Compost food web
By first doing a scientific drawing of a macro-invertebrate and then identifying the organism, students will identify which trophic level their macro is a part of using the compost food web hand out and gain an understanding of how energy and matter flow in a compost ecosystem.
Students will be able to:
The Lesson Plan
- Today, we have an opportunity to look more deeply at the roles of at least one of these organisms, and examine their role in their ecosystem, as well as figure out where their energy comes from.
- Students choose one macro from their soil sample that they would like to do scientific drawing of.
- After students have finished their scientific drawings, labeling and including as many details as possible, handout identification keys or direct students to page 18 in their Student Field Journals.
- Once they have identified their organism, students should write the name of the macro on their scientific drawings.
- Hand out the compost food web handouts (found in either the wet lab or the garden greenhouse) and have students work with a partner to describe what the handout is depicting. Ask them to try to figure out what the different numbers and arrows represent on the handout.
- Once they have figured out that they are looking at a food web, ask the students to help you draw a food web on the white board that they are already familiar with. Example: Plant>rabbit>coyote>decomposer>plant (This straight line is an example of a food chain rather than a web but several chains can be joined to create a web)
- Compare and draw connections between the food web that you have drawn on the board and the one on the handout.
- Which way does energy flow in each of the examples?
- Are there producers, consumers and decomposers in each one?
- What are the organisms on the third level eating? Does that make them producers, consumers, or decomposers?
- What about the organisms on the first level? Second level?
Example Compost Food Web
Relevant Journal Pages
- Common Soil Organisms p. 18
- Ecosystem Inputs and Outputs p. 4
- Things and Roles in an Ecosystem p. 5