Balance of Nature (Week 11)
Psalm 95:1-6 are the verses that we have been memorizing all year because truly, truly, "In His hands are the depths of the Earth and the heights of the mountains are His also". From the depths to the heights and everything in between, God has in His hands. God has placed balance in the natural world to help it continue to live and thrive. When we take things out of nature either on purpose or unknowingly, we alter the balance of nature. After the Fall, death created an imbalance and so there are systems that had to be put in place to balance out the natural world; two of these are the Predator-Prey Feedback loop and Territoriality.
Refresh our Memory!
Using the combination of the Energy Transfer cards and the What Role Do I Play cards, I had the students arrange and sort the animals under their titles and show the flow of energy.
Traditionally, I had the students place the cards horizontally but I actually like this vertical organization better. You see the Sun on top, the producers and their kinds next, then the consumers that are split into three different types: Omnivores, Carnivores and Herbivores followed by the scavengers and decomposers because God doesn't waste anything.
Who Eats What? Balance of Nature
By this time in the year, most of this book is review of all the food chains we have been learning, however it adds one important element and that is the imbalance of nature that happens all the time.
This book highlighted how otters love to eat sea urchins and sea urchins destroy kelp forests in the ocean. Kelp is a food for fish and other ocean animals however, sea urchins sometimes cut off the kelp from the stem and cause it to float away thereby destroying the kelp beds. Hunters used to hunt sea otters so much that the sea urchins multiplied since there weren’t enough otters balancing them out. Therefore because the otters were taken out of the food chain, many other ocean organisms suffered and died.
This is where we introduce the two ways that God has designed for nature to maintain balance; Predator-Prey Feedback Loop and Territoriality.
Predator-Prey Feedback Loop is a process that brings prey and predators into equilibrium. And
Territoriality is where animals respect one another’s territory.
This has a word bank and blanks for them to fill in as you explain.
Food Chain Games
To finish off the class we played the Food Chain Game. The first class used energy they received from the producer (sweet student on crutches) and for every step they took, they had to tear off a square of energy from their slips. The students were getting creative with how they were taking their steps. One student would long jump as far as she could. The tags around their necks told them if they were an herbivore, carnivore, omnivore, scavenger or decomposer. If they were a carnivore, they had to use their energy to get themselves to another animal in order to claim their energy and continue after the next animal. If you were the herbivore, they needed to get away from prey and back to the producers in order to maintain their energy. The scavengers and decomposers would collect all the squares from off the floor.
The second game is actually a Marine Animal Food Chain Game and this plays directly off of the book we read earlier called Who Eats What?. Each card has one of the animals from the book and lists what they eat and what they are eaten by. Five Star Ratings on our TPT page say this was a helpful resource.
Below is the class that was able to play the Marine Animal Food Chain Game. This works the best with a larger amount of space.
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Welcome! My name is Nicole Fleming and I have been leading science learning in the Bryan/College Station homeschool community for over 10 years.