Learn about food webs

In nature everything is connected! This activity will help a group or a class to think about which animal and plant species are connected by creating their own food web and will help them to realise why each and every species in a food web is important.

Food web diagram

What you will need:

  • A picture of the sun on a piece of paper or a whiteboard
  • A printed Food Web Activity Sheet (available to download below) for each child
  • String

How to create your food web:

  1. First, ask the children these questions to help get them thinking about where food comes from:
    • Where do we get our energy from? Answer: the plants and animals we eat
    • Where do animals get their energy from? Answer: the plants and animals they eat
    • Where do plants get their energy from? Answer: the sun
  2. Next, ask the children to complete Food Web Activity Sheet, identifying the animals and plants in the diagram and noticing the arrows showing the connections between species.
  3. Ask the children to choose a marine animal or plant from the species list below and to get in character – what would the animal of plant look like? How would it behave?
  4. Using string, children should connect themselves to one another: what would their animal/plant eat, and who would eat them? Make sure that the food web links back to the picture of the sun.
  5. Once everyone is in their place in the food web, remove an animal and ask the children: what happens to the animals or plants that were connected to that animal? Children should note that the food web will collapse if a part is removed and that every species in a food web is important.

Follow-up activity: Once the children have had time to think about what will happen to the food web, they could come up with an idea of how to communicate what needs to happen to protect all species in the ocean. This could be a newspaper article, poster, tv advert or a video!

Species list


Species What they need / eat
Plankton Sunlight
Algae (seaweed) Sunlight
Crab Algae
Mussels Algae
Jellyfish Plankton
Starfish Mussels
Krill (small shrimps) Plankton and algae
Small fish Plankton
Squid Crabs, krill, mussels, starfish, small fish
Large fish Squid, small fish
Seabird Small fish, crab, starfish
Eel Crab
Turtle Jellyfish
Dolphin Small fish, squid, turtles, plankton, krill
Sea lions Small fish, squid
Sperm whale Squid, crabs, fish
Blue whale Krill
Tiger shark Dolphins, small fish, big fish, turtles


This activity was developed for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra
to accompany their early years animated film, Yoyo & the Little Auk.


Time to complete

30 mins - 1 hour

Suitable for age

Suitable location

Resource Level

Curriculum linked

Sciences (Ecology, biology, natural history)


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