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Lesson Two: The Web of Life


  • Students will know that energy transfers from organism to organism through food webs (with some energy loss to the physical environment as heat at every level).
  • Students will know that different organisms serve different functions in ecosystems (producers, consumers, decomposers).
  • Students will know that different organisms play similar roles in different biomes.
Time Required
One class period

Materials Required
Notebook2_WebofLife worksheet in Redwood Forest Ecology Science Notebook
Competer and Internet connection
Pre-downloaded image from
Energy Flow power point
3 (or more) blank index card for each student
String or yarn

1.  Have students paste Notebook2_WebofLife worksheet into their Redwood Forest Ecology science notebook.
2.  View the Energy Flow power point (if time permits, repeat power point show for students to record additional vocabulary and diagrams).
3.  Display the home page of (or image from) the Redwood Ecology Website ( Have students identify and record names, roles and levels of organisms displayed in the Redwood Forest Ecology notebook page (producer, consumer, or decomposer - primary, secondary, tertiary).
4.  Have students form teams of four and create redwood forest food web cards (drawing or using printed copies of the Redwood Ecology homepage on blank index cards) and then use the cards and yarn/string to show the relationships between them in a redwood forest food web.
5.  Have students diagram and label the redwood forest food web their group created and share with class (via poster, document camera, transparency or othe rmethod).
6.  Have students record the redwood forest food web in the Redwood Forest Ecology notebook and record comparisons to the food web sample shown in the Energy Flow power point.

NOTE: Permissions for use of or adaptations to Energy_Flow power point granted by Mary Poarch, retired educator and webmaster of

Extension Activities
Show an energy pyramid model and challenge students to explain why a pyramid best represents energy flow in an ecosystem. Research and create food webs from other biomes. Explore interactive Web resources at