Similiarities and Differences

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Objective

SWBAT research physical similarities and differences between animal parents and their offspring by using nonfiction text. Students will record their findings in their science journals.

Big Idea

Let's explore inheritance! In this lesson students investigate animal heredity by doing research! They will discover that animal babies look very similar to their parents.

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 that about heredity within animal families. They use different media to find evidence that animal babies are similar to their parents.  Through exploration my students will discover that animals can have babies and in many kinds of animals, parents and the offspring themselves engage in behaviors that help the offspring to survive.

In this lesson students compare and contrast the physical characteristics between animal parents and their babies using text.  My students will research ways that animals are similar and different and draw conclusions from their research.

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 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

Materials:

Book: Who Am I? By Gervase Finn

Zoo Books

Investigation Worksheet: Compare and Contrast Offspring - Word  PDF

Assessment - Animal Parents & Offspring - Word PDF

Engage:

15 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, drawing on a wide reading of a range of text types. 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 information that is made up by the author. In our discussion we refer back to the book to help answer questions about its key details and the author's message.

I read the book: Who Am I?

 

We discuss these questions:

*What animal structures should he be looking for?

*What other similarities do you think we might see in his animal parent?

*What do you notice?  What are you thinking? 

*Did you like this book? Why? Why not?

Explore:

25 minutes

The standard addressed in this unit requires students to make an evidence-based account that young animals are very much, but not exactly, like their parents. In order to develop a culture that encourages student engagement, curiosity and a desire to understand the world through scientific exploration, I begin our learning asking my students to research camouflage using Zoo Books.  Each child records any "wonderings" and "noticings" in their Investigation Worksheet: Tell me all the ways that baby animals look similar and/or different than their parents.

Investigation Worksheet - Compare and Contrast

Investigation Worksheet - Compare and Contrast

Investigation Worksheet - Compare and Contrast

Investigation Worksheet - Compare and Contrast

Investigation Worksheet - Compare and Contrast

As my students research, 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 refer back to our goal for this investigation:  Tell me all the ways that baby animals look similar and/or different than their parents.

Explain:

10 minutes

The NGSS asks that students communicate and explain information from observations. In the explain section I want my students to share their observations with their turn and talk partners.  I want my students sharing their observations and explaining their thinking as well as engaging in high levels of student discourse and reasoning. 

Thank you for meeting me on the carpet. Did anything surprise you today?  What did you find interesting? Please share what you observed today with your Turn and Talk partner.

I bring them back together and we fill in our Anchor Chart - Animal Parent and their Offspring.

*My students again come to this conclusion:  Just like us, animal babies are similar but do not look exactly like their adult parents.  Some differences are size, fur, size of the nose, etc.

Elaborate:

10 minutes

The NGSS asks that students make an evidence-based account that animals are very much, but not exactly like their parents.

In order to develop a culture that encourages student engagement, curiosity and a desire to understand the world through scientific exploration, I begin this lesson activating prior knowledge for my young students with this cute video showing many different baby animals or explore this great website of new baby animals and their parents.

After looking at the different baby animals, I refer back to our anchor chart in our Explore Section of this lesson.  In what ways these animals similar to and/or different than their parents? 

I listen in on conversations and then bring then back together.  I loved hearing your conversations today!  You are right!  Many of the baby animals have the similar physical structures: claws, beaks, number of legs, head shape, feathers, fur, scales, skin and teeth. I am glad you observed that. I heard you name a lot of differences too. For example I heard you say, "Babies are born without animal coverings like fur, hair or feathers."  Did you notice that baby bird didn't have his feathers yet?  He had the wings with no feathers. 

*My students continue to share similarities and differences in a whole group setting.

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. I send my students back to their science journals and ask them to complete our assessment for this standard. 

Animal Parents & Offspring - Assessment

The standard asks that students recognize that animal offspring look similar but not exactly like their parents.  I look that this standard is answered in their responses.
 
*NOTE: My students use the same animal cards from our previous lesson - Who's Your Animal Parent?