Next Generation Science Standards
This lesson addresses 2-LS4-1: making observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats. This lesson is imperative because students learn that a habitat is a place where particular plants and animals live. Also, they learn that habitats are within an ecosystem, and ecosystems show how living and nonliving things interact.
Science and Engineering Practices
SP 8 addresses obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in K–2 which builds on prior knowledge, using text, and analyzing text. Students communicate what they learn to others about the information that they obtained from the lesson and additional research. This lesson helps students to be engaged in learning about various habitats and to learn how to communicate their scientific findings to others.
Students have prior knowledge of habitats, and they understand that plants and animals live in a particular habitat depending on its needs such as sunlight, water, food, and space. Habitats provide animals with shelter, a place to live, and safety. The students have learned about Tennessee habitats so they can become familiar with the the various types of animals and plants in the state that they live. In this lesson, they will learn about the different land habitats: desert, rain forest, forest, and tundra.
While students are at their desks, they observe a land habitat PowerPoint. The PowerPoint helps the students see a visual, so they can build background knowledge about land habitats. After the PowerPoint, I pose the following questions: What are the four land habitats? How do plants and animals in the desert get the water they need? How is the weather in the rain forest? Why don't trees grow in the tundra? These questions are asked to stimulate students' thinking about land habitats.
On students' desks, there is a Facebook template. Facebook template is used for the students to draw a picture of which habitat they would like to live in and write one sentence that tells why. The Facebook page motivates my students to express themselves through writing and art.
Here is another example of a student's Facebook Page.
After they draw their picture and write their sentence, students walk around to observe their peers' work. Gallery walks permit students to celebrate their success and permit students to analyze their peers' work.
With students at their desks, they are provided a chart template to compare land environments. This is an independent activity. They are to complete the chart to compare the weather and the type of land and animals that live in each environment, tundra, forest, rain forest, and desert. The students record information on the chart from what they saw on the PowerPoint. Students are provided information from Ducksters. I provide them a packet with information on each habitat.
Teacher note-Research can be found on: http://www.ducksters.com/science/earth_science/. You can reference to the World Biomes section.
In completing the chart, the students are working on the science process skill: comparing. The chart helps students to organize their thought. Also, the chart is used at a later date when they create their very own diorama habitat. As students work, I walk around to assist students as needed.
I collaborate with the Spanish teacher. She teaches the students various habitat words in Spanish. I want the students to collaborate with their support teachers for integrating content.
I take up the land form charts from the students. In looking at the charts, I am making sure that students could identify the types of weather, plants, and animals that live in those habitats.
Students complete an exit ticket with the following statement: I learned....
In looking at the exit ticket, students should discuss what animals and plants need to live in a habitat. Answers vary. Example: The habitats are different because the weather is different. For example, some habitats have cold weather or get a lot of rain. They also could address the different animals or plants. The exit ticket helps me to assess students understanding and misconceptions.