Food Chains & Webs Teaching Resources

Get ready to teach your students the difference between a food web and a food chain, examples of food chains, and more core components of the elementary school science curriculum with this teacher-created collection of resources! From food webs and food chains worksheets to printables that will help your students follow producers, consumers, and decomposers through the ecosystem, this curated library of printables and Google Slides templates has been created by teachers for teachers.

Food Chain + Food Web Lesson Planning

Save time on lesson planning with curriculum-aligned instructional slide decks, vocabulary guides, and activities that can easily be differentiated to meet your students' individual needs. Moved into a science classroom this year and just getting up to speed? The expert science teachers on the Teach Starter team have put together the answers to some of teachers' most common questions!

What Is the Difference Between Food Web and Food Chain?

By definition, a food chain is an outline of who eats what (or whom!). It follows how energy and nutrients move down one single path within an ecosystem and describes the relationships of the various organisms along the chain. Organisms are broken down into three basic levels along the food chain:
  • Producers — The first level of every food chain, producers make their own food.
  • Consumers — This level of the food chain can be broken down into herbivores (who eat producers), secondary consumers (who eat herbivores), tertiary consumers (who eat secondary consumers), and predators (who eat other consumers).
  • Decomposers — These organisms break down organic waste, turning it into soil that is then used by producers. 
A food web, on the other hand, is more complicated than a food chain, just as the name implies. The food web shows a connection between the various food chains in a single ecosystem.

How Do You Teach the Food Chain and Food Webs?

There's a lot to cover in your food chain lesson plans, but here are a few tips to make teaching about the food chain easier — and more fun too!
  1. Explore food chain vocabulary to start things off.
  2. Identify producers, consumers, and decomposers right in your school neighborhood.
  3. Set up a food web on your classroom floor using painter's tape and printed pictures, then allow students to walk the web to see how organisms interconnect.
  4. Allow students to explore magazines, cutting out images of the various levels of the food chain then create their own circle of life on a paper plate.
  5. Download dozens of food chain and food web worksheets and activities from Teach Starter ready to use in the classroom!
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