Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students use examples from the ocean to draw food chains showing the relationships between organisms. They then apply their learning to finding food chains around them. They use their food chains to suggest the outcomes when one of the animals is removed from the chain.

Learning goals: 

  • Students show predator and prey relationships by drawing food chains.
  • They use their food chains to show the consequences of removing any element out of the chain.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 3 Science

  • Living things can be grouped on the basis of observable features and can be distinguished from non-living things (ACSSU044)
  • Represent and communicate ideas and findings in a variety of ways such as diagrams, physical representations and simple reports (ACSIS060)

Year 4 Science

  • Living things, including plants and animals, depend on each other and the environment to survive (ACSSU073)
  • Represent and communicate ideas and findings in a variety of ways such as diagrams, physical representations and simple reports (ACSIS071)

Syllabus OutcomesST2-4WS, ST2-10LW

Topic:  Arctic & Antarctic

Year levels: 3 and 4

Indoor or outdoor activity: Indoor

Time required: 30-45 mins

Learning areas addressed: Science.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Lead students in activities and ask questions throughout the activities.

Resources required: Internet access, student worksheets.

Keywords: Food chain, food web, conservation, extinction, ecosystem, marine. 

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



Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation


Food chains usually start with a plant. An animal grazes on the plant. Another, usually larger, animal eats the animal browser, and so on in a chain.

The plant gets its energy using sunlight to make food. The browsing animal gets its energy from eating plants. The predators get their food from eating animals. We can use an arrow to show this relationship. 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. For example, the plant is eaten by the browsing animal so the energy from the plant flows to the browsing animal, thus the arrow head would point at the animal. 

The examples provided are from the Antarctic marine environment.

Activity 1.

Print out the activity sheet with the five food chains. Divide the class into small groups. Give each group a food chain. Students are to cut out the squares. Each group researches the animals and plants in their food

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Student Worksheet

Activity 1. In a small group, you are to research the animals and plants in each food chain using the internet. Once you have found some information about each organism, students sort them into who eats who. Cut out the marine plants and animals, and organise into a food chain. Paste on a large sheet of paper and draw arrows connecting them. Remember the arrows point at the animal that just ate! This is because the arrows show the flow of energy from one organism to another.

Food chain 1



 Plant - Phytoplankton

 Elephant seal

Food chain 2

 Leopard seal


 Plant - Phytoplankton



Food chain 3


 Plant - Phytoplankton

 Microscopic animals - zooplankton


Food chain 4

 Balleen whales

 Plant - Phy

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