Explain that animals, including humans, cannot make their own food and that when animals eat plants or other animals, the energy stored in the food source is passed to them.
General Information
Subject Area: Science
Grade: 4
Body of Knowledge: Life Science
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Big Idea: Interdependence -

A. Plants and animals, including humans, interact with and depend upon each other and their environment to satisfy their basic needs.

B. Both human activities and natural events can have major impacts on the environment.

C. Energy flows from the sun through producers to consumers.

Date Adopted or Revised: 02/08
Date of Last Rating: 05/08
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
5020050: Science - Grade Four (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))
7720050: Access Science Grade 4 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 - 2023, 2023 and beyond (current))
5020110: STEM Lab Grade 4 (Specifically in versions: 2016 - 2022, 2022 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
SC.4.L.17.In.2: Recognize that animals cannot make their own food and they must eat plants or other animals to survive.
SC.4.L.17.Su.2: Recognize that animals (consumers) eat plants or other animals for their food.
SC.4.L.17.Pa.2: Recognize that animals eat food.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Lesson Plans

Producer Consumer Reading:

Students will learn about energy transfer between organisms, and understand the different roles that organisms can hold in a food web. They will use cards to create food webs as groups, then combine all their food webs into one large ecosystem.

Type: Lesson Plan

Food Chain Repair:

In this STEM lesson, students will build a food chain with Florida organisms and keep the energy "point level" within a desired range.  There will then be some scenarios that will be placed on the food chain and student engineers will try to keep their food chain in tact.

Type: Lesson Plan

Plants: To Eat or Not to Eat:

In this lesson, students will explore the structure of plants in ways never before. Through observations about plant parts related to everyday food, students will gain a further understanding of humans and plants being interdependent. This lesson integrates Science, Reading, Writing and even some Math practices if choosing to complete the extension activities.

Type: Lesson Plan

Dramatic Food Chains:

This fun lesson gives students the chance to "act out" food chains. By really putting themselves into food chains, students will better understand the transfer of energy through the food chain, as well as understand that the sun is the primary source of energy in a food chain. This lesson ends with students constructing their own food chains, and writing an explanatory paragraph to explain the flow of energy through the food chain they constructed.

Type: Lesson Plan

Predator and Prey:

In this lesson the students will learn about a predator/prey relationship. They will learn about the role that plants and animals play in their ecosystem and what each role is called. The students will also learn about the limiting factors each ecosystem possesses that prevent any species population from becoming too large.

Type: Lesson Plan

Food Webs:

In this activity about food webs, students learn that producers make all of the molecules they need from simple substances and energy from the sun, other living things depend on producers for food, and living things that must eat other organisms as food are known as consumers. Food webs show all of the various interactions among producers and consumers in an ecosystem. Following an introduction to the content, students are divided into six groups and given a set of six cards, each of which represents a producer or consumer, unique to one of six different ecosystems. From the set of cards, students identify the producers and consumers, discuss who might eat whom, and construct an illustration of the possible food web configurations.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorial

Where Does Your Energy Come From?:

Explore the path energy takes from the Sun to producers to consumers.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast

KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Energy and Nutrition:

Calorie-dense foods can power the human body across the ocean? Feel the burn.

Related Resources:
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: GPS Data Set[.XLSX]
KROS Pacific Ocean Kayak Journey: Path Visualization for Google Earth[.KML]

Download the CPALMS Perspectives video student note taking guide.

Type: Perspectives Video: Professional/Enthusiast


Energy Flow of a Mountain Ecosystem:

In this project students will research a mountain ecosystem. They will create a presentation of their ecosystem that includes information on animals and vegetation, which will also demonstrate the flow of energy through the ecosystem. Students will interpret and analyze the data to hypothesize what would happen if a species was removed or added to the flow of energy. To finalize, students will write an explanatory piece that describes the possible changes that would take place if an animal was removed from an ecosystem and how that would affect the food chain.

Type: Project

Teaching Idea

Plant Parts You Eat:

In this food science activity, learners observe different plant-originated foods. This activity will help learners understand that consumers (including humans) rely on producers, specifically plants and plant parts, for food. This lesson guide includes background information and variation ideas.

Type: Teaching Idea

Unit/Lesson Sequence

Chemical Change Investigations | Inquiry in Action:

In this series of 10 investigations, students gain experience with the evidence of chemical change - production of a gas, change in temperature, color change, and formation of a precipitate. Students begin by observing that similar-looking powders can be differentiated by the way they react chemically with certain test liquids. Students then use their chemical tests and observations to identify an unknown powder and, in a follow-up activity, to identify the active ingredients in baking powder. Students continue to explore chemical change by using a thermometer to observe that temperature either increases or decreases during chemical reactions. Then they control these reactions by adjusting the amount of reactants. In another set of activities, students use the color changes of red cabbage indicator to classify substances as acids or bases, neutralize solutions, and compare the relative acidity of two different solutions. Students conclude the investigation by comparing a precipitate to one of the reactants that formed it. Students see that a new substance was created during the chemical reaction. Information and questions about photosynthesis and cellular respiration are included as examples of chemical changes on pages 316-318 of this resource.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

Where Does Your Energy Come From?:

Explore the path energy takes from the Sun to producers to consumers.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorial

Where Does Your Energy Come From?:

Explore the path energy takes from the Sun to producers to consumers.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.