2.2 Investigating Food Chains

Investigating Food Chains and Feeding Relationships

I have been using the HHMI Biointeractive activity Creating Chains and Webs to Model Ecological Relationships to help students interact with the concepts involved in the topic. I think the activity really encourages the students to ask questions and articulate their understanding. I am always impressed by the conversations that the activity brings about.

To provide context to the film, I have students read about Mozambique and then interpret some simple demographic indicators.

We watch The Guide which last about 34 minutes. You can download the film or order a dvd. There is also a shorter version available. This helps set the scene and give the students a visual context for their thinking. It also makes great links to Topic 3 and 8.

I give the students the student worksheet each and a copy of the double sided cards pre-cut between small groups of 2-4 students. The Educator worksheet is very helpful and provides answers to the questions but it is important to keep track of the student conversations and to intervene when necessary. I like to talk through the answers as they proceed through the activity.

 Mozambique Background

Mozambique is a country located in the south of Africa. It is located about 18° S and has a tropical to sub-tropical climate. The land is mainly coastal lowlands, uplands in the center, high plateaus in the northwest and mountains in the west[1]. It has natural resources of coal, titanium, natural gas, hydropower, tantalum[2] and graphite[1].

It faces the natural hazards of severe droughts, devasting cyclones and floods in central and southern provinces[1].

Current environmental issues include increased migration of the population to urban and coastal areas with adverse environmental consequences; desertification; pollution of surface and coastal waters; elephant poaching for ivory[1].

Mozambique Demographic Indicators


Student Discussion

What does this information tell us about Mozambique?



  1. a, b, c, d https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mz.html
  2. ^ Tantalum is a highly corrosion-resistant metal used in laboratory equipment according to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantalum)
All materials on this website are for the exclusive use of teachers and students at subscribing schools for the period of their subscription. Any unauthorised copying or posting of materials on other websites is an infringement of our copyright and could result in your account being blocked and legal action being taken against you.