Once the abiotic things are in place, the living things of every ecosystem starts with the producers - a fancy name for plants. Plants are called producers because they produce their own food. We learned about this when we learned about photosynthesis. Producers are the key to every ecosystem because they have all of the energy. Once you have producers growing, then you can see consumers in an ecosystem. There are also four kinds of consumers! Ask your child to tell you about herbivores, omnivores, carnivores, and scavengers and what they eat.
With all of the living things in place, we can start to talk about food chains and how energy is passed through a chain so that the living things can survive. We have also talked about what would happen if one part of the chain was broken because a living thing became extinct. That's where the energy stops, and it can have drastic effects on all of the other parts of the chain!
In order to look more closely at food chains, we did a science experiment on Friday to answer the question, "What animals are part of an owl's food chain?" By examining owl pellets, we were able to find out that owls eat a variety of rodents and even other small birds. We had a great time making a connection between what we've been learning and the real world, and we are looking forward to building our own ecosystems the next two week!
Please enjoy this slideshow of us exploring our owl pellets!