Grade 3 Food web tag | BCHydro Power Smart for Schools
Sustainability New

Food web tag

Learn about food chains and interconnectedness with a fun, interactive game of tag.

Activity Image
30 mins


Students assume the roles of producers, herbivores and carnivores to play a game of tag, forming food chains and food webs. After the game, talk with students about the interconnectedness of living things and our responsibility to care for the environment.


What you'll need

  • Pinnies or jerseys (5 red, 10 green, 15 blue or any three different colours available)
  • Whistle
  • Access to a space to run around – gym or outdoor field
  • "Food web tag instructions" handout

Producers, herbivores and carnivores

  1. Students think of a living thing in nature and what it eats. They share their example with a partner and then hear some ideas as a class. As they share their examples, review or explain the terms producer, herbivore and carnivore.
    • Producers are plants. They make, or produce, their own energy from the sun and water. Ask for examples of producers (e.g., grasses, flowers, trees, bushes).
    • Herbivores are living things that eat plants for their energy. Ask students for examples of herbivores (e.g., deer, rabbit, cows).
    • Carnivores are living things that eat other animals for their energy. Ask for examples of carnivores (e.g., cougars, eagles, orcas).
    • Omnivores are living things that eat both plants and animals. Ask for examples of omnivores (e.g., bears, humans). To keep things simple, there won’t be omnivores in our game of tag.
  2. Explain food web tag to students using the “Food web tag instructions” handout.

Playing the game

  1. Hand out the pinnies. Approximately half the students will assume the role of producers (e.g., 12), a third herbivores (e.g., eight) and a sixth carnivores (e.g., four). 
  2. Have students play the first round. 
  3. When most students have been tagged and attached to a food chain, blow the whistle and discuss the game:
    • Using a group of three students (producer – herbivore – carnivore), explain that a food chain shows where living things get their energy from and how they are connected. 
  4. Play a new round of food web tag. When most students are connected in a food chain, blow the whistle and have students stop where they are.
    • Explain that carnivores usually eat more than one herbivore. Re-arrange two food chains so a carnivore is connected to more than one herbivore.
    • Explain that when food chains are connected, they’re called a food web. A food web shows us how all living things are connected in the environment. 
    • Ask students what they think happens to other living things when one thing in a food web is affected (e.g., if all the salmon are harvested from a river, there will be none left for the bears to eat and they will go hungry. If a forest is cut down, there are no trees for habitat for animals such as birds and squirrels).  

After the game

  1. Gather students in a circle to talk about how food webs show us the importance of connections and caring for the environment. 
    • First Peoples have long understood and believed that everything is connected and depends on each other. They consider caring for the water, land and living things as our responsibility. The idea of taking care of something is known as stewardship.
    • Have students think about ways they care for things that are important to them. 
    • Now ask them to think of things they can do to care for the environment and how that can help living things. 
    • For example, I can walk or bike to school so the car doesn’t pollute the air. I can plant trees to give birds and squirrels a place to live. I can turn off the tap when brushing my teeth to help save water for fish.
    • Have students take turns sharing their ideas around the circle.

Modify or extend this activity

  • Ask students if they can think of anything that would be in a food web that’s not included here (sun, water, decomposers). The sun gives producers energy, all living things need water and decomposers are critical in food webs for breaking things down and returning nutrients to the soil for producers. Play a new round of food web tag including one of these missing elements.
  • Have students brainstorm living things in their backyard or neighbourhood and draw a food web to show the connections between living things.
  • Show students the "Circle of life" video from The Lion King. Have students draw the food chain described (ant – antelope – lions – decomposers – grass – antelope).

Curriculum Fit

Grade 3 Science

Big idea

  • Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact with their ecosystems. 


  • The knowledge of local First Peoples of ecosystems 
  • Energy is needed for life 

Curricular competencies

  • Make simple inferences based on their results and prior knowledge
  • Identify some simple environmental implications of their and others’ actions

Grade 3 Social studies


  • Relationship between humans and their environment

Curricular competencies

  • Recognize the causes and consequences of events, decisions or developments

Core competencies

Social awareness and responsibility 
  • Contributing and caring for the environment

Teaching Notes

Food chains and food webs

All living things get their energy from the food they eat. When food passes through an organism, some of it is used and some of it is passed down through the food chain. Plants use the sun’s energy to make their food. Some of this energy is passed along to animals when they eat plants. Plants are known as producers since they make their own energy. Animals are called consumers because they have to consume plants and other animals to get their energy. Animals that eat only plants are known as herbivores, such as rabbits or deer. Carnivores are animals that eat other animals for their food and energy, such as cougars, eagles or orcas. Omnivores eat both plants and animals, such as bears and humans.

A food chain shows a simple example of who eats what and how living things get energy from other living things. 

A food web shows how food chains are linked and how all living things are interconnected. This means that all things are related to and interact with each other in the environment. 

Indigenous Peoples' perspectives

Embedded within Indigenous Peoples' perspectives is the idea of responsibility for caring for the water, land and living things, and using only what is needed. Important, as well, is interconnectedness and interdependence of all living things that exist on the Earth. 


  • Assess students’ understanding of food chains and ability to tag the appropriate group of living things.
  • Assess students’ ability to identify simple actions they can take to care for the environment in the circle at the end of the activity.

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