Home » Education and Outreach » Food Web Educator Resources

Food Web Educator Resources

Welcome educators! 

nga food web schematic

This virtual field trip focuses on Food Webs in the Northern Gulf of Alaska. It also integrates learning about seasonal cycles and environmental variability in this really dynamic environment.

Key Topics: Food Webs, Environmental Variability, Marine Ecology

Target Grade Range: 5th-9th (many materials can be used for a wider range of grades)

Core Activities

Full lesson plan

In this set of 6 activities, students explore a marine food web in the Northern Gulf of Alaska through an immersive video game and short film. They work individually or as a class to make a model food web using illustrated species cards representative of Northern Gulf of Alaska organisms.  Students then utilize the example of a recent marine heatwave (also known as “The Blob”) to investigate how changes in the marine environment can affect different types of organisms and ripple through the food web. They compare the marine food web to a food web they are familiar with in a local ecosystem, and reflect on their learning and lingering questions.

Link to: Full Lesson Plan

NGA Food Webs Short Film  

Dive into the Northern Gulf of Alaska with this 6-minute film. Students will be introduced to the concept of food chains and food webs. Support student learning and reflection with some of the following questions:

  • What do you notice about the organisms in the video?
  • What do you wonder about the Northern Gulf of Alaska?
  • What are your experiences with the Northern Gulf of Alaska or these organisms?
  • What do you want to learn about the Northern Gulf Alaska?
  • What do you know about food webs?
  • What would you like to learn about food webs?
  • What do you notice about the environment in the video?
  • What does this place remind you of?

NGA Food Webs Video Game

Students (or adults!) can use this fun, immersive video game to learn more about an example food chain and how organisms interact in the Northern Gulf of Alaska. To support learning, prompt students with some of the following questions:

  • Based on the field notes, what types of food or resources does each organism need?
  • Where in the environment do you think these resources or food sources would be most available?
  • Does the video game provide a good representation of what the organism needs to do to get those resources or food sources? Explain your reasoning. 
  • How was life as an organism in the Northern Gulf of Alaska? This video game is a very simplified model of the real ecosystem.  What other challenges do you think these organisms would have to face in real life?

Link to: Food Web Video Game


The full lesson plan, film, and video game are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, particularly at the middle school level.  The full lesson plan for the virtual field trip integrates place-based learning approaches and engages students in connecting their lived experiences and observations with learning about the Northern Gulf of Alaska.

NGSS Performance Expectations

NGSS Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts

Other Selected Relevant Standards for Alaska

Supporting Activities & Resources

Check out the gallery of species profiles, highlighting 30 different organisms that are important in NGA food webs. You can also download the entire gallery as a single PDF file.

We’ve also selected a number of lesson plans from the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies and Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council that complement this virtual field trip:

Plankton Races

Human-Ecosystem Calendar

Solo Spot and Sound Mapping

Invent an Invertebrate

Scientific Sketching

Food Web Fallout

Stake A Claim

Web of Life

Download all activities in a ZIP file.


If you use these materials, please fill out our survey: