African Grassland Habitat Food Web Puppet Show (Pre-K- Grade 2) Sheri Amsel and

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1 African Grassland Habitat Food Web Puppet Show (Pre-K- Grade 2) Sheri Amsel and Objective: Teach young students about habitats and food webs by making animal puppets and acting out food web relationships. Materials: sticks (tongue depressor style) glue sticks animal outline sheets as needed (2 cheetahs, 2 hyenas, 6 zebras, 2 ostriches, 4 gazelles, 2 vultures, and 2 dung beetles) color animals for making a blackboard food web (and as coloring guide) blackboard on which to display a sample food web with animal pictures (and draw food consumption arrows in chalk) green sheet (grass) African grassland food web poster Steps: 1) Cut out the color animal pictures and tape them onto the chalk board. Put the carnivores on top, the herbivores in the middle and the scavengers and decomposers off to one side. Draw grass at the bottom. 2) Now explain what a food web is and ask your students to guess what each animal eats. Gently guide them through the food web and talk about who eats who (or what), drawing arrows from the food to the animals that eat them. Show the scavengers and detrivores (decomposers) last, as they will eat any animal after its death (even the carnivores). 3) Assign each student an animal (if they choose their own, most may choose cheetahs). They can trade animal roles later. 4) Have students color their animals. 5) They should then glue their animals to their sticks using glue sticks. 6) Push four desks together and lay the green sheet over the desks to represent the grassland. Tell students that they are going to act out an African grassland food web. 7) First call in the herbivores. Explain that the sheet is grass. Tell the herbivores to come in and eat grass (acting out eating only!).

2 8) Then call in the carnivores and let them chase the herbivores around the desks briefly (no running) and catch one herbivore (you may want to have the cheetahs catch a herbivore that you are holding to prevent any food web trauma). 9) The rest of the herbivores should then settle back to grazing on the other side of the grassland from the cheetahs and their kill. 10) Next tell the carnivores that they are full and need to take a nap in the tall grass (have them move to one side). 11) Now comes the scavengers (hyenas and vultures). They feed on the dead herbivore for a bit. 12) Now tell them that there is not much left of the prey, so the scavengers will move off to rest. 13) Last call in the detrivores (often called decomposers dung beetles). They will clean up the last of the prey. 14) Now your food web is complete. Everyone is full. 15) Talk about what they learned. 16) Assess their understanding with the African Grassland Food Web Matching Activity Sheet. Sheri Amsel

3 African Grassland Food Web Activity Draw an arrow from the different food animals and plants to the animals that eat them. beetles (detrivores or decomposers) cheetah (carnivore) hyena (carnivore) vulture (scavenger) scavenger zebra ostrich gazelle plants (producers) Sheri Amsel

4 African Grassland Food Web Activity KEY beetles (detrivores or decomposers) cheetah (carnivore) hyena (carnivore) vulture (scavenger) scavenger zebra ostrich gazelle Sheri Amsel plants (producers)

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6 Cut out and tape to the board to illustrate the African Grassland food web and also show the colors students can use to color their animal puppets. Sheri Amsel and

7 Photocopy as needed for the animals students will color and use to create their foodweb puppets. For more durablity, copy onto heavier paper and cut out in square blocks, rather than trying to follow the outline of each animal (i.e. long tails). Sheri Amsel and

8 Photocopy as needed for the animals students will color and use to create their foodweb puppets. For more durablity, copy onto heavier paper and cut out in square blocks, rather than trying to follow the outline of each animal (i.e. long tails). Sheri Amsel and

9 Photocopy as needed for the animals students will color and use to create their foodweb puppets. For more durablity, copy onto heavier paper and cut out in square blocks, rather than trying to follow the outline of each animal (i.e. long tails). Sheri Amsel and

10 NGSS and Common Core Integration K-LS1 From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes Disciplinary Core Ideas: LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms All animals need food in order to live and grow. They obtain their food from plants or from other animals. Plants need water and light to live and grow. (K-LS1-1) Crosscutting Concepts: Patterns Patterns in the natural and human designed world can be observed and used as evidence. (K-LS1-1) Science and Engineering Practices: Analyzing and Interpreting Data Analyzing data in K 2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to collecting, recording, and sharing observations. Use observations (firsthand or from media) to describe patterns in the natural world in order to answer scientific questions. (K-LS1-1) Connections to Nature of Science Scientific Knowledge is Based on Empirical Evidence Scientists look for patterns and order when making observations about the world. (K-LS1-1) Performance Expectations: Students who demonstrate understanding can: K-LS1-1. Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive. [Clarification Statement: Examples of patterns could include that animals need to take in food but plants do not; the different kinds of food needed by different types of animals; the requirement of plants to have light; and, that all living things need water.] Common Core State Standards Connections: ELA/Literacy - W.K.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., explore a number of books by a favorite author and express opinions about them). (K-LS1-1) Mathematics - K.MD.A.2 Directly compare two objects with a measurable attribute in common, to see which object has more of / less of the attribute, and describe the difference. (K-LS1-1)

Energy Flow. Background. The following page illustrates a sample diagram of a food chain.

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