The question that will guide the students today will be, "What kind of animals do well in each environment?"
We will discuss different animals in our area and why we think they are adapted well to our environment. I will then turn the student's attention to today's task.
In our class, we are beginning our study of writing paragraphs during our writing workshop. I saw today's science lesson as a perfect place to practice/use some of our skills, while reading information on the animals in the various biomes.
As I explained today's task to the students, I projected a boxes and bullets graphic organizer on the board. This is a tool we are just learning to use to organize information.
I will use the information found in the Structures of Life book, supplied by the FOSS science kits that my district purchases. However, if you don't have this, you can google information about the biomes for your students.
In order to model, I will read through the beginning of the Wetlands information in front of the students. I will review how to determine the main idea of a paragraph and where to place it on the organizer (the box). Then I will model writing phrases that represent the details of that topic.
Finally, I will remind the students that they are completing this organizer in order to prepare for writing an informational piece with their group, which they will use to teach the rest of the class.
This activity will be a jigsaw, so the students will be in a group to become "experts" on one biome. They will then present that biome and its organisms to the class.
As the groups work, I will circulate to make sure students are understanding the text and are able to record their learning. Where necessary, I will ask probing questions. However, I will not guide them too much, as I want to see what they can determine on their own before our next lesson.
This group was studying the Tundra. They were able to create 4 important categories of information, make sense of new vocabulary (scavenging), and make sense of the text to explain adaptations. I was then able to ask them what types of animals might survive, or not, in the Tundra.
Other students worked on their organization and worked hard to figure out how to create categories.
As teams finished their note taking, I asked them to think of a way to share their expertise during our next science session. This group, the Tundra group again, decided to create a pamphlet. This is creative, and perfect for what will come next.