Food chains in nature
Food chains in nature
Todays learning: (WALT)
- Construct and interpret a variety of food chains, identifying producers, predators and prey.
- To identify the structure of a food chain in a specific habitat
- That most food chains start with a green plant.
Lesson Activities / Tasks
- VIDEO: Food chains in nature.
- Video Dialog
- We can also draw food chains for wildlife habitats.
- You could study a wildlife habitat in school - perhaps the hedgerow around your school grounds.
- So what calls hedgerows home?
- Well first we need to see what kind of hedgerow we have.
- Some have ditches or dykes, sometimes with a row of trees sometimes without.
- If they have ditches they may have water running in them, this can be deep and dangerous if there has been a lot of rain; so BE CAREFUL; or it may just be a series of small pools with a trickle of water between.... or even completely dry.
- Once you have decided what your hedgerow is like a good place to start with identifying the living things is with the plants.
- This is because plants are the start of many different food chains.
- Plants with flowers provide nectar for insects like bees and butterflies
- Plants like nettles are important - white dead nettles provide nectar for insects like this bumble bee
- Stinging nettles while not very nice for us are especially important for some butterflies - not for the adult but for the caterpillar stage.
- Caterpillars of several butterflies eat the leaves of stinging nettles before they change into adults like these .... peacock, red admiral....
- These caterpillars are in turn very important to many birds who feed their young on them
- Like these blue tits, great tits sparrows?????.
- The hedgerow not only provides food it may also provide a home for many small animals and birds.
- A good hedge should have several signature trees - these are tall trees in a hedgerow they are important as singing posts for birds, they also provide habitats and holes for creatures to live in or under.
- If your hedgerow has a dyke with water in you could see what lives in the water - like pond dipping. But you must ask and get an adults help with this as some dykes can be very deep and dangerous if you fall in.
- Why not investigate your local hedgerow you can get special identification guides to help you do this.
- Once you have identified some plants and animals in and around your hedgerows you could start and connect them in a food chain to show what eats what.
- For example Stinging Nettles --> caterpillars --> Blue Tit --> kestrel or sparrow hawk
- Thistle --> aphids --> sparrow --> sparrow hawk
- dandelion --> bumble bee
- You could ask your teacher for a sheet to help you do this as a cut & paste or on the computer
- Some of the creatures you have seen can be pests on farmers crops such as
- aphids which can feed on farmers crops such as Oilseed Rape Wheat and Peas and can reduce the amount of food farmers produce from these crops.
So hedges are important to farmers as some of the creatures which live in hedges can help with the control of some of the pests which attack farmers crops
Complete relevant section of pupil work book
Do quiz for first section answers…
- VIDEO 'Food chains in nature'
- PUPIL WORKBOOK: 'What goes in...'
- State that predators eat other animals
- Identify animals which are predators and their prey eg birds feed on insects, foxes feed on rabbits, herons feed on fish
- State that many animals which are prey live on green plants
- Sequence valid food chains relating to the local habitats using the arrow convention correctly.