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Second Grade Science: Let’s Learn About the Food Chain

written by: Sushma • edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom • updated: 1/5/2012

Young children love learning about animals. I find that the food chain is always a popular topic for my 2nd grade students. Try out this lesson plan and let me know how it goes!

  • slide 1 of 6

    Objective:

    After the class is over, the students should be able to

    • understand the concept of the food chain
    • understand the significance of each link in the food chain
    • be able to link common animals and plants within the food chain.
  • slide 2 of 6

    Material Required

    To complete this lesson plan you will need:

    • flash cards of plants and animals
    • pencils, eraser
    • crayons
  • slide 3 of 6

    Assessing the Awareness of the Class

    Begin by asking a round of questions to assess your student's prior knowledge of the topic. Here are examples of the types of questions to ask:

    Where do we get our food from?

    Why do we need food?

    What do plants gives us?

    What do animals gives us?

    Who gives food to animals?

    Who gives food to plants?

    How are we all related to each other?

  • slide 4 of 6

    Presentation

    Introduce the topic in simple and easy to understand words. Give the class examples that they will be familiar with. For example:

    For dinner last night I ate chicken. Throughout it's life, the chicken ate corn to stay alive. So we are related in food chain.

    corn >> chicken >> human.

    A simple activity is an effective way to help students learn. Here you may wish to use flash cards or power point slides to show how the food chain is formed. Go slow, remember they are introduced to this topic for the first time. Various examples can be taken and showcased on the slides. Establish the link between plants and animals and then humans to form a food chain.

  • slide 5 of 6

    Extension and Related Activities

    Students should be encouraged to come up with more examples. At this stage, it is good to introduce the concept of producers as plants and consumers as animals or living beings that eat producers or consumers.

    Later the consumers can be categorized as herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores.

    Here the teacher can organize an activity by showing flash cards or a power point slide. The students can be asked to identify the living being as herbivore, carnivore or omnivore.

    Assign different colors to each category of consumers and also to the producer. For instance, code the producers as green, herbivore as brown and carnivore as red. Write the color codes on the board. Distribute a set of cards to each student and ask them to color it using the color code.

    Once the students are done with color coding, ask them to form a food chain by placing the cards in an order according to their roles in the food chain. It is a good idea to have the students come up with more than one food chain.

  • slide 6 of 6

    Closure and Assessment

    Once the students are done with the activity, have a discussion about the food chain. This will give a better idea to the teacher how far the students have understood the concept.

    For assessing their knowledge, you can also use a worksheet. There are some available at the following website: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/foodchain/activities.shtm.

    For instance, in worksheet 1, there are some pictures of organisms and plants. Ask the students to fill in the arrows that show the flow of energy in correct order in the food chain.

    Do you have any further ideas for teaching on the food chain?