Look at this exciting food web activity you can do with your biology students! All you need is a pile of plastic animals, a dark blue poster, string, a silver Sharpie marker, and tape. This food web activity will help your biology students to understand which animals eat which other animals. This is more complicated than the food chain that goes in a straight line that you learn about in elementary school. In real life, some animals eat each other!
Grab the dark blue poster and set it down on the table. Dump the plastic animals out of the bag. I bought a huge bag of plastic animals at a yard sale for fifty cents, so you don’t have to buy the plastic animals new. Goodwill is another source. Or you can borrow the animals from a friend with young children, and give the animals back after this activity.
Students will now set up the animals with the tertiary animals near the top, the secondary animals near the middle, and the primary animals at the bottom of the poster. You might want to include a plastic plant because many animals are herbivores. All primary animals are herbivores, so connect the string from the plant to the herbivore. Tape it down on each end. With a silver marker, draw an arrow indicating that the herbivore eats the plant. (The arrow points to the plant. Unless you want to show how the food energy flows, then do it the opposite direction.)
Continue in this way. The secondary animals eat the primary animals, but some of them also eat plants. One animal can point to more than one food source. This is why the food web looks like a tangled spider web. The tertiary animals eat the secondary animals.
You will notice that an eagle will eat a snake, but that a snake can also eat an eagle! Amazing!
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