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20 October 2014
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Food chains - lesson plan

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Food Cycles
  1. To know that animals and plants in a local habitat are interdependent.
  2. To know that a food chain starts with a plant (a producer).
  3. To know that food webs can be drawn to represent the feeding relationships in a habitat.

National Curriculum

Sc2, 5d, 5e.


You will need Adobe Acrobat reader to access the PDF files. BBC Webwise has a complete guide to downloading and installing Adobe Acrobat reader.

Teaching activities


  1. Watch Learning Zone Class Clips - Food chains.
  2. Give the children the picture cards of a leaf, caterpillar, vole, owl and arrows. Can they make a food chain?
  3. Draw a food chain and remind the children that the arrows mean 'is eaten by' and represent a transfer of energy and nutrients.
  4. Ask the children to identify the producer and the consumers in the chain. Ensure that they understand these terms.


  1. Explain to the children that in a habitat, animals and plants are interdependent (they need each other) and that the feeding relationships between the producers and consumers are better shown in a food web than a chain.
  2. Explain that you are going to construct a food web for part of a pear-tree habitat.
  3. Display the following information on the interactive whiteboard - aphid (eats pear-tree sap), caterpillar (eats pear-tree leaves), blue tit (eats pears, caterpillars and aphids), ladybird (eats aphids).
  4. Use the information to construct a food web with the help of the class.
  5. Identify producer, consumers, herbivores, carnivores and predators.
  6. Ask the children which animal has no predators in this web?
  7. Bring up the online activity on the whiteboard. Show the children how to collect a plant or animal and how to navigate to the Sorter screens.
  8. Arrange the children in pairs or groups, with a computer for each group.
  9. Ask the children to work through the Bitesize food chains activity, following the tasks written (and spoken) at the top of the screen.


  1. Review the Bitesize food chains activity as a class on the interactive whiteboard, collecting the plants and animals and arranging them in the food web.
  2. The children have been thinking about how the animals need plants and other animals for food. But return to the word 'interdependent', used earlier, and explain that this means that the plants and animals need each other.
  3. Ask the children to explain how the plants need the animals (seed dispersal).


  1. Ask the children to complete the Bitesize food chains quiz or the food chains worksheet (PDF 158KB).
  2. Watch Learning Zone Class Clips - Looking at creatures found in a pond. Ask the children to create their own food chain.


Ask the children to construct a food web for another habitat, either by using books or making observations in a local park or garden.

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