Print this page

Elementary: Ecosystems and Food Chains


This is a Subject Guide for Science: Ecosystems and food chains based on the Life Science component of the California Science Content Standards for Grade Four (2a-c, 3a-d).  This guide covers producers and consumers within food chains and food webs, as well as living and nonliving  components in an ecosystem.

Keyword searches
Adding the phrase “juvenile literature” to your search will limit results to non-fiction resources appropriate for children.  However, if results are too small, leave this phrase out.
Food chains juvenile literature
Food webs juvenile literature
Ecosystems DVD

Subject Headings
Biotic Communities - Juvenile Literature
Food Chains (ecology) - Juvenile Literature
Habitat (ecology) - Juvenile Literature


Chin, Jason, 1978-
Coral reefs / Jason Chin.
New York : Roaring Brook Press, 2011.
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 29 cm.
Includes bibliographical references.
Summary: A girl pulls a not-so-ordinary book from the library shelves and as she turns the pages, the city around her slips away and she finds herself surrounded by the coral cities of the sea and the mysterious plants and animals that live, hunt, and hide there.

Ecosystems in Action (series)
Minneapolis : Lerner Publications Co., c2003
72 p. : col. ill., col. maps ; 27 cm.
Summary: A 10 volume set covering various habitats.  Authors include Dorothy Patent, Melissa Stewart and others.

Sohn, Emily.
Environments : beetles in the garden / by Emily Sohn and Barbara M. Linde.
Chicago, Ill. : Norwood House Press, c2011.
48 p. : col. ill. ; 23 cm.
iScience readers
Includes bibliographical references (p. 46) and index.
Summary: The war of the roses is raging right in the backyard! Can the roses be saved? Should the beetles be removed? This common garden problem illustrates the fragility of different environments and what is needed to have balance and stability. Describes the different ecosystems and habitats that make up the many environments on Earth.

Yezerski, Thomas.
Meadowlands : a wetlands survival story / Thomas F. Yezerski. New York : Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011.  1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 24 x 27 cm.  Includes bibliographical references.
Summary: The history of the Meadowlands, from its pristine state to its gradual transformation by European settlers, to the pollution caused by industrialization, and the changes brought by environmental organizations striving to protect it.

Zoehfeld, Kathleen Weidner
Secrets of the garden: food chains and the food web in our backyard / by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld; illustrated by Priscilla Lamont.  1st ed.  New York: Alfred A. Knopf, c2012.  1 v. (unpaged) : col ill. ; 22 x 26 cm.
Summary:  Alice’s family plants a vegetable garden each spring, and this budding naturalist reports all she sees about how the plants grow, what insects come to eath the plants, ans what birds and animals come to eat the insects.


Bill Nye the science guy. Ocean life [videorecording] / Disney Educational Productions ; directed by Erren Gottlieb, James McKenna ; head writer, Bill Nye.
Burbank, Calif. : Disney Educational Productions, 2004.
1 videodisc (ca. 26 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.
Special features: fully indexed chapters correlated to National Science Standards; interactive glossaries and quizzes; bonus footage of never-before-seen segments, interviews and demos; on-disk implementation guide.
Summary: Bill Nye, the Science Guy goes underwater to talk about ocean ecosystems and the importance of small organisms such as coral, kelp and plankton. Amazingly, these latter organisms are the food of huge whales, which gather them by straining thousands of tons of sea water through their mouths.

LAPL Databases

Kids Infobits
Periodical database designed for the research needs of students, Kindergarten through Grade 5.  Content includes reference sources, magazine and newspaper articles, and images.  Articles are divided by reading level. 
Kids Infobits>Science and Math>Biology and Nature>Plant and Animal Ecosystems (Biomes)
Kids Infobits>Science and Math>Biology and Nature>Balance of Nature (Ecology)>Food Pyramids and Chains
Kids Infobits> “Food Chains” in search box


Los Angeles County Office of Education: Ecosystems (Grades 4-6)   
Links to lesson plans and activities. by Discovery Channel - short lessons and videos on ecosystems, biodiversity, food webs and more. by National Geographic - From the tiniest shrimp to the biggest whale, all living things play roles in a food chain. This short cartoon explains just how a food chain works. Also includes a quiz.

Teri Markson
Fairfax Branch
Children’s Librarian II