on C.O.O.L. Classroom is a Web-based game featuring a marine food web. C.O.O.L. stands for the Coastal Ocean Observation Laboratory, which is maintained by the Marine and Coastal Sciences Institute of Rutgers University. In this game, you place each marine organism in its feeding level in the food web. You start at the bottom, with primary producers and recyclers, and work your way up to the top-level consumers. Click on the organism to get hints about its feeding behavior. You get points for placing an organism in the correct spot.
Make Food Chains by IKnowThat.com starts with an interactive diagram illustrating the different trophic levels in a food chain. Click on the Make Food Chains button on the interface to begin playing. Like in the other food web games, you drag each organism in their appropriate place in the food web. You can play the game in five types of habitat: ocean, pond, savannah, desert, and taiga.