Animal Homes

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Objective

SWBAT identify how the structures and functions of different animals help them to survive in their habitats.

Big Idea

Habitat! Habitat! Have to have a habitat! Let's learn how animals survive in their habitats.

Setting the Stage:

National Science Education Science Standards Connection:

The National Science Education Standards has said that making observations is key to inquiry-based and discovery-focused learning in science instruction. In order to do this students participate in inquiry-based learning that allows them to solve a problem in science through observation, discourse and using a science journal. Students will then be give a chance to share their findings with their peers and then reflect on their own understanding.

Next Generation Science Standards Connection:

In this unit students will learn that organisms have external parts that help them survive in nature and then use that information to help them solve a human problem by mimicking plants and animals. This is called Biomimicry - bio: life, mimicry - to copy. To learn more about Biomimicry check out this Ted Talks.

In this lesson students will discover that different animals have special structures that help them to survive in their environments.

Home to School Connection:

In this unit we will be learning animal parts. Students will learn that organisms have external parts that help them survive in nature. The NGSS standards ask students solve a human problem by mimicking how plants and animals survive.  Each a day a student in class will be able to take home the Organisms Bag. In this bag I have included a recording sheet, crayons and pencils, and the book What if You Had Animal Teeth by Sandra Markle.

Classroom Structures:

In order to support a high level of student discourse within my science lessons I have assigned two different student partnerships.  Turn and Talk Partners are discourse partners that work together to share the deep thinking that happens throughout the day.  Workshop Partners are partners who are matched together for the purpose of working during our independent times.  In this lesson students will be engaged in both partnerships.

Vocabulary Cards:

These are the vocabulary that will be covered in this unit that addresses 1-LS1-1.  You can choose to use these cards in different ways. I like to print all vocabulary words on card stock and hang them on my science bulletin board as a reference tool throughout the unit.  You can also use these cards as flashcards or a concentration matching game.

Materials:

The Habitat Song

Photographs: Penguin & Frog

Habitat and Animal Photos

Anchor Chart - How to make a plan

Animal Figuries

Construction paper, markers, crayons, colored pencils

Books about animals & animal homes

Book - The ABCs of Habitats by Bobbie Kalman

Anchor Chart - What helps animals survive in their habitats?

Science Journals:  I just use blank paper in my journals so my students have space and freedom to experiment with graphic organizers, illustrations, etc.

Habitat Rubric - Science Journal

Science Journal Prompt: Pick one animal. How does this animals body parts help it to survive in his habitat?

Engage:

10 minutes

Let's be scientists! In this lesson students make observations, ask questions and make predictions. Students explore how different structures and functions help animals survive in different habitats.

I develop a culture that encourages student engagement, curiosity and a desire to understand the world through scientific exploration. It is said that music can prompt memories, enhance brain activity and stimulate the mind. I begin this lesson activating prior knowledge for my young students with this fun video about habitats.

After our video I ask my students, "Do you know what a habitat is?" My students share their thinking with their turn and talk partners.  I bring them back together and ask them to think about where they live. I ask them questions like, "Where do you find food, water and shelter?"

I show my students a matching game with habitats and animals from each habitat.  I ask the students to help me match the animals to the correct habitat paying close attention to the different animal parts.

After the game I show my students 2 photographs: Frog and PenguinDid you know that an animal's body parts can tell you where an animal lives? If you look closely you can even figure out how animals survives in their habitats. Let's look at this frog.  What do you see on its feet?  YES! You see webbed feet. Why would a frog need feet like that? You are right! They use webbed feet to swim.  These webbed feet help a frog swim in a pond.  That means a frog's habitat would be a pond.  What about a Penguin? My students share their thinking with their turn and talk partners.  I bring them back together and tell them that today we will be investigating the question: What helps different animals to survive in their habitats?

Explore:

30 minutes

The NGSS asks that students participate in planning investigations. For this lesson students work together with their workshop partners. They begin by developing a verbal plan for the habitat they will create together. 

Boys and girls all animals have a habitat and they all have special structures that help them survive in their habitat.  WHAT? What are structures, you ask? My students laugh. They have never heard the term structures. Here I teach my students the vocabulary that they will using throughout this unit. Let's see I can make this easier. Today you are going to be discovering different animal parts and how animals use these parts.  Structures is a fancy word for animal parts. Today you will create a habitat for an animal by looking at its body parts. If you see an animal with webbed feet you will want to create a habitat that allows your animal to do what? You are right! SWIM! 

I show my students my Anchor Chart - How to make a plan.

Step 1 - Pick an animal

You will need to plan out the work you are going to do with your workshop partner.  Your very first job is pick an animal from my box of animal figurines. You and your partner will have to decide on animal.  If you suggest an animal you have to give a reason why you want to use that animal but if you disagree you have to tell your partner why you disagree. Be sure to work hard to find an animal you both agree upon.

Video - Picking an animal

Step 2 - Research

After my students pick an animal, I ask them to observe their figurine and talk about the different structures.  As they are talking I walk around and confer with my students. I ask questions like:

*Where do think this animal lives? (Dry, wet, cold or hot)

*What do the feet look like?

*What is the body covering?

*What kind of teeth do you see? Does it look like a predator or prey?

Step 3 - Plan out the habitat design

The next step has partnerships working together to talk about the habitat design. I walk around and listen in on students as they discuss the perfect habitat for their animal.  I prompt students by asking questions like:

*Does your animal need food, water and shelter? 

*Do you know what that habitat looks like?

*How does this animal survive in this habitat?

*What special structures does your animal have to survive in this habitat?

Video - Making a plan for habitat

Step 4 - Get to work!

Now it is time for my students to work together to create a habitat poster for the animal of their choosing.  They may use construction paper, markers, colored pencils, crayons, markers, etc. While they are working I put out various books baskets of animals to use for researching.  My students use these books to find information about their animals diet and habitat while working on the poster.

Creating habitat posters

Creating habitat posters

Student researching

Student researching

Students researching

As my students work,  I walk around and confer with each student naming and noticing the smart thinking happening. Conferring is the process of listening and recording the work the student or students are doing and then compliment the work. As I listen, I research a teaching point and then work to provide clarification through questioning, modeling and re-teaching. I ask questions like:

*Where do think this animal lives? (Dry, wet, cold or hot)

*What do the feet look like?

*What is the body covering?

*What kind of teeth do you see? Does it look like a predator or prey?

*Does your animal need food, water and shelter? 

*Do you know what that habitat looks like?

*How does this animal survive in this habitat?

*What special structures does your animal have to survive in this habitat?

Explain:

10 minutes

Let's get talking! The NGSS asks that students communicate and share information from their observations. I ask my students to share their habitat posters just like scientists.  I ask them to use a loud voice and eye contact.  It can be very scary for children to share their work so it is important that I provide many opportunities for sharing work in this structure. 

Video - Sharing Posters

Students Sharing Poster

 As my students share their posters, I listen for them to talk about the different structures that help their animals to survive in their environment.

Elaborate:

15 minutes

The Common Core English Language Arts Standards asks our students to ask and answer questions about key details in a text. I use the book The ABCs of Habitats by Bobbie Kalman and ask my students to use the text to answer questions of animals structures and how those structures help them survive in different habitats.

The purpose of this read aloud is to pull out the key features that help animals survive in different habitats. As my students share I record their observation on an anchor chart.

Key features: Camouflage, teeth, claws, poison, skin covering, grasp objects, hear, see

Video - Elaborate

Evaluate:

5 minutes

The Science and Engineering Practice 4 asks students to analyze data. At the K-2 level this involves students collecting, recording, and sharing observations. In this lesson the students are recording information, thoughts and ideas in their science journals.

To evaluate the learning I ask my students to answer the following prompt: Pick one animal. How does this animals body parts help it to survive in his habitat?

As they are writing I introduce a habitat writing rubric to help guide the content in their response. As my students work I refer back to this rubric checking that my students have included all the components necessary for a good response.  After my students score their own writing, I quickly check to see if I agree and record my notes on an anecdotal recording sheet.

Extension

For this extension, I send home a parent letter asking for my students to create a Habitat Diorama of their choice and present it to the class.  This home-school connection allows for my students to share the learning with their families. I make sure to give my parents plenty of time to help their child complete this assignment.