Marine Food Webs

Marine Food Webs

Watch this brief, video picture of practice that captures everyday classroom life and provides real-life examples of how students learn and think about ocean topics.

Grades

3 - 8

Subjects

Earth Science, Oceanography

Food chains are relatively easy concepts for students to understand. They show linear, one-way relationships between organisms within a given ecosystem. Students learn to tell stories of food chains as connections between living things that need food. However, students may not know that arrows in food chains represent the flow of matter and energy to the next trophic level. Another potential challenge is that students are taught about food chains with land-based plants and animals as examples. The plant grows, a deer eats the plant, and a wolf eats the deer. But what does the food chain look like in the ocean? Additionally, feeding relationships between organisms are much more complicated than simple food chains, especially as shown in food webs.

Watch this video of 5th grade students in Laguna Niguel, California—a coastal community. The purpose of this classroom video is to see examples of ways students describe differences between food webs and food chains in the ocean.

For additional classroom context, video analysis, and reflection opportunities, read the Picture of Practice page for "Marine Food Webs" in the One Ocean Environmental Literacy Teacher Guide, page 59.

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Writers
E. Tucker Hirsh, M.S. Environmental Science and Management, E. Tucker Hirsh, M.S. Environmental Science and Management
Tara G. Treiber, B.A. Natural Sciences: Ecology, Tara G. Treiber, B.A. Natural Sciences: Ecology
L. Jeremy Richardson, Ph.D. Physics, L. Jeremy Richardson, Ph.D. Physics
Marcia S. Matz, M.A. Design, Marcia S. Matz, M.A. Design
Meghan E. Marrero, Ed.D. Science Education, Meghan E. Marrero, Ed.D. Science Education
Amanda P. Jaksha, M.Ed. Teaching and Teacher Education, Amanda P. Jaksha, M.Ed. Teaching and Teacher Education
Rachel J. Fisher, M.S. Biology, Rachel J. Fisher, M.S. Biology
Designer
Cindy Olson, Cindy Olson
Editors
Julie Brown, National Geographic Society,
Kristen Dell, National Geographic Society,
Lindsey Mohan, Ph.D.,
Chelsea Zillmer,
Educator Reviewers
Catie Boarts, Heal the Bay, Catie Boarts, Heal the Bay
Meghan E. Marrero, New York State Marine Education Association (NYSMEA), Meghan E. Marrero, New York State Marine Education Association (NYSMEA)
Tara G. Treiber, Heal the Bay, Tara G. Treiber, Heal the Bay
other
Last Updated

May 20, 2022

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