I started this lesson with the essential question "How does ant behavior help it survive?" Students also shared their observations from the previous lesson , where we had observed the behavior of ants when a food source is found.
Citing evidence for a third grader is not an easy task. I wanted my students to realize that you can cite evidence from your own observations, or a video, or a text. I created a PowerPoint showcasing Ant Behavior ,centered around food. The PowerPoint helped me bring the ants "into" our classroom without anyone needing any special gear and helped my students use a multimedia approach to gathering evidence. My students also learned new academic science vocabulary. In order to deepen their understanding, my students used a modified Frayer Vocabulary Model to further their understanding of this new vocabulary.
I created a guide sheet, Evidence of how ants work together, to enable my students to write down evidence as they came upon it. I noticed that many of the videos that were available online had some vocabulary that would be difficult for my students to grasp. I decided to take the video and use the website Zaption which allowed me engage my students and help them gain a deeper understanding of the content by adding additional information for them to relate to. Here is the link to the Zaption I created for this lesson.
Reflecting on what we learned becomes easier with the use of a modified Round Table Discussions on Ant Behavior. I created this as an exit ticket in order to gauge if my students understood the concept. They can state their own ideas or they can build on another student's comments. The first time I tried it in my class I didn't collect the pages, and I noticed that some students didn't give it their best, but now I collect them, and I find that it has helped my students become more responsible for their work. I always use the same procedure, 1 page, 1 pencil, 1 question, 2 minutes per students in the group.