The Living World part 3: needs of living things, and food chains

This week the younger group discussed last week’s field trip, briefly talked about the needs of plants, and then went on to do a food chain activity. It may have been confusing for this group. I noticed that several of the children latched onto making and cutting out arrows and busied themselves with that. We didn’t get time to really start making the rainforest layers in boxes. This was a quiet and reflective group, which can sometimes be good, but I felt I didn’t capitalize on the interest and enjoyment generated from our visit to Stony Range.food chain (49.6 KB)food chain detail (57.4 KB)

I do know that one of the arrows is going the wrong way!

The older group was more fidgety. Only two children had gone on the trip and didn’t really want to talk much about it. We did the food chain activity and I tried to get them to think about the different trophic levels (producer, consumer, decomposers etc.) but by then several boys wandered off. The rainforest model garnered more interest and some boys who don’t always contribute were really keen to make creatures for the rainforest and stick them into the boxes. I wish I’d started with that instead. I planned to work more on the rainforest model the week after.

I was tired today and also forgot I had planned a great running around game to illustrate food chains. I think it would have worked well with the second group. We can try it another time.

Information and resources

Needs of plants on BBC Bitesize.  (If you haven’t noticed already, I love the BBC bitesize interactives. I don’t use them very much in my class as I think the classes are not the time for crowding round a computer screen. But they are great to extend and maintain interest in the topic.) They may have another interactive on needs of animals but I haven’t found this.

The Australian National Botanic Gardens has a pdf for their Rainforest Gully which is still very informative even if you have not visited the actual gardens. There is some information about adaptations and leaf shape. Your child might want to do an internet search for more information on this topic, and look out for different leaf shapes and functions while they are out and about.

Food chains:Computer activity from Deadly 60 (another BBC Bitesize link).

Rainforest food chains: This pdf from a NSW government site has information about rainforest food chains, and also the rainforest-facts website,
although I disagree with them saying that carnivorous plants get their energy from insects. Instead, see these two explanations: one from the naked scientists in Cambridge and one from the UCSB scienceline.

The Blue Planet site has more information and uses marine food webs as well as terrestrial.

Rainforest layers

Tropical rainforests on BBC Bitesize (again).

The Sydney Botanic Gardens has information about Australian rainforests and there is a wonderful rainforest layer model at a school of fish.

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