Food Webs and Trophic Levels

As we have discussed, there are multitudes of plants and animals in our world. All of these organisms need to relate and react to each other in order to survive and maintain a natural balance. In this activity, you will examine the inter-relationship of organisms. You will be in charge of creating a graphic representation of this inter-relationship.


  1. You will be put into groups of five or six and assigned Role A, Role B, Role C, Role D, Role E and possibly Role F. Send one member up to get a packet from the teacher.

  2. In your packet, you will find:
    1. 2-3 pictures of living animals on blue, red. or purple index cards.
    2. A sign stating one of the following: "producers", "primary consumers (herbivores)", "secondary consumers (may be carnivores)", "tertiary consumers".
    3. An "arrow".

  3. The roles are as follows:
  4. Read the back of each animal card which describes the way your organisms interact.

  5. Have ROLES C, D and F bring your animal cards to the front poster and place them where they belong. Return to seats.

  6. Wait until all groups have put on their cards. Then have ROLE A answer question #1 on your worksheet.

  7. Using your knowledge of science, decide where your sign (see 2b above) belongs on the chart and send ROLE E to bring it up and place it correctly on our chart. When each group has finished, proceed to next step.

  8. Examine the chart, and think of one other connection that could be made BETWEEN columns #1, #2, #3, #4. Send ROLE E to bring your arrow up to the front and add it into our chart.

  9. When each group has finished with the above steps, work within your group and have ROLE A and ROLE B to answer the remaining questions and fill in the chart. See your teacher to receive a stamp for the questions and for filling in the chart found on your worksheet.

  10. Wait until all groups are finished, and then be prepared to discuss your findings and understandings of food webs and trophic levels.


  1. What is the name for the columns individually numbered #1, #2, #3, and #4?

  2. What is the name of many of these (answer from #1) when interconnected as they are in a true ecosystem?

  3. Discuss the relationship between producer, primary consumer, secondary consumer and tertiary consumer.

  4. (a) Define herbivore. (b) Define carnivore.

Teacher Information | Student Worksheet

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