A food chain shows how each living thing gets food, and how nutrients are passed from creature to creature. Food chain begin with plant-life, and end with animal-life.
Butternut Hollow Pond. By Brian J. Heinz. Illus. by Bob Marshall. 2005. 32p. First Avenue Editions, (9780822559931). Gr. 2-5.
Using beautiful watercolors, this book illustrates to students how animals depend on each other. The book takes place during one full day at a pond.
Hey Diddle Diddle: A Food Chain Tale. By Pam Kapchinske. Illus. by Sherry Rogers. 2011. 32p. Sylvan Dell Publishing, (9781607181309). Gr. 2-5.
Using the tune from the rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle”, this book gives numerous examples of different food chains in nature. With fun pictures and a catchy tune, this is a great book for children.
The Magic School Bus Gets Eaten: A Book About Food Chains. By Pat Relf. Illus. by Carolyn Bracken. 1996. 32p. Scholastic Paperbacks, (9780590484145). Gr. 2-4.
In this book, Ms. Frizzle takes the students on a food chain adventure. Using their school bus as a vehicle, the class drives into the ocean in search of food chain knowledge.
Pond Circle. By Betsy Franco. Illus. by Stefano Vitale. 2009. 32p. Margaret K. McElderry, (9781416940210). Gr. 2-5.
With amazing illustrations and a rhythmic flow, this book is great to use when introducing the concept of food chains. This book is great in that it also provides additional information about each animal from the story.
Trout Are Made of Trees. By April Pulley Sayre. Illus. by Kate Endle. 2008. 32p. Charlesbridge Publishing, (9781580891387). Gr. 2-4.
This is a great book to use when teaching food chains because it shows students how plants are an extremely important component of food chains. Readers learn that leaves fall into streams and decompose into food for fish, beginning a food chain cycle.
This site offers a game where kids can create your own food chain. Kids are about to pick either a Northern or Forest food chain to create. This site also provides a great introduction about food chains and how they work.
This interactive game first shows students a picture of a forest. Students then have to take pictures of all the living things in the forest. Once they have photographed each image, students are able to look at their snapshots and learn about the eating habits of each creature.
This game has students drag images of producers and consumers to correctly create a food chain. This game also provides a hint button to help assist children.
This site is helpful for kids because it provides students with both a movie and a quiz. Students can choose to just watch the movie, or just take the quiz. The digital movie also provides great images to help students understand the concepts of food chains.
VA Standards of Learning
3.5 The student will investigate and understand relationships among organisms in aquatic and terrestrial food chains. Key concepts include
a) producer, consumer, decomposer;
b) herbivore, carnivore, omnivore; and
c) predator and prey.
Background Information from the Curriculum Framework
- A food chain shows a relationship among plants and animals in a specific area or environment.
- Terrestrial organisms are found on land habitats such as deserts, grasslands, and forests. Aquatic organisms are found in water habitats such as ponds, marshes, swamps, rivers, and oceans.
- A green plan makes its own food using sunlight, air, and water. Green plants are producers.
- A consumer is an animal that eats living organisms (plant or animal).
- A food chain, which shows part of a food web, can have an animal that eats only plants (herbivore). It can have an animal that eats only other animals (carnivore). It can also have an animal that eats both plants and animals (omnivore).
- An animal can hunt other animals to get its food (predator).
- An animal can be hunted by another animal for food (prey).