Parenting 101!

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SWBAT identify whether or not animals take care of their young.

Big Idea

Do all animals take care of their babies? In this lesson my students get to investigate the different animal classifications in search of this animal!

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 my students learn about inheritance, the variations of these traits as well as parental behaviors. They use different media to find evidence that that animal babies are similar to their parents and explore ways that parents and their offspring engage in behaviors that help the offspring to survive.

In this lesson my students explore different animal classifications to investigation whether or not animal parents take care of their young.

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.

Poster - Workshop Partner

Poster - Turn and Talk

Vocabulary Cards:

These cards include the vocabulary that covers standards LS1-2 and LS3-1. 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.

Vocabulary - Animal Families


Sticky notes: 1 3/8 X 1 7/8 Inches

Anchor Chart - Our Predictions (12x18 construction paper)

Baby Animal Books sorted by classification

Ipads or student computers  - PebbleGO (Optional)

Anchor Chart - Do animals parents take care of their babies?

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

Science Journal Prompt - Do animal parents take care of their babies?


15 minutes

The NGSS standard for this lesson asks that students investigate ways that animal parents and their offspring engage in behaviors that help the offspring to survive. I begin this lesson by activating prior knowledge. In a whole group setting, I ask my students, What things do your parents do to take care of you?

Boys and girls do your parents take care of you?  All of my students yell, "YES!!" What things do your parents do to take care of you?  My students respond with things like:

*S/he gives me food and water

*S/he gives me hugs & kisses

*S/he gives me Band-Aids for  "boo-boos"

*S/he teaches me to throw a football.

*S/he reads with me.

*S/he makes me eat my vegetables.

*S/he helps me brush my teeth.

*S/he taught me to ride my bike.

WOW! Boys and girls, your parents really do a lot of things to take care of you. Do you think animal parents do the same thing?  Today we are going to research just that. Today you will investigate this question:  Do animal parents take care of their off-springs?

My students yell out predictions and I ask them to write their predictions on sticky notes and stick them on a piece of 12x18 construction paper labeled our predictions. 


40 minutes

The Science and Engineering Practice 8 asks that students obtain, evaluate, and communicate information. This can be done in many ways but one way is through grade level text and/or media.  In this lesson that is exactly what I am asking my students to do.

Over the years I have collected a variety of books about baby animals and I have sorted these books into book baskets by animal classifications. A great resources for borrowing these types of books are school libraries and public libraries. They always have TONS of animal books. I also have 5 mini Ipads available for my students to use.  For this investigation I use PebbleGo.  It is a great resource for nonfiction text however you will need to purchase this and set up an account.  Today my students will be investigation our questions: Do animal parents take care of their offspring? They will rotate from station to station learning about ways that animals take care of their young and recording their research in their Science Journals.

Station 1: Fish

Research Fish - Books

Research Fish - Ipads

Station 2: Birds

Research Birds - Books

Note Taking - Birds

Note Taking - Birds

Station 3: Reptiles

Research Reptiles - Books

Note Taking - Reptiles

Station 4: Mammals

Research Mammals - Books

Note Taking - Mammals

Station 5: Amphibians

Research Amphibians - Ipads

Note Taking - Amphibians

As my students write 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 my students, Which animals have many babies? Do they take care of their young? Which animals only have one baby or two babies at a time? Do all animal parents take care of their young?


10 minutes

In this section my students are asked to communicate their research with their Turn and Talk partners.  As they are sharing I listen for high levels of quality discourse as well as rich, deep thinking.  When I bring my students back together, I share some of the rich learning I over-heard. 

Boys and girls, I love hearing you share your research! Today you have collected some really, really good data!  Let's think back to those predictions we made earlier today.  Are some of you changing your thinking?  My students yell out their responses. That is exactly what research does to our brains!  Sometimes research confirms what we already think and we can pat ourselves on the back, however, other times it completely changes our thinking.  We can say, "I used to think.....but after doing some good research, now I think .....That is exactly what scientists do all the time! Great job scientists! 

As you were sharing your research today, I heard a lot of different answers to our big question: Do animal parents take care of their young?

Together let's look at your data to help answer this question.  We will record your findings on this anchor chart: Do Animal Parents Take Care of their Babies?

 Anchor Chart - Do animals parents take care of their babies?

After we fill out our anchor chart I ask, "How would you answer our question today? Please turn and share your thinking with your Turn and Talk partner.  Be sure to include evidence in your response."


10 minutes

The Common Core Standards for English Language Arts asks that students ask and answer questions about key details in a text as well as explain major differences between books that tell stories and books that give information. During and after our read aloud we have discussions that allow my students to learn from both illustrations and words. We pull out information that is factual and have discussions that allow students to refer back to the book to help deepen their knowledge.

I read the book: Animal Mothers by Bobbie Kalman


 As I read, I stop often asking my students questions like:

*What do you notice?

*How does this help us answer our question from today?

*Does this remind you of anything in your life?

*How are animal parents similar to your parents?


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. I send my students back to their science journals and ask them to: Do animal parents take care of their babies? How do you know?

As my students write, I ask my students to defend their answers. The Science and Engineering Practice 7 asks that students construct an argument with evidence to support a claim. I ask my students to defend their answers, I ask, "How do you know?" 

While the answers vary, it is my goal that my students share some ways that some animal parents take care of their babies: teach, show love, feed, bath, protect, etc.