Thursday, July 7, 2016

Food Chain Drills

In sixth grade class, we have been studying ecosystems. Today we had to figure out how Food Chains and Food Webs are related.

Diatom ----> Krill ----> Squid ----> Sea birds ----> Killer whale

So this is an example of a food chain in an Antarctic ecosystem.

With this, as English as a Second Language students, we got to learn new words such as "overlapping" and even "chain". Not rocket science, but again, it's not their first language.

As we drew different food chains on the board and dissected an Antarctic food web into its individual food chains, we practiced reading the food chains like reading sentences.

In the food chains however, the arrow points from the organism being eaten to the organism doing the eating. This brings a lot of more difficult grammar into play, but most of the kids do okay as long as we practice a lot.

We practiced verbalizing the diagrams, for example, "Diatoms are eaten by krill, krill are eaten by squid, squid are eaten by sea birds, etc."


From the video, you can hear the students say "Sea birds is eaten by the killer whale", to which their grammar is corrected...singular vs. plural, is vs. are.

But what you don't see in the short clip is some kids are very clever and catch my words, "Sea birds is plural" rather than "Sea birds are plural" while I'm telling them that they have to use "are" for plural sea birds...haha...so a couple were a little sketchy as to whether I knew my own grammar ;) But I explained to them that when I was referring to "sea birds", I was referring to them as "the term" sea birds, so, "the term is plural" rather than "the term are plural".

Confused yet? Haha, luckily only the kids who were  actually listening to what I was saying and thinking about it were the ones who will ask questions when they are confused or don't understand ;) Heck, even something like Fish or Krill you can say "Krill is eaten by" or "Krill are eaten by" so, yeah...

Odd, when I whipped out my camera to record, the students tend to put more effort into the drills. Otherwise, half of them need to have more "motivation" ;) I guess they know that the video will be shared in their groups and such. The girls in the back row actually yelled, "Wait teacher!" as the messed with their hair...trying to make it look nice before filming. I just gave them a blank stare ;)

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