Woodland wonders: Coed Bryn Oer: Woodland wonders

Woodland Ecology

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Food chain


- Pupils discover how food chains work in nature


: Food chain cards


  • Each player is given a food chain card which they hang around their neck.

  • They are the big thing on their card (plant, sun, woodlouse etc)

  • Each card shows what that plant/creature uses or eats.

  • When the game starts the children have to find and touch another child who has one of the things that they use/eat.

  • They then swap cards wit the player they have "tagged" and continue for as long as leader feels.

  • When the game ends, players hold onto the card they have and form a horseshoe shape.

  • The leader asks the sun to come out and face the horseshoe shape.

  • The leader then asks "What uses the sun?" and then chooses 1 plant to come out.

  • The plant holds on to the sun by the hand/sleeve.

  • Then the leader asks for something that eats the plant to come out.

  • This continues until a food chain is formed facing the group.

  • The leader can demonstrate the knock on affect of what would happen if the sun did not exist (make the sun crouch down) or if someone decides to kill of all the flies with insecticide.

  • The leader could make a giant food web using the some idea and involving all players.

Follow up:


To make the game more interesting you could have less plants in the food chain. Does it affect the rest of the food chain? Discuss with the pupils the affect of cutting trees down and how it affects the food chain in the woods.




Teachers Notes


The woodland ecosystem relies on complicated interrelationships between its organisms. If one organism is removed it will affect others that rely on it (e.g oak trees!). If one organism’s population grows rapidly it can also affect the system (an increase in the owl population would devastate the mouse population).

Plants are the primary producers who by using their green colouring, chlorophyll, create sugars with the help of sunlight (photosynthesis). These sugars are vital in the growth and survival of plants on each other The plants are the primary producers and with out them life on earth would cease to exist.

Humans have the ability to interfere with the delicate eco systems on earth, by pollution, extermination etc. A good example is that of was the effect of a pesticide called DDT which got into the food chain and weakened the egg shells of the peregrine falcon to the detriment of the species.)