Scientists Share Their Learning

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SWBAT effectively communicate an example of how an animal uses an external part to meet its needs.

Big Idea

The big reveal! In this lesson, students will "show what they know" by sharing their 3-D animal models. Can they describe how external parts help the animal?

Instructional Notes

Today's lesson is the culmination of the unit, and it gives students a chance to present their products to one another.  In the previous lesson, students created 3-D models of an animal.  Then, they took a photograph of it with Pixie software and voice recorded at least one example of how the animal uses an external part to meet its needs.  

Before they made their product on the ipads, we had a discussion of how they could make their work more difficult.  I remind students of the criteria before they begin presenting their product, and they help me grade one another.  

I think short presentations are incredibly important as we prepare even our earliest learners for careers.  Throughout the presentations, I encourage the other students to listen attentively and respectfully as well.  I also give positive feedback!

This lesson does not contain a warm-up.  Instead, I will play a transition song.  This will give students time to locate their product (their model and writing-- low-tech option, or their Pixie slide-- technology option) and come to the rug.


20 minutes

Here, students will take turns sharing their product.  While they are sharing, I make sure they met the project criteria students made the previous day.  I also listen for content knowledge, i.e. does this student understand the big picture that animals have external parts that help them meet their needs?  

To guide students through sharing, I first review the rubric they made, which is posted right next to where they are presenting.  They decided that the animal projects should:

  1. Have 5 or more external part labels.
  2. Name one specific external part and describe how it helps the animal meet a need.

When you share, first you should show us the labels and read us the external parts.  Then, share your Wixie template, which describes how one of the body parts helps the animal meet its needs.

Note: My students used Pixie to take a picture of their model, and then voice-record how one external feature helps the animal meet its needs.  There are many ways that students could complete this, including filling in a sentence frame or an index card or lined paper.  Whatever works best for the technology and students in your classroom!

After the first few students share, I ask the class, "Did ___ have at least 5 external parts labeled?  Thumbs up for yes, thumbs down for no."  This is a quick way of making sure that presenters are reflecting on the rubric criteria, and also that the audience is listening attentively and thinking ahead about their own presentation.  

I have students present their work at my desk, so that it is projected on the big screen.  I like to take a back seat and really let the presenter have their moment in the sun!  Also, I use what I know about targeted students in order to figure out if I need to support them during presentations by providing a microphone, asking them to clarify, or keeping their focus.  My quietest friends usually use the microphone, which they see as a treat! 

Note: Below in the resources are student samples.  These samples were created in Pixie and included voice-recording.  However, the files here do not have the voice-recording, sorry!


5 minutes

For the closing, in the nature of a true student-led classroom, I ask students how they prefer to have the anchor charts for the essential questions displayed from this point forth.  

Friends, we have learned so much during this unit about what scientists do and how animals survive.  There is some great thinking here on our anchor charts, and we will actually keep adding to them throughout the year.  What suggestions do you have for what we should do with the posters now?  (In my mind, I have a place in the room that I'm thinking of hanging them, so I'm just hoping students don't say trash them!)

Also, we have created a list of strategies for communicating successfully in our Science Journals.  I ask students if they would like copies to paste on the inside of their journal cover, and/or if it would be helpful to post it by the Science Center.  

Then, I ask if they would like their animal models displayed in the hallway or if they would like to take them home (we will vote here, and most votes wins).

Great job, scientists!