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Icon of ocean food web

Ocean Food Webs Module

In this module, students use the concepts of food webs and trophic levels to explore populations of marine organisms. Students research an organism in a marine habitat, then the whole class combines their data in a jigsaw activity to produce a food web diagram for that habitat. Next, students collect biomass data during “virtual dives” which they use to determine the relationship between biomass and trophic levels.

The following are all the resources for implementing this module:

  • Module Activities
    Detailed instructions to the eight activities making up this module. All instructions are made available as printable HTML pages.
  • VES-V Virtual Dive Tutorial
    This tutorial introduces students to the capabilities and navigation of the VES-V software through a virtual dive. The worksheets are made available as printable HTML pages. (This Tutorial is the same as Activity I in this and each of the three modules.)
  • Student Data Worksheets
    Worksheets needed by students to carry out the module activities. The worksheets are made available as printable HTML pages.
  • NGSS aligned to this module
    All the Next Generation Science Standards - Disciplinary Core ideas, Cross Cutting Concepts, and Science & Engineering Principles - aligned to this module’s activities and linked to the NGSS Website.
  • Presentation Graphics Used in this Module
    All graphics presented in the Teacher Pages/Activity Instructions. Suitable for projection or presentation while teaching these activities (Click to download)
  • Accessibility Acknowledgement for the Virtual Ecosystem Scenario Viewer (VES-V)
    NOAA is committed to ensuring digital accessibility for people with disabilities. We are continually striving to improve the user experience for everyone, and applying the relevant accessibility standards. Despite our best efforts to ensure accessibility of our content, there may be some limitations. Below is a description of known limitations with VES-V.
    Limitations and Alternatives

    The VES-V is visually driven in nature and supported by the third-party "perspectx.com". Color contrast, assistive technology support, and alternate text may be unsupported.

    The following activities within the Ocean Food Webs Module may be completed without the use of VES-V software. As some of these were originally designed to be used with it, they will require some adaptation by the educator to make them accessible for students with disabilities.

    • Activity II: Introduction or Review of Food Webs and Trophic Levels
    • Activity III: Food Web Jigsaw
    • Activity IV: Case Study 1 - Cod and Herring
    • Activity V: Case Study 2 - Sardines, Sea Lions and Orcas
    • Activity VI: Food Webs and Changing Biomass
    • Activity VII: Revisit Initial Question - Enough Seafood?

    We welcome your feedback. Please let us know if you encounter accessibility barriers on any of our education content: nos.info@noaa.gov
    Date: March 2022