SC.4.L.17.3

Trace the flow of energy from the Sun as it is transferred along the food chain through the producers to the consumers.
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
Test Item Specifications
  • Item Type(s): This benchmark may be assessed using: MC item(s)
  • Also Assesses
    SC.3.L.17.2
    Recognize that plants use energy from the Sun, air, and water to make their own food.

    SC.4.L.17.2 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.

  • Clarification :
    Students will describe or explain how energy is transferred from the Sun through a food chain.

    Students will explain that plants make their own food using carbon dioxide, water, and energy from the Sun.

    Students will explain that animals obtain energy from the plants and/or animals they eat.
  • Content Limits :
    Items assessing the flow of energy from the Sun through a food chain are limited to the direction of energy flow. Items will not address or assess the amounts of energy flowing through the food chain or the efficiency of the energy transfers.

    Items will not address or assess cellular respiration or any other cellular process.

    Items will not address or assess decomposers.

    Items will not address or assess food webs, trophic levels, or energy pyramids.

    Items will not assess more than five components (links) in a food chain.
  • Stimulus Attributes :
    Scenarios addressing food chains may, but are not required to, include the Sun.

    Scenarios referring to consumers may use the terms carnivore, herbivore, and omnivore.
  • Response Attributes :
    None specified
  • Prior Knowledge :
    Items may require the student to apply science knowledge described in the NGSSS from lower grades. This benchmark requires prerequisite knowledge from SC.1.L.17.1.
Sample Test Items (1)
  • Test Item #: Sample Item 1
  • Question: The Sun provides the energy to be used by the living things in the lagoon food chain shown below.
    which of the following describes the transfer of energy from a producer to a consumer?
  • Difficulty: N/A
  • Type: MC: Multiple Choice

Related Courses

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

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
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.
SC.4.L.17.In.3: Recognize that plants (producers) use energy from the Sun to make their food and animals (consumers) eat plants or other animals for their 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

Gr. 4 Lesson 1-Food Chain Gang:

Students will be able to explain the purpose and path of a food chain is, describe a simple Everglades food chain and trace the flow of energy from the sun as it is transferred. Students will also be able to explain the impacts of a loss of a species in a food chain. 

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

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 Tutorials

Food Chains of Florida:

Explore food chains found in many Florida ecosystems as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Where Does the Energy Flow?:

Explore energy flow in the environment through food chains as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Project

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 Ideas

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

The Food Connection-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, students make connections among penguins and other antarctic animals. They will trace the flow of energy in food chains and webs.

Type: Teaching Idea

Weave a Food Web-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will discover the food energy relationship within a food web in a coral reef habitat.

Type: Teaching Idea

Web Connection-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will learn how animals are interconnected with the arctic ecosystem and how humans impact these interrelationships.

Type: Teaching Idea

Text Resource

Another Link in the Food Chain:

This informational text resource is intended to support reading in the content area. The article describes how energy passes through food chains. Examples of each link in the chain and a description of its role in the food chain are given.

Type: Text Resource

Original Student Tutorials Science - Grades K-8

Food Chains of Florida:

Explore food chains found in many Florida ecosystems as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Where Does the Energy Flow?:

Explore energy flow in the environment through food chains as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Student Resources

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

Original Student Tutorials

Food Chains of Florida:

Explore food chains found in many Florida ecosystems as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Where Does the Energy Flow?:

Explore energy flow in the environment through food chains as you complete this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

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

Teaching Idea

Web Connection-SeaWorld Classroom Activity:

In this activity, the students will learn how animals are interconnected with the arctic ecosystem and how humans impact these interrelationships.

Type: Teaching Idea