Living Organisms: Food Webs

Contributor: Meghan Vestal. Lesson ID: 11005

You've heard of spider webs, but a food web? Is it made by a special spider that captures hamburgers and tacos? No, it's a way that energy gets from the sun to a worm. Read on to see how it all works!


Life Science

learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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The image below depicts important information about an ecosystem.

food web

  • Can you determine exactly what the image shows about an ecosystem?

Think menu!

Food webs, like the one pictured above, help us to understand how producers, consumers, and decomposers interact by showing how energy is transferred within an ecosystem.

All food webs start with the sun because it is the basis of all energy in an ecosystem. From there, the arrows show how the sun’s energy is transferred to each organism in an ecosystem.

(If you are unfamiliar with producers, consumer, and decomposers, check out our lesson under Additional Resources in the right-hand sidebar.)

A food web is like a big puzzle showing how different plants and animals in an ecosystem eat each other to survive. It's important because it helps us understand how all living things in a place depend on each other for food.

If one part of the food web gets messed up — like if too many predators disappear — it can affect everything else in the web. Food webs are a delicate balance that keeps nature running smoothly.

Explore the videos and text at this Food Web site and then watch the video below to learn why food webs are important and what can happen to an ecosystem if one part of an it’s food web is out of balance.

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Consider why food webs are important as you answer these questions.

  • What types of organisms make up a food web in your community?
  • What would happen if one of these organisms were removed from the food web?

Continue to the Got It? section to create a food web!

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