science education resource

For K-12 Students • Educators • Homeschool Families • Naturalists

Food Webs - Authentic Performance Activity

Authentic Performance Activities facilitate a student's understanding of a lesson's usefulness in real life. They are also an Understanding by Design (UbD) assessment tool. Focus questions act as pre- and post-assessment indicators of the activity's effectiveness.

Focus Questions:

1. Why do we learn about food webs?

2. Can you think of any other jobs where knowing about food webs would be helpful?

3. Can you think of any ways where knowing about food webs could protect you or your home?

Authentic Performance
You work for the Department of Agriculture in Nebraska. A permit request has come in from a group of farmers who want to trap and poison all the coyotes on their grazing land. They complain that the coyotes may be killing their calves on the prairie. Using the prairie food web, think about how killing all the coyotes might affect the other animals on the prairie. Which other animals might increase in number if the coyotes are gone? How might their increase affect the farmers? Should you allow the farmers to kill all the coyotes?

Food Web Authentic Performance
Exploringnature.org has more than 2,000 illustrated animals. Read about them, color them, label them, learn to draw them.