First, we folded our paper into fourths (in half vertically and then in half vertically again).
Then, we cut the strips on the folds (each student needs six strips).
Then, we labeled our strips with the levels of the food chain.
Students illustrated the terms.
Then we looped the strips together and glued the ends to make a chain. Each student's decomposers were linked to the next student's sun, thus creating one large food chain/food web.
After every student attached their chain, it looped up and around my desk area. We reference this anytime we are talking about consumers, food chains, or food webs. Since this is many food chains put together, it is actually also representative of a food web. It's a great physical reminder of the concepts.
Do you have any hands-on activities to demonstrate energy flow in ecosystems? I'd love to hear about them!