Lesson 7: Beavers, Nature's Teamwork Engineers

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Identify and interpret patterns in group behavior that help beavers create dams by observing beaver behavior.

Big Idea

Being part of a group helps animals obtain food, defend themselves, survive and thrive.


1 minutes

Warm up

5 minutes

Beavers are an animal that many students think they know, but really don't know much about. In this lesson I started by showing a Google image of a beaver and asking " Anyone know about this animal?" Some students thought it was a giant rat, others did realize it was a beaver when they saw the tail.



Guided practice

15 minutes

I wanted to give my students a mini introduction to beavers, because of this, I created a PowerPoint about Beavers. I wanted to use images and multimedia examples of how beavers build dams and why beavers build dams to enable students to dig deeper into this topic. Students needed to see how these extraordinary creatures use teamwork, which is the focus of this unit, to get the job done.


20 minutes

The physical features, and behaviors of the beaver were explained and showcased in the PowerPoint. Now I wanted students to rely not only on their notes, but on each other as a team and complete the  Beaver 3-2-1 Notebook Response. The collaboration was essential the activity.

Class Discussion/Wrap Up

10 minutes

My students watched the video and discussed the characteristics of beavers, however, I wanted a way to gauge their level of understanding. As a whole class, we reviewed the expectations for the task by reading the Beaver 3-2-1 Rubric. This process helps keep students on task and is something they are familiar with, having used rubrics in other subjects. The students completed the Beaver 3-2-1 Notebook Response as a small group and then we shared our findings. It was an effective way of connecting and extending what they learned.