Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this activity students look at how climate change may affect the food webs and the trophic relationships within them. Students begin by refreshing their knowledge of food webs by working as a class to create an African grassland food web. Students will then break into groups to explore a number of different ecosystems and will investigate how these ecosystems might be impacted by climate change. Students are asked to create a short film or animation sharing their research.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand what is meant by food chain, food web, trophic level and trophic relationships.
  • Students understand that different ecosystems are comprised of unique food webs and trophic relationships.
  • Students recognise that climate change will have impacts on the integrity of food webs.
  • Students understand that although the impacts of climate change will affect different organisms in different ways, the whole food web will affected.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, ICT capability.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 7 Science

  • Interactions between organisms can be described in terms of food chains and food webs; human activity can affect these interactions (ACSSU112)
  • Identify questions and problems that can be investigated scientifically and make predictions based on scientific knowledge (ACSIS124)
  • Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and use scientific understanding to identify relationships and draw conclusions (ACSIS130)
  • Communicate ideas, findings and solutions to problems using scientific language and representations using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS133)

Syllabus OutcomesSC4-4WS, SC4-7WS, SC4-9WS, SC4-15LW

Topic: Climate change

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – faciliate activity

Resources required: Internet access, student worksheet, blackboard/whiteboard, computer-based or online movie or animation programs, animal names worksheet (click here to download), ball of string.

Digital technology opportunities: Computer-based or online animation or movie making program (e.g. Go Animate or Do Ink Animations), digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for homework or extension.

Keywords: Climate change, ecosystem, food web, food chain, trophic level, trophic relationship, energy transfer.

 

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation:

Overarching learning goal: Through this activity students will be able to understand the differences between food chains, food webs, trophic levels and trophic relationships.
They will also understand that different ecosystems are comprised of unique food webs and trophic relationships. They will learn that climate change will have impacts on the integrity of food webs and that although the impacts of climate change will affect different organisms in different ways, the whole food web will affected.

Teacher content information: Food webs are a way of expressing the transfer of energy (or feeding relationships) in an ecosystem. For example: a plant gets its energy from the sun; another animal gets its energy from grazing on the plant; and, another animal gets its energy from eating that animal, and so on in a chain. 

But what happens when one of the animals in a food web suffers a decline in numbers or is completely removed? How does this affect all the other anim

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What's the difference between food webs and food chains?

Introduction

Food webs are a way of expressing the transfer of energy (or feeding relationships) in an ecosystem. For example: a plant gets its energy from the sun; another animal gets its energy from grazing on the plant; and, another animal gets its energy from eating that animal, and so on in a chain.  

We represent the relationship between these animals with arrows (see below).

It is important to note that the arrow always points to the animal that has just eaten something. This is because it shows the flow of energy.

But what happens when one of the animals in a food web suffers a decline in numbers or is completely removed? How does this affect all the other animals in the food web?

How will climate change affect food webs?

In this activity you will be looking at how climate change will impact upon one ecosystem time and the food webs within that ecosystem.

Begin by researching the trophic levels

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