Food Web


Idaho State Standards

Here are correlations to the Idaho State Language and Math standards and to the Idaho State Science Standards. For more information about the overall standards, see the complete Idaho Content Standards for Science, the Next Generation Science Standards, and the alignment between Idaho and NGSS Science Standards. You may also access the Idaho English Language Arts/Literacy Standards and Mathematics Standards.



ELA/ Literacy K.W.RW.1

Routinely write or dictate writing for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Suggested Lesson

Draw and label a simple food web. Begin with a producer and work up to secondary consumers.  

Third Grade

ELA/Literacy 3.W.RW.5

Group related information within a paragraph, using common linking words and phrases to connect ideas and information.

Suggested Lesson

Describe your role in the food chain. Include as many details as you can and illustrate your work.

Sixth Grade

ELA/Literacy 6.W.RW.2

Write arguments that introduce and support a distinct point of view with relevant claims, evidence and reasoning; demonstrate an understanding of the topic; and provide a concluding section that follows from the argument presented.

Suggested Lesson

Write an argument to support the claim that without decomposers our lives would be very different.


First Grade

Math 1.MD.C.4

Organize, represent, and interpret data with up to three categories; ask and answer questions about the total number of data points, how many in each category, and how many more or less are in one category than in another.

Suggested Lesson

Sort your lunch into food web categories. Primary, secondary, tertiary consumers. Know that you are the ultimate consumer in this web. Discuss which food goes into which category and how many items fall in each category. Compare how many more are in the largest group or which group is the smallest.

Third Grade

Math 3.MD.B.3

Draw a scaled picture graph and scaled bar graph to represent a data set with several categories. Solve one- and two-step “how many more” and “how many less” problems using information presented in scaled bar graphs.

Suggested Lesson

Plants are called producers because they produce energy using the sun's light. Experiment with several plants of the same kind. Place some in the sun, some in shadow, and some in complete darkness such as a closet or under a box. Be sure they all get watered equally. Watch the plants for several weeks. Create a picture graph or bar graph to represent what happened.

Fourth Grade

Math 4.MD.A.3

Apply the area and perimeter formulas for rectangles in real-world and mathematical problems.

Suggested Lesson

Mold and bacteria are decomposers. Have students identify samples of places that they believe will have bacteria, mold or other microorganisms growing such as the bathroom floors,  door handles, shaded outdoor spots, etc. by using a cotton swab. Wipe the collection onto a slice of regular bread and place the bread inside a zipper storage bag with a few drops of water. Label the bags according to where the specimen was collected. Keep the bag closed, and leave the bread available for observation. Measure the approximate mathematical area of the bread that shows growth through the plastic and continue this for days to plot growth. Create a table to log the change.



Life Sciences K-LS-1.1

Use observations to describe how plants and animals are alike and different in terms of how they live and grow.

Supporting Content

Examples of patterns could include that all animals need food in order to live and grow, and the different kinds of food needed by different types of animals. Animals obtain their food from plants or from other animals.

Earth and Space Sciences K-ESS-2.1

Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants and animals and the places they live.

Supporting Content

Living things need water, food, air, and resources from the land, and they live in places that have the things they need. An example of a relationship is that deer eat buds and leaves so they usually live in forested areas. Plants, animals and their surroundings make up a system. Humans use natural resources for everything they do.

Second Grade

Life Sciences 2-LS-1.1

Plan and conduct an investigation to determine the impact of light and water on the growth of plants.

Supporting Content

Plants depend on water and light to grow.

Fifth Grade

Physical Sciences 5-PS-3.1

Use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the Sun.

Supporting Content

Food provides animals with the materials they need for body repair and growth and the energy they need to maintain body warmth and for motion. The energy released from food was once energy from the sun that was captured by plants in the chemical process that forms plant matter (from air and water). Examples of models could include diagrams, and flow charts.

Life Sciences 5-LS-2.4

Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.

Supporting Content

The food of almost any kind of animal can be traced back to plants. Organisms are related in food webs in which some animals eat plants for food and other animals eat the animals that eat plants. Some organisms, such as fungi and bacteria, break down dead organisms (both plants and animals) and therefore operate as “decomposers.” Decomposition eventually restores (recycles) some materials back to the soil. Organisms can survive only in environments in which their particular needs are met. A healthy ecosystem is one in which multiple species of different types are each able to meet their needs in a relatively stable web of life. Newly introduced species can damage the balance of an ecosystem.

Life Sciences 5-LS-1.1

Support an argument that plants get what they need for growth chiefly from air, water, and energy from the Sun.

Supporting Content

Emphasis is on the idea that plant matter comes mostly from air and water, not from the soil.

Life Sciences 5-LS-2.2

Construct an argument with evidence for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.

Supporting Content

Examples of evidence could include needs and characteristics of the animals and habitats involved. The organisms and their habitat make up a system in which the parts depend on each other.

Life Sciences 5-LS-2.3

Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals living there may change.

Supporting Content

Changes in environments affect the organisms living there. Examples of environmental changes could include changes in land characteristics, water distribution, food, and other organisms.

Earth and Space Sciences 5-ESS-3.1

Obtain and combine information about ways communities protect Earth's resources and environment using scientific ideas.

Supporting Content

Human activities in agriculture, industry, and everyday life have effects on the land, vegetation, streams, ocean, and populations of organisms. Individuals and communities are doing things to help protect Earth's resources and environments.

Sixth Grade - Middle School

Life Sciences MS-LS-1.5

Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for the role of photosynthesis in the cycling of matter and flow of energy into and out of organisms.

Supporting Content

Emphasis is on tracing movement of matter and flow of energy. Plants, algae (including phytoplankton), and many microorganisms use the energy from light to make sugars (food) from carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and water through the process of photosynthesis.

Life Sciences MS-LS-1.6

Develop a conceptual model to describe how food is rearranged through chemical reactions forming new molecules that support growth and/or release energy as matter moves through an organism.

Supporting Content

Emphasis is on describing that molecules are broken apart and put back together and that in this process, energy is released. Within individual organisms, food moves through a series of chemical reactions (cellular respiration) in which it is broken down and rearranged to form new molecules, to support growth, or to release energy.

Life Sciences MS-LS-2.1

Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.

Supporting Content

Organisms, and populations of organisms, are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors. In any ecosystem, organisms and populations with similar requirements for food, water, oxygen, or other resources may compete with each other for limited resources, access to which consequently constrains their growth and reproduction. Growth of organisms and population increases are limited by access to resources. Emphasis is on cause and effect relationships between resources and growth of individual organisms and the numbers of organisms in ecosystems during periods of abundant and scarce resources.

Life Sciences MS-LS-2.2

Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.

Supporting Content

Predatory interactions may reduce the number of organisms or eliminate whole populations of organisms. Mutually beneficial interactions, in contrast, may become so interdependent that each organism requires the other for survival. Although the species involved in these competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial interactions vary across ecosystems, the patterns of interactions of organisms with their environments are shared. Emphasis is on predicting consistent patterns of interactions in different ecosystems in terms of the relationships among and between organisms.

Life Sciences MS-LS-2.3

Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

Supporting Content

Food webs are models that demonstrate how matter and energy is transferred between producers, consumers, and decomposers as the three groups interact within an ecosystem. Transfers of matter into and out of the physical environment occur at every level. Decomposers recycle nutrients from dead plant or animal matter back to the soil in terrestrial environments or to the water in aquatic environments. The atoms that make up the organisms in an ecosystem are cycled repeatedly between the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem.

Life Sciences MS-LS-2.4

Develop a model to describe the flow of energy through the trophic levels of an ecosystem.

Supporting Content

Food webs can be broken down into multiple energy pyramids. Concepts should include the 10% rule of energy and biomass transfer between trophic levels and the environment. Emphasis is on describing the transfer of mass and energy beginning with producers, moving to primary and secondary consumers, and ending with decomposers.

Life Sciences MS-LS-2.5

Construct an argument supported by evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.

Supporting Content

Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations.