We're All In This Together

Corporation for Public Broadcasting Bean Creative for PBS Kids Go
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Lesson/Lesson Plan , Activity
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.



Students learn about food chains through an activity that teaches how animals depend on plants and other animals for food and, ultimately, energy from the sun. Students use online video, poetry, and song to gain knowledge about food chains and create a class food chain to demonstrate their learning.

Intended Audience

Educational Level
  • Early Elementary
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

Performance Expectations

K-LS1-1 Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals (including humans) need to survive.

Clarification Statement: Examples of patterns could include that animals need to take in food but plants do not; the different kinds of food needed by different types of animals; the requirement of plants to have light; and, that all living things need water.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
In addition to conducting the lesson as described, allow students to spend time outdoors identifying and recording plants and animals in their own environment and examples of how these living things may be meeting their survival needs. Also allow students the opportunity to talk about how these animals and plants are included in a food chain by listing ways they use other animals and/or plants to meet their own needs.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
The full lesson plan meets the expectation of this Practice.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Be sure to include ample time for discourse throughout the activity to reinforce this Core Idea. The internet link to the BBC activity is not active at this time. To add impact to this Core Idea, choose a video that shows real plants and animals and the food web in action.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
It is important for the teacher to guide the discussions to allow students to not only identify patterns in the food chain but also describe why these patterns might occur and apply this information to new learning and/or through an assessment piece. There are many opportunities for students to make connections between what they have learned about food chains and what they could expect to see in different ecosystems, however the teacher must initiate these discussions. Additional videos or pictures of different environments could initiate such conversations.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The lesson done completely fulfils the expectations of NGSS as chosen in this review.

  • Instructional Supports: The lesson pdf is complete with handouts and all pages students need. The teacher background information is solid and all the suggested links work well at the time of this review, except for the assessment link for the online test which does not lessen the instructional support rating.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: The students have several opportunities for both formative (throughout the activity) and summative assessment. The teacher can check for understanding in each of the two activities and can use the culminating activity, creating a class food chain book, as a summative assessment if the students have time to do this as individuals. An interview assessment could also be used for student to orally explain what they have learned.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: The use of the suggested online video is strongly encouraged, however, a teacher could do this lesson without connectivity by utilizing print media (i.e. books) or other resources. Students use of technology in this lesson is limited to viewing video.