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What Eats What
In the Ocean?



--Life Sciences
--Physical Science
----Earth Science



Brief Description

Students explore marine food webs and create an aquatic food web on their own.


Students will

  • explore a marine food web;
  • learn about the plants and animals that live in the ocean;
  • create an aquatic food web on their own.


Marine, aquatic, food web, life cycle, consumer, producer, decomposer

Materials Needed

  • Internet access
  • paper, pencils, scissors, and crayons

Lesson Plan

Explain to students that a food web diagram illustrates what eats what" in a particular habitat, and that they are going to explore a food web in a marine (ocean) habitat. Encourage students to study a simple grazing food web and then discuss as a class what they see. Explain or review such terms as carnivore, herbivore, producer, consumer, decomposer, and so on.

Invite students, either individually or in pairs or groups, to click and read about the different kinds of ocean life at National Geographic's Marine Food Chain or Science Learning Hub's Marine Food Webs. Then ask them to draw the food web those plants and animals belong to. Older students instead might illustrate an aquatic food web in an ocean, pond, lake, or other body of water near where they live. Your youngest students might draw pictures of aquatic plants and animals and then attach them to a bulletin board display of a simple marine food web.

Extension: Younger children might play the Marine Food Web Game. Upper elementary and middle school students might play Chain Reaction and learn more about what happens when one link in the food web chain is removed.


Assess students based on the aquatic food webs they create on their own.

Lesson Plan Source

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

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