I will begin the lesson by informing the students that we will be exploring our school courtyard. I will review the purpose of the lesson with the students, which is to describe how plants and animals grow and survive in familiar and unfamiliar habitats. Allowing students to go outside in the courtyard to make observations, allows the students the gain a more hands on approach and to see the different plants and animals up close.
Prior to transitioning to the courtyard, I will review the expectations of courtyard behavior. We will discuss safety and respect for our courtyard and the plants and animals that call the habitat home. I will distribute clipboards and notebook paper for the students to record their observations while in the courtyard. I will encourage students to record the plants, animals, and insects that they see while in the courtyard.
Upon transitioning back to the classroom, students will be instructed to bring their notes to the carpet for a whole group discussion. Once seated, I will ask students to share their observations of the characteristics of the courtyard. Allowing students the opportunity to share their ideas promotes a classroom culture where new ideas are welcomed and respected. It also helps students to build upon their own thinking.
I will ask students to share how the plants and animals in our courtyard survive. I will ask students to predict what would happen if changes were made to the courtyard such as removal of the pond or trees; or adding pavement or stone walkways. I will encourage students to elaborate on their thinking.
To conclude our conversation, I will ask students to brainstorm a list in their science journals of other habitats where plants and animals thrive such as a rainforest, a tundra, or a desert. I will inform students that they need to select a habitat from their list to conduct research on. I will explain to students that they will be gathering information about how plants and animals survive in their selected habitat.
I will distribute the Growing and Surviving Recording Sheet to the students. Students will use their Chromebooks to research plant and animal life in their habitat using the electronic resource Pebblego-Animals and Encyclopedia Britannica Online School Edition. They will complete their organizers and prepare to present them to the class.
To conclude the lesson, students will be given the opportunity to share their illustration and the data they researched. I will encourage students to elaborate on their research. Doing so helps the students to express their thinking while ensuring that the audience understands their data.
Once all students have completed their presentations, I will ask students to discuss with a partner how researching different plants and animals and how they survive in different habitats helps them to understand how plants and animals grow and survive. Students will be given the opportunity to share their thinking.