Standards Aligned:
Mapping a Garden Food Web
Place of Learning: 
45 minutes
Grade Level: 
In this lesson, students expand on what they learned in the previous lesson about biotic interactions to begin mapping a food web of the garden. This lesson forms the foundation for the next lessons in which students will consider how matter and energy flow through a garden ecosystem. After creating their own food web based on observations, students reflect on how understanding the full web of biotic interactions in a garden, including feeding relationships, might support them in developing a planting plan for the garden. This is the eighth of a 12-lesson series in which students will explore the basic ecological principle of interdependence through the lens of common organic farming practices.
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Teaching Notes: 
  • For sections that instruct students to READ, you can record yourself reading aloud and send it to students. Invite them to read along with the recording. This is a helpful strategy for differentiating learning that supports all students, especially English Language Learners.
  • This lesson is designed to build off of what students explored in the previous lesson about biotic relationships by adding the layer of feeding relationships to their exploration. This lesson is also foundational to the explorations that come next about how matter and energy move through an ecosystem. Resist the urge to give students the answer to the question of whether there are any organisms they can’t see. They will be learning about decomposers in the Compost lesson.
  • At some point during this lesson, have students return to the garden bed in which they are conducting the plant start investigation (Lesson 3: Cultivation). They should record their observations about the plants and soil on the Plant Start Investigation worksheet found in lesson 3: Cultivation.