Food is of vital importance to all living organisms because it provides both energy and materials for growth. Food webs provide a picture of energy flow in a community of plants and animals. They also show some of the complex interactions and relationships of an ecosystem.
to build up a complex model of a wetlands food web.
Ready with a ball of string, ask the students to form a seated circle.
Stand in the centre and ask 'Who know the name of a coastal wetland plant?'
Pass the start of the string to the student who provides an answer eg 'mangrove'.
Ask 'What happens to the mangrove leaves before they can be eaten by an animal?
Whoever answers 'The leaves become part of the detritus' is linked to the 'mangrove' with the string. 'What eats detritus?' is the next question and the student with the answer such as 'marine worm' is linked to the 'detritus' by string.
If you receive more than one answer it is fine to link the 'detritus' to a number of students.
Continue to build links by asking 'What eats a marine worm?' and so on.
Once you get to a top carnivore such as a wading bird you should work back by asking questions such as 'What else would you eat?'
In this way you can build up a complex model of a wetlands food web.
Make sure that you build the web with tight string.
Close the game by posing the question 'What happens if we remove all the soldier crabs from our coastal wetland?'
This can be simulated by asking the crab to tug on the string and anyone who feels this tug is affected in some way.