Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Florida's Food Webs

Mark Howell


Students research a Florida ecosystem and illustrate a food web based on the organisms that live in that ecosystem.


The student understands how the flow of energy through an ecosystem made up of producers, consumers, and decomposers carries out the processes of life and that some energy dissipates as heat and is not recycled.


-Poster board(1 per group of 3)
-Colored pencils
-Construction paper
-Computers(to be used when the students are working together to research their assigned ecosystems)


1. Gather the materials for the class, which includes poster boards(1 per group of 3), markers, colored pencils, and construction paper.
2. Prepare notes to lead a discussion on Florida's ecosystems.


1. Ask the students if they ever have heard of the word ecosystem.

2. Ask the students who say they have heard the word ecosystem, if they can name an ecosystem.

3. Name some animals within that ecosystem.

4. Now, ask the class if they have heard the words: producer, consumer, decomposer, energy, and food web.

5. If the words are new to the class, take time to discuss them with the class.

6. Next ask if they can identify any of the organisms talked about previously as a producer, consumer, or decomposer.

7. Ask the students what organism in the ecosystem they feel is most important, trying to get the students to say the plants because they are at the beginning of the food chain.

8. What is a plant? A consumer, producer, or decomposer?(producer)

9. Now ask where the energy made by producers goes next in a food web.(consumers)

10. Next, ask the students if they can name a major decomposer in every ecosystem.(bacteria)

11. After discussing examples aloud, divide students into groups of three, and assign them a Florida ecosystem.

12. Explain that they will be responsible for researching the organisms within that ecosystem.

13. When they find the organisms they will then be responsible for creating a food web diagram on the poster board provided.

14. Their posters must show the flow of energy in their ecosystem, and the organisms they find must be labelled as being either a consumer, producer, or decomposer.


Students must create food webs on the poster board provided, based on the organisms they know to live within their assigned ecosystem. The posters must show the organisms labelled as being either a producer, consumer, or decomposer. The poster must also include a summary that describes the important roles of producers, consumers, and decomposers in an ecosystem. The students, as a group, must orally describe the flow of energy through their assigned ecosystem, as shown on their group's poster. This activity will be assessed on the poster and its accuracy including the summary.


This activity can be done using any ecosystem on earth.

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