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1. Begin with the video clip from the Lion King, in which Mufasa explains the Circle
of Life to Simba (1 minute 13 seconds). Project pictures of a lion, antelope, sun,
and grass on the SMART board. Have students discuss in small groups how
these four things are related. Ask students to visually represent their
explanations on their white boards or on a piece of paper. H, T- Product
2. Ask students to brainstorm what the term food chain means with an elbow
buddy. Write students definitions on the board. Summarize students
definitions. H
3. Introduce the unit. Tell students that we will be learning about food chains.
Explain that it is important to learn about food chains because we are all a part
of food chains. Give an example of eating a turkey sandwich for lunch. Turkeys
eat grain and we eat turkeys. Preview the two performance tasks and outline
expectations for the unit. W
4. Introduce the terms producer and consumer. Ask students to give examples
of living and non-living things. List examples on SMART board, using a t-chart
format. Explain to students that all ecosystems are made up of living and nonlivings things. Inform students that all living things can be classified into two
categories: producers and consumers. Go over essential characteristics of
producers and consumers. E
5. Provide each student with a t-chart, with the labels producer and consumer. Take
the class outside. Tell students that they will be viewing terrestrial organisms.
Review behavioral expectations before going out. Students will record and
classify the producers and consumers that they observe outside. E
6. For homework, students will add to their list of producers and consumers. E-2
7. Review the meaning of producer and consumer. Ask students to share
examples from their t-charts and record their answers on the board. Explain that
today we will talk about how consumers and producers are similar and how they
are different. Project or draw a Venn diagram on the board. Ask students how a
Venn diagram is used. Summarize students responses and further explain the
purpose of a Venn diagram. E
8. Create groups of two to three students. Tell students that they will be creating a
Venn diagram for producers and consumers. Demonstrate how students will
create their Venn diagram by overlapping two hula-hoops. Provide each group
with a set of labels (Producer, Consumer, Both), a set of characteristic cards, and
two hula-hoops. Show students where to place the producer, consumer, and
both labels and explain that students will need to determine whether the
characteristic belongs to producers, consumers, or both. When students
complete their diagram, they will copy their answers onto a worksheet. Collect
worksheet. Provide appropriate support as students work. E, E-2
9. Guide students in performing a skit. Assign students the role of a type of plant,
animal or decomposer. One student will be the sun, which gives the producers
their energy. Plants and animals will act out their respective roles. Introduce the
term decomposer. Ask students what happens at the end of a plant or animals
life cycle. Producers and consumers will sit or lay down. Explain that
decomposers break down dead plants and animals and return the nutrients to
the soil. Give examples of decomposers. At the end of the skit ask students to
rate their understanding of producers, consumers, and decomposers from fist to
five. E, R

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10.Students will self-assess and reflect in their journals. They will answer the
questions: (1) Give yourself gems and opportunities for behavior this week. (2)
What would you like to learn more about? R
11.Students will complete a producer, consumer, and decomposer sort. Students
will glue cards onto a piece of construction paper. Collect students final
product, grade, and return. Review answers with whole-class. E-2
12.Project pictures of herbivore, omnivore, and carnivore teeth. Ask students to
describe the teeth and make predictions about the type of food each animal
eats. Tell students to describe their own teeth. Explain that there are different
types of consumers. Classify the teeth as either belonging to an herbivore,
omnivore, or carnivore. Define an herbivore, omnivore, and carnivore. Guide
students in creating a list of herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores. Ask
students what humans would be classified as. Explain that some humans are
herbivores, or vegetarians. E
13.Provide students with pictures of herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores. For
homework, students will circle pictures of herbivores in red, draw a blue square
around omnivores, and put a yellow triangle around carnivores. E-2
14.Create readiness-based groups of two to three students. Allow students to pick
an herbivore, omnivore, or carnivore. Students will visit the computer lab and
library to research the diet of their selected animal. Each group will create a
menu composed of meals their animal would eat. Students will present their
menus to the class. E, E-2, T Process
15.Replay the Lion King clip from the beginning of the unit. Ask students to pay
attention to what Simba and Mufasa eat. After the clip, explain to students the
differences between prey and predators. Provide examples of predators and
prey. Next, students will work with a partner to compile a list of what
characteristics can help a predator be successful and what are some behaviors
of prey. Review students answers. Ask students if an animal can be both prey
and predator. E
16. Introduce the Predator-Prey Game. Assign each student an animal. Each
student will be provided with a large laminated name card to be worn around his
or her neck. Students will research what their assigned animals eat. Before
beginning the game, ask students to stand in a circle and share what animal
they are and what they eat. Explain that they can chase their prey and tag
them, saying I EAT YOU! Emphasize that they are not to push, hit, or bite each
other. Just tag. When students are ready, say: GO EAT! After about 10-15
minutes, students can report how many prey they caught. E
17.Students will self-assess and reflect in their journal. They will respond to the
following prompts: (1) Did you make good choices this week? How do you know?
(2) Write three things you have learned to give to a peer who is absent. R
18.Read Pond Circle aloud to the class. Ask students what examples of producers,
consumers (herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores), and decomposers they saw
in the book. Tell students that producers, consumers, and decomposers share a
special relationship. They make up what is called a food chain. Project
examples of a producer, consumers, and decomposers from the text. Drag the
organisms into the proper order. Draw arrows between each organism. Explain
how organisms are organized in a food chain and arrows show the transfer of
energy, or who eats whom. In addition, explain why all food chains must begin
with the sun. E

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19.Project animals in a food chain on the SMART board. On their personal white
boards, students will practice making food chains by placing the sun and
organisms in the correct order and drawing arrows. Students will share their
answers with an elbow buddy. Ask for volunteers to share their work with the
class. Provide multiple practice opportunities. Ask students to give a thumbs up
or thumbs down to indicate their level of comfort with creating food chains. E, R
20.Tell students that they will be creating a food chain. Provide each student with
five paper plates. Students will draw the sun, a producer, two consumers, and a
decomposer onto the paper plates. Provide each student with a list of organisms
that they will represent in their food chain. The items on the list should not be in
the order that they occur in the food chain. Low-readiness students will be
provided with exactly four organisms. The organisms will be labeled: producer,
consumer, or decomposer. High-readiness students will be provided with a list of
more than four organisms. They will select the four that belong in the same
ecosystem and food chain. When students have completed their food chains,
they will meet with a peer who has a different food chain. Students will
exchange plates and attempt to put the plates in the correct order. E, T
21.Students will respond to a self-assessment and reflection prompt in their
journals: (1) What choices did you make to prepare, engage, and process during
each class? (2) Make a word splash using important terms and concepts we
have learned so far this unit. R
22.Define the term aquatic and provide students with examples of aquatic
organisms (Refer back to Pond Circle read aloud). Lead students in creating the
aquatic food chain layered foldable. Guide students in labeling each tab with the
terms: herbivore, omnivore, carnivore, and decomposer. Allow students to work
individually or with a partner to add examples of each term. Examples may be
illustrated or cut out from magazines. Provide students with the opportunity to
share their examples with the class. E
23.Explain the learning menu to students. Students will complete the main dish
and select the side dishes they wish to complete. At the end of the week, create
groups for students to share what they created. Ask students to rate their level
of confidence with food chains from fist to five. E, E-2, R, T Process &
24.Introduce the Write This! PBE. Students will use their knowledge and
understanding of food chains to create a childrens book about food chains.
Students will read their books to their Kindergarten-buddies. Books will be
collected and graded after read-aloud. E, E-2
25.Students will self-assess and reflect following the completion of their PBE.
Students will write to the following prompts in their journals: (1) What grade do
you believe you earned for effort and participation during the PBE? Why do you
think you deserve that grade? (2) How can you improve? (3) What did you learn
and what do you still have questions about? (4) Create one quiz question. R
26. Explain to students that a food web is consists of many food chains that are
interconnected. Show students an example of a food web. Provide each student
with a picture of a terrestrial organism to tape to his or her chest. Tell students
that they will make a food web. Have students stand in a circle and introduce
themselves as the plant or animal they represent. The student with the sun
picture should stand in the center of the circle. Students should ask themselves:
whom in the circle could I give my energy to? (Who might eat me?) And who in

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the circle could give me energy? (Whom could I eat?). Give the sun the end of
a roll of yarn. The sun will toss the ball of yarn to a student represent a green
plant. The plant will hold a piece of the yarn and through the ball to someone
who could eat it. After the yarn reaches a carnivore, break it off. Ask students
what is represented (food chain). Return the ball to the sun to start another food
chain. Continue until every student holds at least one strand of yarn. Ask
students the following questions: How we can show what would happen if one
kind of plant died? What happened to our food web? Why should we be
concerned about each kind of plant or animal? E
27.Administer a quiz. Students will match key vocabulary terms to their definitions.
28.For homework, students will write a journal entry, responding to the prompt:
what is the difference between a food web and a food chain? Using the food
chain below, explain how the removal of mice would impact the rest of the food
chain. (Plant Grasshopper Mouse Snake Hawk). Grade students
responses. E, E-2
29.Tell students that we will be learning about how humans can hurt and help food
chains. Show three short clips from the movie Finding Nemo. Ask students to
pay attention to the role humans play in the clips. The first clip will show Nemo
being taken by the diver. The second clip will show a large school of tuna caught
in a net. The third clip will show the polluted water as the aquarium fish try to
make their escape. Following the clips, students will reflect on harmful human
actions. H, W
30.Divide the class into teams of three to five students. Assign each group an
endangered animal or an animal that is at risk for endangerment. Groups will
use books, National Geographic Kids magazines, and websites accessed through
PortaPortal to research their assigned animal. The following things must be
addressed in students research: the animals habitat; the animals diet (is it a
herbivore, carnivore, or omnivore?); a food chain that it belongs to; human
pressures that face this animal (pollution, hunting, habitat destruction, etc.); and
how students and others can reduce the difficulties affecting the specific animal.
Students will Jigsaw and act as the expert to share their research with their
peers. E, T-Content
31.Students will reflect and self-assess. Students will respond to the following
prompts in their journals: (1) Give yourself gems and opportunities for behavior
during class this week. (2) Write a short letter to a classmate about what you
have learned. R
32.As a class, compile a list of positive and negative human actions. Explain that
students will be creating cause and effect charts. Students will describe two
human actions, one negative and one positive, and their corresponding impact
on food chains. Students will share their charts with a peer. Collect, grade, and
return students charts. E, E-2
33.For homework, students will respond to the following prompt in their journal:
How can human actions hurt organisms in a food chain? What can humans do to
help organisms in a food chain? Grade students responses. E-2
34.Allow students to assemble in groups of three. Tell students that they will be
creating a pro and con list for different human actions (hunting, pesticides,
fishing, etc.). Students will explain the benefits and downsides of their assigned
action for humans and animals. When students have completed their list, they
will form an opinion about whether the pros outweigh the cons. Each group will

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write their argument on a poster. Hang the posters around the room and explain
to students that they will be doing a gallery walk. E, E-2, T-Content
35.Administer a short quiz. Students will complete a multiple-choice quiz on the
cause and effect of human actions on food chains. E-2
36.Introduce the Food Chain PSA PBE. Explain to students that they will assume
the role of a World Wildlife Foundation employee. They will create a PSA about
the impact humans have on terrestrial and aquatic food chains. Tell students
that members of the Shenandoah Sierra Club will visit the classroom to view
their PSAs. Grade PSAs following visit from Sierra Club and provide students
with timely, specific feedback. E, E-2
37. Conclude with Graffiti. Create groups of four. Place long bulletin board-size
paper around the room. Write a term or a concept from the unit on each piece of
paper. Explain to students that they will each have a colored marker that they
must take with them to each poster. They will travel with their group and have
approximately 2 minutes at each poster. Each student will write down as much
as they can remember about each vocabulary word or concept. Students may
write and/or draw pictures and diagrams. Select answers to share with the class
from each poster. R, T-Product