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Activity 4 - Introduction to Food Webs

Activity Description: INTRO TO CLAM SHRIMP

Estimated Time of Activity: 45 minutes

Goals: Process Skills and Content Knowledge:

  • Students will learn the ecology of clam shrimp.
  • Students will learn the parts of a food chain.
  • Students will review words commonly found on the Living Environment Regents.
  • Students will learn what a food web is.
  • Students will create a food web using animals found in a Pond ecosystem.
  • Students will learn how to work in groups of 5 – 6 persons.



Quiz #1 on EPA pgs. 2-6.

Have students read the clam shrimp article (either for homework the previous day or the start of the period). Have students make a vocabulary list of words they are not familiar with.

Activity Instructions:

  1. Ask students if they know what a clam shrimp looks like. Show a picture of a clam and one of a shrimp. Have students try to draw a picture of what they felt a combination of the two would look like.
  2. Show a picture of a clam shrimp sketch.
  3. Show a picture of a real clam shrimp and indicate where the head, thorax (middle), and abdomen (back) sections are and have students label their picture. Give students a picture of the clam shrimp to tape to their worksheets.
  4. Have students read the clam shrimp article and ask “What types of animals eat the clam shrimp?”
  5. Ask “What types of animals do clam shrimp eat?” Here you can go over unicellular and multicellular organisms.
  6. Go over producers (autotrophs); herbivores; carnivores; and omnivores (heterotrophs).
  7. Review what a food chain is – the relationship between feeding organisms.
  8. Hand out “Discovery Trail” worksheet.
  9. Show a picture of a pond food web and explain that they are several food chains that are interconnected.

PART II - Pond Web activity

  1. Present the Pond Web activity for group work.
  2. Assign groups and have students take out packet and review materials.
  3. As a class, but still remaining in groups, go through the different steps of the activity step by step (Especially if this is the first group activity for class).
  4. Have students work together to answer questions.
  5. Using the large pictures of animals with the packet, have the class create a food web together for posting on a bulletin board.

Part III– Student observation of Pond Water

  1. Start going over micro-organisms that can be found in vernal pools using water from the tanks– taken from Lesson – POND WATER – A CLOSER LOOK  (optional) – use student activity sheet used in this lesson
  1. Describe the procedure to retrieve sample from the Tank
    1. Stir sediment in tank.
    2. Fill a cup with tank water.
    3. Filter into a large jar using a fine mesh.
    4. Place clear aged tap water (or distilled water) into a petri dish
    5. Empty contents left on mesh into the petri dish containing water.
  1. Place a Petri dish of pond water under a dissecting microscope and focus using the fine and course adjustment knobs.
  1. Have students answer the question corresponding to the previous activity above on the student activity sheet.
  1. Fill out your index of organisms for two different organisms that you are able to identify using the guide provided to you.


  • Discussion questions on back of worksheet.

Higher level supplement

  • Read EPA seasonal pool text pgs. 10 – 15 section 2.2 Life Zones of seasonal pools and 2.3 Life Histories of Seasonal Pool – Dependent organisms and do Cornell notes
  • Students are asked to create a food web using animals discussed in clam shrimp lesson.
  • Complete index of organisms


Return to ARM description.