We all love Bill Nye. Sometimes, though, the extra material that comes in his DVDs is not quite enough. It either is too cursory, or doesn't cover some of the more complex aspects of a topic.
These are the questions I use with my classes when we watch Bill Nye's Food Web DVD:
1. The video begins with the statement “plants are food.” Why? Aren’t fish, mushrooms, and cheese food, too? What do they mean, “plants are food.”
2. What are decomposers?
3. Are all decomposers in the Kingdom Fungi?
4. Are there any animal decomposers? Why or why not?
5. Are there plants in the deep ocean? Are they from the Plant Kingdom? Are there photosynthesizers in the deep ocean? From which kingdom are they?
6. What does “photosynthesis” mean? Look at the Latin stems. What do they mean?
7. What is “hydroponics?”
8. Consider the food web in New York City. Using what you know about cities, describe some of the organisms that are present in an urban food web.
9. What is the difference between a Food Web and the Food Pyramid? What do they each attempt to show?
10. Bill Nye is an amazing educator, but this video seems to be missing some important information. Give some thought to what you know about food chains and food webs. What is something he did not include in this video that seems interesting or important to you. What could you add to make this more informative?
Some of the questions are slightly more in depth than what is covered in the video. If you are studying food webs, you have also probably covered any additional concepts that are mentioned.
You can judge for yourselves if they are what you need. The complete form is two-sided with an introduction and room for answers. I have put together an answer sheet, as well, that would help you or a substitute lead a discussion following the video. Between going over the questions before and after the video, this is enough to cover a 45-60 minute class.