Which living things should you be able to find near you, next time you spot a squirrel?
Ask the questions:
1) What does it eat?
2) What is it eaten by?
1) What animals might live in your neighborhood? Come up with 3 places where you could look.
2) Ask the food chain questions: "What does it eat?" and "What is it eaten by?" Does this lead you to think of any new animals to look for?
The next video introduces a card game, “Eat or Be Eaten.” This was revised on 1/20/17. The older version, which features arrows on the cards, instead of chains, still accessible. But we strongly recommend using the revised version.
Pill bugs (also known as roly polys) are a kid-friendly critter for classroom observation.
Bugman Education offers Take a Pill Bug to Lunch, a inquiry-based activity for those willing to set up a pill bug habitat.
This video shows how simple setting up a pill bug habitat can be.
For more information on these critters, check out “The secret life of pillbugs” on The Infinite Spider, a science & nature blog.
These readings can start students thinking. Channel that energy into a class discussion.
Reading: Studies look at what happens when top predators become scarce. (Grade 3 reading level) Discuss: What happens when an animal is removed from a food chain?
Reading: Sea lion pups go hungry when water temperature changes. (Grade 3 reading level) Discuss: Can you think of other examples of environmental changes that could affect a food chain? (Think about examples from the Eat or Be Eaten game.)