Africa - The Serengeti
A Web Quest
by Andrew S. Basler
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Introduction | Task | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion | Teachers | Credits
The Serengeti plain of Eastern Africa is home to some of the most ferocious carnivores in the world. Lions, Cheetahs, Hyenas, and Crocodiles are all skillful hunters within their own niche. However, they are merely a part of a unique food web that exists in the Savanna biome.
Your teacher will break you into groups. Your group's task is to research a single animal that is part of the savanna biome. You will be looking for information on the animal's habits, what it eats, what eat's it, and it's unique place in the savanna food web. After you have completed your research, you will construct a simple food chain for your animal. After all groups have completed their food chains, the class will work together to combine the chains into a food web.
1. First, your teacher will show you the IMAX video "AFRICA - THE SERENGETI" . This movie will give you some background knowledge on the African savanna and the animals that live there..
2. After watching the movie, your teacher will break you up into groups of no more than five. You will complete the project with your group, and you will need cooperation. Group teamwork will be a part of the final grade for this project.
3. Follow the link to the San Diego Zoo. There you will find additional information on the savanna biome. Also, on the left of the page is a listing of savannna animals. Each group will choose an animal from that list to research. Your teacher will facilitate the process of choosing, and no two groups may research the same animal.
4. After your group has chosen your animal, click on it's name to find information about it. The web page on your animal has more information than you need, so you will have to read carefully to find what you are looking for. Remember that you are to construct a food chain. Therefore, you need to know what your animal's eating habits are, and what predators might hunt it. If you need additional help finding information about your animals predators and prey, use the original list of animals to find out more about both. You may also do research independent of the Zoo website by using the Google Search Engine.
5. After completing your research, your group will make a food chain that includes your animals. Use a regular piece of paper, and create the food chain with predators at the top, and prey at the bottom. If you need help, ask your teacher.
6. When all groups have completed their food chain, one person from each group will go up and write out the chain on the blackboard/dry erase board. Are any animals listed multiple times? As a class and under your teachers direction, you will interconnect the food chains to form the savanna food web.
You will be evaluated on the following rubric:
|Completion of Food Chain||
|Team work and Cooperation||
|Total Points earned||
Note that half of your grade is on team work and cooperation. This means getting along with your group as well as making sure that everyone contributes to the project. If you have any questions about grading, ask your teacher for clarification.
Every animal within a biome or ecosystem is dependent on other animals. Even the mightiest predator must depend on other animals for survival. The food web is a way to illustrate the relationships between all animals in a biome. It visually demonstrates the interdependency that exists in all biomes, not just the savanna.
Grade Band: 4 - 8
Tennessee Curriculum Standards:
4.3 tpi 5: Create food chains found in a variety of ecosystems
3.1 Recognize relationships within food chains
6.3 spi 2: Classify animals according as producers, consumers or decomposers in a food chain or web.
Preceding and Ensuing Events of Instruction: The teacher should show the Imax dvd "Africa- The Serengeti" before beginning this web quest. The dvd is available at www.amazon.com . The dvd is approximately 40 minutes long. The teacher must facilitate the groups choice of which animal to research. Variety is important and two groups might want the same animal. Also, the teacher should be prepared to assist in the internet research of the groups, or in the construction of thier food chain. Also, the teacher may want to add additional tasks to those already given, such as classifying organisms according to their place in the food web. The teacher should feel free to adapt or alter this web quest in any way that will best assist their student's learning.
Purpose: To enhance the understanding of relationships between animals in a biome, to promote group activity skills, to promote critical thinking by allowing the students to sort through information to find what is requested.
Slingshot. (2001). Africa: The Serengeti [dvd] Toronto, Canada: Imax
San Diego Zoo (2003). Animal Bytes: Savanna. Retrieved January 7, 2004 from http://www.sandiegozoo.org/animalbytes/e-savanna.html
Google (2003). Search Engine. Retrieved January 7, 2004 from http://www.google.com
BACK TO TOP