Overview: Aquatic Food Chains

Using textbooks, online sources, PowerPoint images, compound microscopes, and other resources, students examine plant and animal cell structures for clues that might explain why plants can produce their own food, and animals cannot, although both cell structures display similar components. They discover that the chloroplast, which only plant cells have, allows plants to acquire their energy from the sun through photosynthesis. Students then demonstrate their understanding of photosynthesis by constructing an Input/Output diagram. The creation of food chains starts with plants, the basic producers in food chains, from which students can easily trace and identify animal species (the consumers) that depend on these producers for their survival. The students also review and discuss the distinct roles consumers and decomposers play in food chains, and identify animals that are herbivores, omnivores, or carnivores and apply the terms to the class bottle aquarium.

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animal, aquarium, cell, consumers, decomposer, energy, food chains, identify, photosynthesis, plant, producers, species, structure, sun, survival