“I did not climb to the top of the food chain to eat carrots.”-Ron White
Welcome to the Food Chain Mini Unit! Here you will find about an hour or two’s worth of lessons for your student in grades 2nd to 4th grade. While my website is primarily designed for homeschool students, these activities (especially the first two) would also work in a classroom setting. This mini unit is the introduction to our future lessons on animals!
To complete all the activities, you’ll need to have on hand:
- access to a computer
- printouts of the food chain nesting dolls
- printouts of the food pyramid
- colored pencils
- pipe cleaners
- plastic animals or paper printouts of various animals
Food Chain Mini Unit Videos
- First up! Check out this short video from Dr. Binoc (our personal favorite for short clips!)
- Magic School Bus Gets Eaten
Food Pyramid Project
First up after watching the videos, we constructed this paper food pyramid. You can find a free template here:
At the bottom are the producers (plants), then primary consumer, secondary consumer and ultimate – or tertiary – consumer. The kids can cut out the pyramid and create their own food chain based on their knowledge. It does help to give them some examples ahead of time.
The pyramid is fairly easy to tape together and the whole project probably took about 10-15 minutes.
Food Chain Mini Unit Nesting Dolls
Next, we created these ocean food chain nesting dolls. These little dolls are so adorable! I don’t have a color printer, but for these I really wish I did! First you cut out the dolls and tape together.
The template is located here: https://supersimple.com/article/food-chain-nesting-dolls/
Once the animals are cut out, the ends get taped together in a loop. the nesting animals fit inside each other in the order while the plants and animals would be eaten!
Plastic Animal Food Web:
If you have some plastic animals on hand, you can create a little food web to show who eats who using pipe cleaners! This simple activity is a great way to demonstrate that food doesn’t always get eaten in a chain, that our ecosystems are interconnected!
Just cut the pipe cleaners in half, and see what your kids can come up with on their own. Then you can help them if they have made mistakes.
Food Chain Eat or be Eaten Online Game
Last but not least, if you have computer access, you can play this 2 player food chain game by Brain Pop! It’s free! The game is titled “Food Fight.” Students get to choose an animal to be, and they build a food web based on what their selected animal needs to eat in order to survive. You can play for a set amount of time – for example 10 minutes – or a set amount of turns. For the age range for this game, I would suggest at least 6. It does take at least one round just to figure out what you need to do to stay alive!
That wraps up our food chain mini unit! Hope your students and children will enjoy these activities as much as we did!
We have several other units on our website, if you’d like to see more, you can start with unit on the water cycle!