In order to complete this lesson, students need a quick reminder on how we compare and contrast two or more topics. I use this as an introduction to the lesson and explain how we are going to sue this to look at animal structures. I begin by asking for the name of the graphic organizer/model we use when we compare and contrast. Most of my students remember the name and I draw the Venn Diagram onto the board. We continue by comparing and contrasting something we have already been taking notes on and that is the seed we observed. As a class, we fill in the diagram to show the difference between a Lima Bean and a sunflower seed.
Students now have the idea and it is time to get them into groups. Students are placed in groups of three. In each group they will need to read the articles about their animals. I remind them to use their CLOSE reading note taking strategies in order to get all the details need to compare and contrast their animals. The two articles come from the FOSS kit on Structures of Life. One article is on the Crayfish and the other on a snail. Students will read these within their groups.
I also give each group an iPad. They will be able to search for additional facts on the animals structures. In this I remind them to try to find a video that shows both of these animals so that they can see how the animal actually move and use their structures to do so.
With all of our data found students now to develop their notes into a Venn Diagram. Students can do this on their white boards as a rough draft. They will then be taking these notes to create a poster to share with the class.
Before they begin work on the poster, I give them a few reminders. I remind them that this finished product should be neat and include notes that compare and contrast. They need to focus on the structures and be clear on what they are trying to describe. I also ask them for illustrations to help the audience understand their data more clearly. I hand out the poster board and then let them create.
To end the lesson we put the posters up at the front of the room and as a class discuss them. We talk about how the snail and crayfish are alike and then discuss their differences. I ask students to tell me about the research they used and how might include where we got our information in the future. I briefly discuss citations and giving credit so that others can find our facts.
We then discuss overall presentation quality. We do a quick evaluation of our work and decide how we can best complete another activity of this nature. Finally, we discuss how this information helps us know more about animal structures.