TEF Educators' Curriculum Page

A. The Food Chain Overview
1.0. Goals: 

  • 1.1 To encourage an appreciation of the interrelationship of man and his environment
  • 1.2 To provide an understanding that each link in the cyclic food chain is susceptible to pollution and that each subsequent life form link in the chain inherits the effects of that pollution
  • 1.3 To make the lesson more relevant by using the local Raritan River/Bay estuary system
  • 1.4 To provide a pleasurable hands-on, interactive experience to bolster participation and understanding of the micro- and macrocosmic worlds of the food chain that support all life

2.0 Target Audience:  Second to Sixth Grades

3.0 Class Size:  Up to 24 Students divided into 3 groups:  A, B, and C
4.0 Time Frame:  Approximately 2 hours

5.0 Overall Procedure:

  • 5.1 Groups A, B, and C will gather for initial orientation
  • 5.2 Groups A, B, and C will move to Stations 1, 2, and 3 respectively
  • 5.3 At end of each of the Stations 1-3 15 minute periods, each group will rotate clockwise to the next of Stations 1-3 until all three stations have been attended.
  • 5.4 The 3 Groups will reassemble "en mass" at Station 4
  • 5.5 The whole class will attend the summation

6.0 Materials:

  • Partitions
  • Musicians' Instruments and/or MP3 Player with Songs (see Music Intrinsic Page)
  • Pete's Banjo Sailboat on trailer (or in water)
  • See individual stations' lesson plans for details


Orientation Session
0.1 Objective:

  • To understand the importance of water for survival
  • To understand the many types of pollution, especially water pollution
  • To introduce the concept of food chain/web
  • To introduce the concept of the estuary ecosystem
  • To identify the local estuary ecosystem, especially the target Raritan River  system

0.2 Time Frame:  15 Minutes

0.3 Procedures:

  • Entire class is assembled
  • Q&A to elicit key concepts
  • Establish concept of food chain/web
  • Class is divided into 3 groups and sent students to stations 1, 2 and 3

0.4 Anticipatory Set:

  • What is water?  Why is it so important?
  • What is pollution?
  • How does it affect life forms?

0.5 Materials:

  • Samples of water pollutants
  • Chart with food chain/food net
  • Chart of estuary system life
  • Maps of New Jersey and environs with defined drainage/estuary systems
  • MP3 Player to play appropriate songs if live musicians unable to join us

0.6 Closure:

0.7 Reinforcement:

  • Play Tom Chapin's Someone's Use It


Others available on website.

Full Traveling Environmental Festival Curriculum will be made available to Client upon agreement made at planning meeting with curriculum lead, Principal, or Group leader

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