This lesson revisits the concept of pollinators. Earlier in the school year, I teach a lesson on pollination, but it is specific to bees. It also really focuses more creating a model of an insect pollinating a flower. In this lesson, students learn that not all pollinating animals are bees.
I believe it is important to demonstrate for the students that there are other animals that can pollinate in nature to ensure that I am not encouraging a misconception. I also want to teach this lesson later in the school year in the realm of another unit to ensure that again another misconception may not be established. Because the first lesson is taught during a unit on insects and follows with a unit on plant life; mainly apples, I am careful to point out to my students that pollination is a process that can happen in any biome with many different plants and animals.
This lesson allows me to do this.
I ask the children to look at the screen and adjust their chairs to be prepared and ready to begin. When all the children have given me their full attention, I show them slide one....Rain Forest Riddles. I ask the children if they know what a riddle is.
Using the riddles is a fun and engaging way to hook the students into the lesson. I also like the idea of using the riddles because it encourages the children to use their inference skills to discover the answer to the questions.
Of course, I fully anticipate they will know what riddles are. I quickly move to slide two which shows the riddle of "What kind of a monkey opens a banana?" I wait for about thirty seconds for the children to attempt to answer the riddle and I click the power point. When I do, the answer comes on the screen.
I go through the same process with slide three. I want to establish for the children what a riddle is, just in case there are still an lingering questions about what a riddle could be.
I explain to the children that while these riddles are funny and they make us laugh, I have some riddles I want them to work on that may not make us laugh.
I move to slide four that shows the "Team Work" slide. The children will know exactly what to do with this. Team Work time is a constant routine in my class and we use it often.
Slide five explains what the students will be working to accomplish. It sets the stage for the children what is coming next and their goal to accomplish in this lesson.
I pass out the cards to the team leaders and explain one more time what the children must work on to accomplish the goal of the lesson. I explain that I am not going to help them in anyway, that this will be their team working together to solve the riddles
I further explain that they will need to use their expert inference skills to solve the riddles. I continue to explain that no where in the riddles do they offer any explicit information that will tell them which animals coordinates with with plant. They will really need to use the language descriptions to determine which pairs go together.
I allow the students about ten minutes to puzzle this out. While the students are working in their teams to read and solve the riddles, I am circulating the room and offering any simple assistance I can. However, I am careful not to interject too much information into any student questions. I really want the students to puzzle these ot and read on their own.
These two steps in the process really meld together in this phase of the lesson. It is rather difficult to separate them.
I ask the students to go through each set of riddles with me as a class. To show me which pictures they matched up together and which written descriptors they matched to the pictures. I try to pull out of the children's answers their rationale for the groupings they create. At this stage of the school year, I am putting the responsibility of the explaining more on the students on not so much on myself. I am forcing them to justify their thinking and articulate their reasoning more (SP7). (This is the extension of the lesson; tying the language and articulation into their explanations).
After all the teams have shared their pairings, I bring the same power point up that I used to create the team cards, and we go through them carefully matching up the correct cards to the pairings the students made in their teams. (This is the explanation element of the lesson; I am explaining why the cards are organized the way they are).
In order to see if the students were able to not only articulate and justify their findings, but could they document them as well. I showed slide six which explained that the students would document their work.
After explaining that I wanted the children to document their findings, I clarified by explaining that this work would be independent. I showed them slide seven and passed out a duplicate of the same page. I demonstrated what I hoped they would do with the page on the Smart Board and then let go to their own work.
My biggest goal in this quick assessment was to see if they could write what they articulated verbally in their team findings and also if they could possibly employ writing strategies that had been learned in previous science and writing lessons (SP8).