Investigating Crayfish Behavior

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Students will be able to create investigations about, and gather data from, crayfish behavior.

Big Idea

Simply watching crayfish and gathering data through careful observation are different skills. Students will delight in thinking of experiments to carry out in order to observe crayfish in this lesson.


5 minutes

Today's guiding question will be "How do scientists develop investigations about animal behaviors and record their findings?"

Mini Lesson

10 minutes

I will ask the students to gather at the community area in order to review the proper way to pick up a crayfish for investigation and what we have learned about the structures and functions of their bodies.

I will then draw their attention to the question of the day.  As the students consider this, I will display the graphic organizer that we worked on in our writing workshop. We will then review the questions brainstormed earlier and discuss how to develop the investigation. I will also remind students here that we must be respectful of the crayfish and their safety when investigating.

Next, I will choose one of the questions and model for the students how to carry out the investigation, observe, and record results in a full, detailed sentence. 

It will also be important to remind the students to only write what they observe, not what they think the crayfish "feels", which is typical of students this age. 

Active Engagement

30 minutes

As the students begin to develop investigations based on their questions, I will circulate and make sure everyone is clear on the expectations of the activity.  Then, as they move further into their work, I will prompt conversations based on their observations and questioning. 

During this phase of the lesson, I will be listening for students to develop questions based on their past investigations, as well as making sure they are recording observable behaviors instead of their opinions. 

Sharing and Closing

10 minutes

To wrap up the lesson, I will call the scientists to the community area and ask them to share out what they investigated and what they observed happening. 

I remind them again that scientists create investigations from questions that come from observations. This is a cycle of thinking that students must become aware. 

Also, in our wrap up, I will let students know that we will use our new information about crayfish behavior to set up a habitat that the crayfish will share.