The University of Texas at El Paso

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Craft: “Around and Around”: A Model of the Food Chain
  Purpose: To construct a model of a food chain.     


P 18-by-8-inch (45-by-20-cm) piece of dark-colored poster board (red or blue)
P Drawing compass
P Typing papers
P Scissors
P Pencil
P Ruler
P Paper brad
P Transparent tape
P Adult helper

  • Use the compass to draw a 7-inch (17.5-cm) –diameter circle on the paper.
  • Cut out the circle
  • Divide the circle into three equal parts, and add the animals, plants, bacteria, and labels as in the diagram. This circle will be called the food chain wheel.
  • On the poster board, measure and mark the fold lines as shown.
  • Fold the poster board along fold line A. the longer side of the poster board will be called the front side.
  • On the front side of the poster board, mark a dot 6 inches (15 cm) from one short edge and 4 inches (10 cm) from each long edge, as shown.
  • Draw a triangle along the fold, beginning 1 inch (2.5 cm) from each long edge and up to a point ¼ inch (0.6 cm) from the center dot.
  • Cut out the triangle through both thicknesses of poster board.
  • Have an adult use the compass to punch a hole in the center of the food chain wheel and through the center dot on the poster board. Be sure to punch the hole through both thicknesses of the poster board.
  • Insert the food chain wheel between the two thicknesses of the poster board so that the drawing faces the front side of the poster board.
  • Insert the brad through the holes in all three layers, and secure it to the back side of the poster board.
  • Fold the poster board along fold line B and secure with tape
  • Hold the poster board with the front side facing you.
  • Turn the food chain wheel in a counterclockwise direction
  • Observe the sequence of pictures in the triangular window

Results: A model of the transfer of energy and matter in a food chain is made. You can follow the transfer from producer to consumer to decomposer and then back again to producer.