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Lesson Plan: Movement of Matter

Subject:  Science

Grade: 5

Lesson Objective: To describe and demonstrate how matter moves through a food web

Next Gen Science Standard:  5-LS2-1. Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment

Materials Needed:

  • String
  • Clay
  • Construction paper
  • Markers
  • Scissors



  • What is a food web?  (Allow the students to answer.)



  • A food web shows how plants and animals are all connected.  The food web shows what animals within a specific community and how the energy is transferred and moved around through the community.
  • We have talked about how energy is transferred from the sun to plants and from plants to animals.
  • Today, we are going to talk about how matter, or the plants that are consumed, move through a food web.
  • What type of animal eats plants?  (Allow the students to answer.)
  • Herbivores eat plants.  They consume the plant matter.  What animal comes next in a food web?  (Allow the students to answer.)
  • Carnivores eat other animals.  They consume animal matter. 
  • Eventually, both plants and animals die.  When they die, the matter that was their bodies ends up on the ground.
  • Does anyone know what type of organism breaks down the dead plants and animals?  (Allow the students to answer.)
  • Decomposers are the group of organisms that break down dead plant and animal matter.  They are fungi and bacteria. 
  • After the decomposers have broken down the matter, it returns to the soil.  The nutrients from that matter will be used by new plants to grow.
  • Now, you are going to make a model showing how the matter moves through the food web.
  • I have materials for you to use.  Please be creative!
  • Does anyone have any questions?



  • Who would like to share and describe the model that you created?  (Allow the students to share.)

Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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