Science Activities for Young Children - Types of Consumers
Children enjoy grouping similar objects. If your child is easily sorting by colors, shapes and maybe even kinds of animals consider introducing consumer types. A lesson on consumer types provides children with another way to group their animals. Start simple by introducing herbivores, carnivores and omnivores.
Day One: Introducing Consumer Types and Sorting Animals
The English Channel has a simple description of the three basic consumer types. Read the descriptions with your child. However, instead of completing the chart at the bottom of the page gather a number of your child's animal figures (or prepare a variety of animal pictures) and ask your child to sort (or group) the animals by consumer type. As your child is sorting ask her what she thinks that animal might eat.
Additional Information on Consumers
- The Open Door Web Site : Biology : The Characteristics of Carnivores, Herbivores and Omnivores
Description of the eating habits of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores.
- Animal Groups
A PowerPoint presentation about consumer types geared toward public school third graders.
- Herbivore - National Geographic Education
A detailed encyclopedic entry about herbivores. The encyclopedia also has entry for carnivores and omnivores.
Day Two: Story Time and Online Sorting Game
CAST UDL Book Builder is a site dedicated to creating, sharing, publishing and reading digital books that support learning. The site has a book created by Mr. Braun called Herbivores,
Carnivores ,and Omnivores ...Oh My!
Read the book to your child. The book also includes scavengers. If you don't wish to include that information simply skip page 11. The last page reviews the types of consumers with a single sentence description for each type.
End your lesson with an online sorting game by Sheppard Software. The game provides immediate feedback on your child's answers. However, the same animals are always used.
Day Three: Consumers and Producers Video
New Hampshire Public Television has an online video which explains the difference between consumers and producers, how they interact and the types of consumers. The video also provides more detailed information about brown bats and gray wolves. If you have a younger student with a shorter attention span simply stop the video when you reach the section about brown bats. (Or pause the video and release your younger students for playtime before continuing the video for older children.)
Day Four: Consumer Tag
Nature Works has an brief description of consumers and producers which provides a good review. The site also has more detailed information about specific animals and an online test. However, I suggest you look at the teacher's guide for a game of tag which will reinforce your children's learning while allowing them to run off some energy.
As with most tag games, this game requires several children to be effective. If you don't have enough students plan to get together with another class or family so there are enough people to play.
After the children have run off their energy playing tag sit them down. Provide them with a snack (like animal crackers). While they are snacking discuss what they learned over the past week and what they learned about producers and consumers from the game.
Thus you have finished teaching your child about consumers. Moreover, the game provides a fun way to review the information in the future.