I ask the student to get out their white board and play a game with me. I explain that I am going to give students a word and they are going to come up with words that are associated with that word. I model an example by saying school. I then model how I associate learning, classroom, teachers, students, and PE with the word school. I ask if students are ready to play and they are. I begin by checking their understanding by giving them a review word, energy. Students do a great job with connecting words to this and I know they are ready.
The first word I give students is the word structure. Students are then given a few minutes to write as many words that they can that are associated with the word structure. When they finish, students then share their words and I add some of their ideas to the class white board. The next work word I give is the word ecosystem. Students then are given time again. We follow the same procedure and students then share what they come up with.
This lesson is the opener to our life science unit. I ask students to now combine the two words and look at our class broad to see which words might be abel to connect the two. They have an easier time eliminating words that don't fit and are left with a variety of words. I then ask students to talk about with their elbow partner how structures and an ecosystem might be connected. We then take their pair discussions to a whole class discussion. Students begin connecting how animals and plants have structures that are specific to them. The example a student gives is stem for a plant and spine for a human. This is where I wanted students to begin their thinking and the next lessons we will do will only add to their understanding.