Ocean Creatures and the
Web of Life
Activity: Students will learn about animals that
live in the sea and how they survive in their
- Review the concept of a food web with your class: A food web
shows who eats whom within a habitat.
Every animal needs food to live, whether it
eats plants, other animals, or both. All plants
and animals depend on one another to
survive. For example, imagine this food web
in your backyard: A plant is eaten by an
insect; the insect is eaten by a frog.
What would happen if the plants were
destroyed? How would this affect the frog?
- Explain that there are food webs in every
ecosystem in the world, including the ocean.
Visit the site The Living Sea: Predators and
Prey to see an example of a food web in the
ocean. If predators are animals that eat other
animals for food, and prey are the animals
that are eaten, identify the predators and the
prey in this food web. Can an animal be both
predator and prey?
- As a class, brainstorm about animals that live
in the ocean, as well as those that swim near
its surface. Keep a list on the board. Have
youngsters investigate the Web sites below to
learn about other animals and add them
to the list.
- Ask each student to choose a sea creature
theyd like to learn more about. Using the Web
sites below, have them find important facts
about their animal, such as size, physical
description, which ocean it lives in, how deep
in the ocean it lives, and where it migrates.
Encourage students to include facts about diet.
Is their animal a predator, prey, or both?
Have them draw simple food webs showing
- Finally, invite students to look at the ocean
through the eyes of the animals theyve
learned about. Have each child use the facts
he or she gathered to write and illustrate a
one-page story from the point of view of the
animal: Where do they live? Who are their
enemies? Which animals might fear them?
What is their environment like? If they are
endangered, why are they?