Reflection: Checks for Understanding Which Bear Goes Where? - Section 5: Evaluate


I use the responses from the students for many purposes. Initially, I use their writing to gauge their understanding of how the environment in which an animal lives influences the adaptations developed by that animal, and how the development of these adaptations will dictate the survival  of the animals.

I am hoping that my students will also see that although some animals may be very different, they can still acquire some of the same adaptations in order to be successful within their ecosystem. This is usually an AHA! moment for some of them. For example, even though whales and polar bears are quite different, both store a layer of blubber in order to help keep them warm in the cold Arctic temperatures. This realization not only helps me to gauge my students' understanding of the content, but also helps me to assess their critical thinking skills and determine whether or not they are able to make connections between species and to determine cause/effect relationships.

Finally, I can also assess my students' progress related to explaining scientific ideas and concepts in writing, which is usually a very difficult task at the beginning of the year. Having to summarize their thinking based on nonfiction text and to rewrite it in a way that makes connections is not an easy task, and it can be very eye-opening to see how students struggle and progress with this task throughout the year.

  What to look for
  Checks for Understanding: What to look for
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Which Bear Goes Where?

Unit 2: Zoology
Lesson 6 of 17

Objective: SWBAT compare/contrast their habitats and adaptations of various species of bears.

Big Idea: Now that we have learned a little about adaptations in the past few lessons, students will expand on their knowledge of adaptations by comparing similar species to learn how they adapt to their environment.

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