Next Generation Science Standard Connection
This lesson is designed to allow students to analyze their content knowledge and apply what they have learned through listening, recording observations, and collaborating with their peers. I am connecting to the NGSS 1-LS1-1, because I do ask the students to create a design similar to the turtle shell for soldiers. But, as they are creating their design they are constantly reflecting on how turtle uses its shell. This lesson engages students in exploring, explaining, and evaluating their peers design. All of these are involve higher order thinking skills which develops deeper understanding and helps students retain the information about how turtles use their shell for protection.
In the engaging section students discuss their prior knowledge about turtles, they record observations in the exploring section, explain their knowledge or ideas in the explain section, and last they evaluate each others design.
Now, I want to begin the lesson by exciting the class, assessing some prior knowledge, and sharing my expectations for the lesson. So, I found the neatest article in the August 2014 Ranger Rick Jr. and the heading is "A Tale of Two Turtles" that I am going to read to the class about how box turtles a shell and they use it to protect themselves. (The article is beside the "More Stories" on the website.) Then I ask them to share some things they know about turtles use their external features to survive. I hope they remember that they are camouflage. This is recurring question I ask throughout the unit, but I am trying to reiterate the focus of the lesson and the importance or remembering what we learned in the previous lesson. I do share some of their conversations and ask that they share them aloud as well.
Now, I show the class the graphic organizer we created in a previous lesson, and explain that we are going to add to it. So, we chant the lesson goal three times to make sure the class understands the goal:
Then, we chant the lesson goal: I can create a protective design to help soldiers.
Watch the video fro 2:50 to 3:30.
The students use their science journals to collect data from watching a video observing turtles using their shell to hide from a predator. I am looking to see that my students add to the previous t-chart: t-chart for animal behavior/t-chart and they notice the camouflage in the shell and the way the turtle pulls its legs and head in the shell. These are the two ways turtles use their external features to enable survival.
After the video I show the PowerPoint: shells of animals. The students make more observations and collect data, I ask the students to tell their partner the observations they noticed. This is a time for me to assess their understanding as I listen and look at their notes. Now, I do have a word wall, since most first graders need help spelling.
After the data sharing and collection, I begin to share the plan for the students to engage in a real world application activity. So, I say, "You job now is to become designers. You are going to collaborate with your partner to design a protective device or soldiers. Remember that soldiers need to be protected like turtles. I watched a movie where the soldier lived, because he hid under a rock when he was under attack by the enemy. We are going to create something for soldiers, so they can hide from their enemy like a turtle. Your design needs to be in your science journal, and you have fifteen minutes. Then I will share some designs, and you can add to your design."
I begin the discourse by saying to the students, "Please share what you have learned, and tell us about your design." So, I say, "Tell us what you have learned about turtles, and how their shell can be applied to help humans survive." This really engages the students in a deep higher order thinking activity, because they are explaining what they learned. Then I ask, "How might you add to or change your current design?" Now my students are reflecting upon their current design, and they have to decide what they may add to or take away based on their new knowledge.
Next, I share some additional models that are already in use and similar to turtle shells. Then, it is time for each student to work with their partner and share with the class what they have learned and how they are going to apply it to their current model. This is an example of student discourse.
Now my class has returned to the lounge, and we begin to work on speaking, listening, and evaluation. I allow two or three groups to present their design. This can be and issue, so if others want to read their work I let them do this during snack time. But for now, the entire class listens and volunteers give the speaker academic feedback.
I find two things challenging in this section and they are first graders struggle sitting still, and they speak softly. So, I have a chant I say to help them, "Criss cross apple sauce pockets on the floor, hands in your laps talking no more. Speak loud, enunciate your words, and think about what the speaker is saying."
At the completion of each presentation: presentation and presentation (2) I encourage students to give their peers's academic feedback: peer evaluation. I am wanting the to say, "I agree and why." But, it takes confidence and practice, so I often model an evaluation. I might say, "I agree that the shield will work, because they can hide behind it." After I model this several times, I start saying things like: "Okay, who wants to try? Remember we are all friends here. It is okay to make mistakes, because that is how we learn. Just agree or disagree and tell me why?"
Now the lesson is coming to a end I need to see what my students have learned, and I need to remind them of the lesson goal. So, I found this really helpful app called Plickers. I put my question on the Smart Board and each child has a Plicker card. The question is: What is one defense mechanism of the turtle?
A. hiding under a shell B. barking C. exploding D. running away
Then I use my phone and the camera on the app to scan the cards. This is so fast and it only takes about 15 second to do the entire room. The program sends the data to my account and I record who knows the content that I really tried to focus on in this unit.
Last, we chant the lesson goal: I can create a protective design to help soldiers.