Energy Flows

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Learning Outcomes

By the end of this activity, learners will:
  • Define the term "trophic level"
  • Describe the flow of energy through a simple ecosystem
  • Identify producers and various consumer levels in any food web
  • Explain why not all the energy embodied in a group of organisms at one trophic level is not passed to the next trophic level

Curriculum Connections

Grade 7 Science: Interactions and Ecosystems
  • STS 2 Trace and interpret the flow of energy and materials within an ecosystem
  • Analyze ecosystems to identify producers, consumers and decomposers and describe how energy is supplied to and flows through a food web by: describing and giving examples of energy and nutrient storage in plants and animals; describing how matter is recycled in an ecosystem through interactions among plants, animals, fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms; interpreting food webs, and predicting the effects of changes to any part of a web

Length of Activity

1 hour

Materials List

  • Internet-enabled device and printer
  • Energy Flows Backgrounder
  • Energy Flows Learner Worksheet
  • Energy Flows Learner Worksheet Answer Key
  • 200 pieces of paper (referred to as 'cards' in this activity)
  • Pencils, one per learner
  • Pin-on or self-adhesive name tags
  • Felt pen
  • Plastic pail, marked “waste”

Online Lesson Format