- Students will become aware of the variety of foods eaten by wildlife.
- Students will help to make a table.
- Students will discuss herbivores and carnivores, predators and prey.
- Students will be introduced to the Food Pyramid
- Ask students what they had for breakfast or dinner last night. Create a list of those things. Discuss what types of foods the students ate did those foods come from an animal or a plant?
- Have students look through the Wildlife in Focus book. Find photographs of animals eating things.
- Create a class chart or table listing the animals found, what they are eating, and the page number on which the photo was found.
- Discuss what the students found including whether the food came from a plant or an animal.
- Lead the students in classifying the different animals as carnivores and herbivores. Discuss the importance of plants, insects, fish, frogs, and mice in the ability of the environment to meet the needs of various animals for food.
- Discuss what most animals eat. (plants) Why would this be so? (Plants are the base for the Food Pyramid. They are the only organisms that can produce their own food through photosynthesis from from sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. That is why they are called producers; they produce energy. Animals depend on plants as producers since herbivores (primary consumers) get their energy from eating plants and carnivores (secondary and tertiary consumers) get their energy from eating other animals. These animals are called consumers because they consume energy produced initially by plants.)
- Discuss the Food Pyramid, which has producers (plants) near the bottom and tertiary consumers on the top. (See the Food Pyramid in the Resource section.) All animals are consumers (because they cannot produce their own food). All plants are producers.
(Primary consumers (prey) are consumed by secondary consumers (predators) and tertiary consumers (top predators) are not prey for any other animals. When they die, decomposers recycle the nutrients in their bodies into the soil, and provide chemical nutrients for plants. Tertiary consumers are limited by the number of prey species available to them in their territory. Therefore, if their territory is limited (by being fragmented) they are unable to meet their need for food and they die. If this happens enough, they are lost to that environment and may even become extinct.)
- When discussing the Food Pyramid the teacher should ask students to explain what “producer” means and what “consumer” means.
- Then discuss with students the meaning of “primary”, “secondary, and “tertiary”. Tie these terms to the levels in the Food Pyramid and discuss.
- Students will draw a picture and write a story about what they think the Food Pyramid represents and how food is obtained in nature.
- Students should label the different parts of the Food Pyramid represented in their picture and story using all the correct vocabulary words.