The Next Generation Science Standards have several that address the distribution of land and water on our earth. 2-ESS2-2 states that students should be able to create a model to show the shapes and kinds of land and bodies of water in an area. Students must have some basic background concerning the types of bodies of water and the different land forms that exist before they can model them. The first several lessons in this unit are designed to give students background information about landforms and bodies of water.
I want students to understand the difference between an ocean, lake, river, stream and pond. I also want them to be able to identify mountains, valleys, islands and peninsulas. These landforms will help students better understand the country they live in.
I begin today by having students read the I Can Statement with me. I say, "today we are going to start a new unit in science. We are going to talk about what the earth's surface looks like. Let's read the I Can statement together. I can tell the difference between an ocean and a continent.
We will look at some resources today and see if we can come up with the differences between each of these."
"We are going to begin today by thinking about the words continents and oceans. Can anyone tell me what the words continent and ocean mean?" I let students share their ideas about the two terms. I say, "Lets start a TQL chart about what we already know about continents and oceans. I will put a T for Think we Know in the first column, a Q for questions we have in the second, and I will leave room for the L column or what we learn during this unit."Part of the TQL Chart, Part of the TQL chart
(I call it a TQL chart instead of a KWL chart because often students state as a fact something that may not be true, so I call the first column think we know. I want students to think like scientists, which is an NGSS standard and so I label the second column Q for questions we have rather than want to know. I am trying to encourage scientific thinking with this chart.)
Students offer their ideas about what they think they know, and want to know and I fill in the chart. "Wow, I can see that you already know a lot, and like good scientists you also have some questions that you hope to find out. So today we will begin by my showing you a quick video on Brain Pop Jr. about continents and oceans.
After the video I give students time to ask questions and make comments about what they just saw. I ask students to stand and stretch before the next part of the lesson.
"You have just seen the video that gives you some good information about continents and oceans. Now I would like you to work with your buddy wheel buddy to look through these books and IPAD resources and see what you notice about continents and oceans. Are they all the same? What might be the same or different about different continents? Do they all look alike? What are the names of the oceans or continents? I would like you and your buddy to find 3 interesting pictures and or facts about continents or oceans. I am going to give you a card with a C or an O on it. If you get an O you will find out about oceans and if you get a C you will look for information about continents. Are there any questions?"
I have chosen to have students research either oceans or continents rather than both because research is not easy for second graders and I want them to focus on finding information. If they look up both, they may not find any new information on either one. I have them share their findings in the next section so everyone learns about both oceans and landforms.
I take questions, hand out the cards to each set of buddies and then tell students they will have 15 minutes to find at least 3 interesting pictures or facts. They should write down the facts and mark the pictures with sticky notes.
I circulate around the room checking in with each set of buddies and providing reading support or redirection as needed.Reading About Mountains on Our Continent
I ring the bell after about 15 minutes of partner work. I ask students to gather up any resources they marked, or facts they wrote down. Now I match up an ocean group with a continent group and say, "now you are going to teach another group about what you found out. You will share your resources with the other group because you will be with a group who looked up continents if you did oceans and oceans if you did continents. You are going to be the expert and tell the others what you found out.
We will use the talking cubes today.Learning to Use Talking Cubes I will give each person 1 cube. You need to share 1 idea and put your cube in the center. Remember to build a tower where everyone has a chance to share at least 1 thing. After everyone has shared 1 thing, you can continue to talk about your facts and ideas, and add extra cubes of your color from the pile of extra cubes beside you."
Students are becoming familiar with the talking cubes. They are one way that I make sure that everyone contributes to the scientific discussion.
I circulate around as groups share out. I listen to the discussions and assess the level of understanding to help me with future planning. I am listening for descriptions of oceans as large bodies of water, that there are several ocean in the world, that lakes are smaller than oceans, that continents are large masses of land, continents are larger than islands, continents can have lots of countries on them, continents can have mountains, deserts, valleys, etc.
"I heard some great discussions while you were all sharing out. Thumbs up if you learned something from your group and from the books you looked at. Ok, today we will end with some drawings. Decide if you would like to illustrate something you learned about an ocean or about a continent. You are going to make a colorful picture that will help us remember all that we have learned about oceans and continents."
Students already had a chance to write down several facts in this lesson and I want their own pictures to help us in future lessons so I have chosen to have students draw what they know of bodies of water and land forms. I also use the pictures to assess their understanding of what a body of water is and what a landform is.
Students have time to draw their illustrations that will be used in future lessons. Illustration of LandForms
We close by rereading the I Can statement and doing a thumbs up check of how we did today.