Lesson Plan

Food Chain - Food Web

A multi-media lesson to explain food chain and food web components and the difference between them
Crissy W.
Classroom teacher
Village of Barboursville Elementary School
Barboursville, United States
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My Grades 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to...

  • distinguish between a food chain and food web
  • create a compare/contrast graphic organizer to record information
  • work collaboratively in small groups
  • understand key vocabulary associated with food chains and food webs


English Language Arts
Grades 4 – 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

The teacher will give students the 3 focus questions that the class will explore:  1)  What is a food chain?  2) What is a food web? 3) What is the difference in a food chain and a food web? 

The teacher will introduce the video and explain to students that they should take notes while they watch the video.

After the video, there will be a teacher facilitated class discussion on the information while the teacher records pertinent facts on an anchor chart. 

Teacher will give students a set of word cards with definitions from Vocabulary A-Z to sort in small groups.  (These are the key vocabulary associated with the concept.-ecosystem, food chain, food web, omnivore, herbivore, carnivore, decomposer, producer consumer)

Student Instructions

Students will record the questions in their interactive Science notebooks and write a "guess" as to what they think the answers are.

Students will watch the video and record information in their notebooks.  

Students will participate in a whole group class discussion about facts they learned from the video.  

Students will sort the word cards and definitions in their small groups.

2 Direct Instruction

Teacher will use the Document Camera and Projector to display the word list with sentences (from Vocabulary A-Z).  

Teacher will lead a class discussion ont the key vocabulary words to deepen understanding and clarify unfamiliar words.

Teacher will introduce the video clips and give students a compare/contrast graphic organizer to record information.

Graphic Organizer:  http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/printouts/CompareContrast....

Food Chain video clip:  http://studyjams.scholastic.com/studyjams/jams/science/ecosystems/food-c...

Food Web video clip:  http://studyjams.scholastic.com/studyjams/jams/science/ecosystems/food-w...

After the video, the teacher will record some of the similarities and differences that students recorded on a class chart.


Student Instructions

Students will read each sentence and listen to the descriptions for each vocabulary word.

Students will observe the video clips and record information on their graphic organizers.

Students will participate in a class discussion on the similarities and differences of a food chain and food web.

3 Guided Practice

Teacher will give supplemental practice for students to reinforce the key vocabulary. (See handouts from Vocabulary A-Z).  

Teacher will show students how to access the Study Jams website quizzes for food chains and food webs (see above link in step 2).  


Student Instructions

Students will complete a vocabulary review to reinforce vocabulary understanding.

Students will take an online quiz (Study Jams) in their small groups on iPads or laptops to reinforce the concepts discussed.

4 Independent Practice

Teacher will facilitate the activity and monitor the students throughout.

Teacher will observe each student closely to ensure they are progressing on the food web and using the website correctly.

Teacher will assist students with technical difficulties.


Student Instructions

Students will practice food web placement using an interactive website:




After practice, students will create a model of a food web online.  


They will interact with the website and read about each individual organism to gain information to correctly place it in the food chain.  They will record information about each organism as needed.

When students have created a successful food web, they will print out their results.


5 Wrap Up

Vocabulary A-Z
Free to Try, Paid

Teacher will monitor behavior during the presentations.

Teacher will assess students' vocabulary understanding and written reflection.

Student Instructions

Students will present their correct food webs to the class using the Document Camera and Projector.  They may share an interesting fact about one of the organisms if they choose.

Students will complete a vocabulary assessment (Vocabulary A-Z) on the key vocabulary for the lesson.

Students will use their notes, graphic organizer, and vocabulary to write a short essay reflection on lesson.  The paragraphs should include an introduction, answers to all 3 questions with evidence, and a conclusion.  Essay reflections will be typed on MS Word.