Food webs are intricate diagrams that show where food actually comes from, starting from the original source, such as decayed material, and ending with the animal at the top of the energy transference, such as a bird. These charts allow children to understand the complex relationships between plants and animals and enable adults to identify items that may be in their food. You can make your own food web on an interactive food web site and print out your creation when finished.
Access an interactive food web site online, such as Gould League or Virtual Teacher Aide (see Resources). The Gould League provides four categories of webs that you can use to test your knowledge between the relationships of various decomposers, producers, herbivores/omnivores, carnivores and scavengers, all the while building that particular food web in the process. The Virtual Teacher Aide is more of a free-form experience where you start with the bottom-level element of your choice and then continue to click and drag arrows and other life forms to show the complex relationships between each one.
Click on a food web category, if using the Gould League site, to begin your food web.
Drag the plant sources (producers), such as grass or flowers, to the bottom of the web. If your food web includes decomposers, such as bacteria or fungi, place these items at the bottom.
Place the herbivores/omnivores, such as kangaroos or giraffes, in the space above the producers. Using the Gould League site, click the picture and drag it to the correct category. If working with the Virtual Teacher Aide tool, click and drag the arrows above the corresponding producers before dragging the associated herbivores to the next level.
Position the carnivores, such as cheetahs or lions, in the level above the herbivores.
Finish the food web by arranging the top-level carnivores, if appropriate, above the carnivores. If your food web includes scavengers like vultures or hyenas, place these animals on the top level.
Use your browser's "Print" function to print out your food web, if desired.