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?

 

Footnotes

  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)
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