Lesson Plan

Food Webs/Energy Pyramid

Students will investigate how energy moves through an ecosystem by investigating food webs and understanding the flow of energy through this food web and through ecological pyramids.
Eric P.
Classroom teacher
Lesher Junior High School
Fort Collins, United States
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My Grades 7, 8
My Subjects Science

Students will be able to...

  1. –Identify how energy flows through food webs in different biomes
  2. –Research a biome and identify the relationships between organisms using a food web.


Grades 7 – 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/Attention Getter

Have students put together a simple energy pyramid using 5 different organisms: Tree, grasshopper, squirrel, snake, and owl. Question students about pyramid. Students should use their school issued 1:1 Ipad for this step. 

  1. Which direction does energy flow??
  2. Autotrophs always occupy which trophic level? (Pyramid step)
  3. Herbivores always occupy which level? (step)
Student Instructions

Using the food web website, create a simple food web using the following organisms: Tree, grasshopper, squirrel, snake, and owl. Make sure to include arrows.

Answer the following questions in your notebook

  1. Which direction does energy flow??
  2. Autotrophs always occupy which trophic level? (Pyramid step)
  3. Herbivores always occupy which level? (step)

2 Review of previous day

Activity: Conversing

Review material from previous day (5-10 minutes) – Independent and whole group

  • Address any misconceptions and misunderstandings
  • What does the pyramid shape indicate about the number of organisms at each level?
  • Why are there fewer organisms at each high level?
  • Which organisms are located in the 2nd Trophic Level
  • Which organism is a secondary consumer?
  • If there are 100 calories in the grass, how much will the frog get????

3 Guided Instruction

Activity: Investigating

Have students think about the relationship of all the organisms in an ecosystem. Even though an apex predator only eats other animals, how is it affected by changes in grass/producers? Show students a picture of a food web. Cross out/remove some animals/plants from the food web and have students think/pair/share on the implications of this removal. 

4 Independent Practice

Have students log onto their Gizmo account using the attached website. Students will be investigating relationships within the Prairie ecosystem. They will see how changes in one species can drastically impact all other species. Students should follow along with the investigation handout. They will use their 1:1 ipad to log onto the website and complete the simulation. 

5 Partner Work Time

Partner Biome Food Web (25 minutes)

  • You will be given a biome 
  • You are going to research your biome and the plants/animals that live there. Use the websites linked above. 
  • You will then put your plants and animals into a food web showing the relationships between organisms
  • Use a piece of 8.5" x 11" paper to create your food web. Work together to research and create your web!
  • Students