Feed ME!

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SWBAT identify different ways that animals feed their young.

Big Idea

Animal mothers take their job very seriously! In this lesson my students explore ways that animal mothers feed their babies!

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. They will use different media to find evidence that 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 my students investigate the feeding behavior between the animal parent and baby. They will discover that animal parents feed their babies in different ways.

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


Book: The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry. The Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

Video: The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry. The Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood

Investigation Worksheet - How do animal parents feed their babies?

Technology: Computers and/or ipads

Ultimate Moms - Animal Planet Website

Various Animal Books

Zoo Books

Anchor Chart - How do animals parents take care of their babies?

Anchor Chart - Feed

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

Journal Prompt: Tell me 3 ways that animal parents feed their babies.


10 minutes

The Common Core English Language Arts Standards asks our students to ask and answer questions about key details in a text. I use the book The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry. The Big Hungry Bear by Don & Audrey Wood to elaborate on our learning.

Boys and girls, this book is so silly. We know that bears and mice do not share food but there is something interesting about this book. In our last lesson we learned that animals do have to find food and we learned that animal parents teach their babies to do that. Isn't that SO neat? I have a question for you though. What other ways do animal parents feed their babies?  I ask them to think back to our Biomimicry unit as well as to our work today.

My students say things like:

Mammals feed their babies milk.

Birds find food, bring it to the nest and feed their babies.

Lions hunt and bring food for their babies.

WOW!  You know a lot about the different ways that animal parents feed their young.  Today you are going to investigate that more.  How do animal parents feed their young?  Are you ready to give this a go?


35 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.

The NGSS asks that students use media to identify patterns in animal behaviors.  I pass out an Investigation Worksheet - How do animal parents feed their babies? to each child and ask my students to observe different ways that animal parents feed their young.  In order to do that I provide a variety of media tools for my students to use. I ask my students to rotate the different stations. This ensures that my students have access to all the materials available.  I also allow my students to work alone or with a partner. 

**ELL support - I always support my ELL students through teacher-conferences and/or by partnering that student up with a child who has strong oral language skills. 

Station 1: Classroom ipads - PebbleGo - This is a great resource for nonfiction text.  

Video - How to use PebbleGo

Station 2: Computer Cart - I have this website available on each computer. I ask my students to watch video #3. 

Video on YouTube: Ultimate Moms - Feeding

Station 3: Animal Books and Zoo Books

Book Baskets

Research - Using Books

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.

**The CCSS asks that students know and use various text features (e.g., headings, tables of contents, glossaries, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text.  We use this time to investigate these different text features as well as learn how these tools help readers to collect new and interesting information.  

**Helpful hint: Many times as students are researching the levels of the informational text are complex so I teach my students how to infer information from the illustrations and then attempt to confirm that information by using the captions. 

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, Have you noticed any patterns in animal behaviors? How does that parent feed its young?  How do you know?  Tell me about your research today?


10 minutes

The NGSS asks that students communicate their findings. 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.  As students share they reflect on their notes, add to their work and/or delete and change their research.  This allows students to see value and purpose in the process of learning.

Boys and girls, I love hearing you share your research! Today you have collected some really, really good data!  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! 

Together let's look at your data to help answer this question.  We will record your findings on our anchor chart under: Feed

As my students share, I record their answers on our anchor chart.

Anchor Chart - Feed


10 minutes

In order to elaborate on the learning, I show my students this website and together we read about the ways that these animals feed their young. As we are reading along we add this information to our anchor chart. 


15 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: In what ways do animal parents feed their babies?

I don't have any samples of the science journals for this lesson however some of the responses included the following:

Some birds like penguins, will throw up their food and feed it to their babies.

Lions feed their babies milk.

Monkeys and gorillas feed their babies milk because they are mammals.

Lion moms hunt food and bring it back to their babies.