A food web is a chart of an ecosystem that illustrates what each animal, plant or insect eats or is itself eaten by others. Food webs demonstrate the relationships among different members of the same ecosystem. Most schoolchildren are given the opportunity to do a food web project. Although some teachers prefer students to draw their food webs by hand, other teachers might accept computer-generated food webs. If you want to make a food web using one of the free online tools, it's important to ask your teacher if it is OK to do so.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- 1 pencil
- 1 straight edge
Navigate to the Gould League website. Select the type of food web you want to make by clicking on the appropriate link. You can choose from an Australian grassland, African grassland, Antarctic food web or a marine food web.
Look at the upper right-hand corner of the page to see a picture of a plant, animal or insect. The item in the picture must be placed into the correct level of the food web shown in the chart in the middle of the page. For example, if you are given a picture of an acacia tree, you would drag-and-drop the picture into one of the boxes labelled "Producers" shown in the food web chart.
Notice that a new picture is displayed in the upper right-hand corner after you place a picture in the web correctly. When the picture of the acacia tree was moved into a "Producer" space in the food web, a picture of a baboon replaced it in the upper right-hand corner.
Continue dragging and dropping the pictures in the upper right-hand corner into their correct food web locations until you have completed the entire web. The computer won't let you drop a picture into the wrong location. If you make a mistake, a clue will appear in the "Help" box to the left of the displayed picture.
Click in the "Help" box when you have placed all of the pictures. This will take you to the completed food web. You can save it to your computer or print it out.
Making a Food Web at the Gould League Website
Navigate to the Scholastic site's food web generator. Click on the "Start" button towards the bottom of the page.
Read the directions on the page that pops out. They tell you to match predators with what they eat by dragging and dropping the arrows connected to each picture. Click the "Start" button on the pop-up page, which is located just below the directions.
Look at the pictures on the page that opens. You will see pictures of animals, plants and insects with arrows attached to them. Drag and drop the arrow from the picture to what it eats. For example, the arrow attached to the picture of a jaguar would be dragged and dropped on the impala picture. Continue in this manner until all of the arrows from each picture are matched with what is eaten.
Move each picture to a position on the page so you can easily see where the arrows connect. This is done by clicking on the picture, then dragging and dropping it the same way you did when matching predator to prey. Print out your food web, if desired. Since there is no "Print" button on the food web page, you will need to use your browser's "Print" function.
Making a Food Web at the Scholastic Website
Write down a list of animals, insects and plants that live in the same ecosystem. If you are creating a grasslands food web, this list might include bison, cougars, thistle and mosquitos.
Draw one circle on a blank piece of paper for each animal, plant or insect you listed. Scatter them around the paper for the best effect. Sketch a picture of each item on your list into one circle. Continue until all of the items on your list have been drawn.
Use a straight edge, such as a ruler, to draw arrows from the pictures in the circles to the things that they eat. Some animals, like carnivores and omnivores, may be matched with more than one picture. For instance, a mountain lion can be linked to a mouse, a lizard, a deer and an elk because it eats all of these animals.
Colour your hand-drawn food web, if desired.
Drawing a Food Web by Hand
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