There is some type of order to any living community.
Life is dependent on many interrelated factors in order for organisms to
survive. This coloring exercise focuses on the food chain.
Large organisms eat smaller organisms to obtain their nutrients.
There must be more of the smaller organisms in order to sustain the larger
ones. Here the larger fish (a consumer) is eating a smaller fish
(another consumer) who in turn is eating the smallest fish (another consumer).
Emphasize with your students that if the smallest fish die out, there will
be no more food for all the smaller fish to eat. If all the smaller
fish die, then all the big fish will have nothing to eat and will also
die. This would cause a "chain reaction" of disastrous results.
- Ask students what the smallest fish is eating.
The smallest fish eats little marine plants which make their own food using
sunlight through a process called photosynthesis. Organisms that make their
own food are called producers. All links in the food
chain are important when it comes to keeping all the organisms alive.
- All organisms have their own specific food chain, or
who eats whom. You may want to go over some food chains that students
may be familiar with. A human food chain may be: human: cow:
grass. A cat's food chain may be: cat: bird: worm: microbes.