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Help! What Is Happening On
The Third Rock From The Sun?













The Circle of Life
Food Chain


  • The student understands the process and importance of genetic diversity.

  • The student understands that there are many different kinds of living things that live in a variety of environments.

  • The student understands that plants and animals are dependent upon each other for survival.

  • The student understands the competitive, interdependent, cyclic nature of living things in the environment.

  • The student understands the elements of the story and can retell the main idea with supporting details.


Three one-hour periods 

Advance Preparation

Optional: On a bulletin board place a big web made of string or you can draw one.  Have pictures of different animals and plants that you can use to display and explain how a food web works after you read the book.


Book:  The Great Kapok Tree  by Lynne Cherry,  animal and plant pictures, string, glue, markers,

EPA Glossary  from A-Z about the environment.  It can be used for all lessons.


food chain, food web, interdependent , consumers, decomposers, producers, population, prey, predator, scavengers, herbivore, carnivore.

Activities and Procedures

1. Discuss  how all living things depend on each other for survival. Ask questions such as: 

a) Where do pets get their food from? 

b) How do other animals get their food from? For example, where does a squirrel get it's food?   

c) Where do plants and trees  get their food? 

d) What animal might eat the squirrel? 

e) What might happen if there is no food for the squirrel? or squirrels stop existing?

f) What do wild animals like elephants, giraffes or lions eat?

2.  Read the story The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry. 

3.  Determine the main idea of the story.

4.  The students will create a story map stating the problem and the solution of the story.

Problem:  A man is going to cut the great tree down but it is the animals homes and they don't want that to happen. 

Solution: The man falls asleep and then he has a dream in which the animals show him all about the rain forest and what would happen if the tree is cut. When he wakes up a boy pleads with him and he sees all the animals so he drops his ax and doesn't cut the tree.

5.  Discuss why the animals didn't want  the man  to cut the tree down.   Explain how everything in an ecosystem depends on other  things in that ecosystem to live.

6.  Introduce the food chain or web.  Discuss the fact that all living things are either producers, consumers, or decomposers.  Read or use as reference the book  Food Chains Cycles in Nature by Theresa Greenaway.

7.  The student will use ClarisWorks/AppleWorks, KidPix,  or other software to create a three page report.   

a) One page will have an expository paragraph explaining the food web.  They will explain what a producer, a consumer, and a decomposer is and name living things as examples for each. 

b) They will draw a flow chart to show a food chain combination. They will get pictures from the Internet or scan the pictures from books.  

c) The third page will be a questionnaire completed on one of the websites visited. 

8.  The students will search the following sites and read books to do their report.

a. BrainPop Food Chain Movie  See movie on Food Chain and see how it all works.

b. Print teacher's Questionnaire and answer questions as you visit the site The Web Of Life.

c. Countryside Foundation Food Chain  Read about the food Chain.  Complete the Food Chain Interactive Quiz 1 and Quiz 2 and practice finding out different food chains.


The students will construct an interactive bulletin board of a food web. They will choose just one biome. The students will print pictures using their computer or cut pictures from magazines. Place the pictures on the bulletin board.  Then, using string they will connect the pictures of plants, animals and insects that eat or are eaten by each other in that ecosystem. They will label the pictures to show if they are producers, consumers or decomposers.  Some are both consumers and decomposers like insects.

Home Learning

 Observe your backyard and look for a backyard food chain.  Write down your observations.  Write to tell what you observed and what food chain did you find.


1.  The student will explain using details, reasons and examples the different levels of a food chain. expository

2.  The student will demonstrate understanding of a food chain creating one using a flow chart .

3.  The student will demonstrate comprehension of the story elements of The Great Kapok Tree by constructing a Story map.

4.  The student will show understanding of the Web of Life answering the Questionnaire.

5.  The student will demonstrate knowledge of the different web chain by accurately connecting  the animals and plants on the bulletin board.



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