Energy and Matter Flow

Why do energy pyramids only contain four to five levels? Individuals review food webs to begin discussing energy flow in ecosystems. Through discussion and a simulation, they explore photosynthesis and use this concept as a platform to discuss energy pyramids and the 10% rule. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Incorporate the conclusion portion as homework before beginning this activity in class, so data is already gathered
  • Uses quite a bit of vocabulary (primary consumer, secondary consumer, tertiary consumer, trophic levels, etc), which is not mentioned in the activity; spend time in class posting words and determining definitions
Classroom Considerations
  • Activity is appropriate for middle school and lower-level high school learners
  • Many links throughout the activities take teachers to the National Digital Learning Resources Network; always click the link at the bottom under "Victoria (FUSE)" and "View" for access without a password
  • Part three in a series of five
  • This resource is only available on an unencrypted HTTP website. It should be fine for general use, but don’t use it to share any personally identifiable information
  • Activity provides links to all resources, worksheets, related resources, and an extension activity
  • Video in step one of core portion is less than three minutes, which will engage pupils but not bore them
  • None
Common Core