What Do We Need?
Lesson 3 of 9
Objective: Students will be able to identify basic survival needs by completing a sort.
To begin this lesson, I read the story, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. This is a popular children's book that is read in many kindergarten classrooms. I do not introduce my purpose for reading the story to the students. I read it for their enjoyment and to serve as a hook into our learning. If you do not have a copy of this story, it can be viewed by your class on YouTube.
After we read the book, I have the following discussion with the students, Boys and girls, when I was reading this book, I noticed something. This mouse sure wants a lot of things. Do you think the mouse needs everything that he wants? Can you tell me some things in the story that the mouse doesn't really need? I give the students some opportunity to share some of the things from the story that the mouse does not need and I ask them explain why they think it is something the mouse does not need? At this point it does not matter if their reasoning is correct. I am just encouraging the students to activate prior knowledge and apply it to gauge their understanding of needs and wants. When we are done with our discussion, we move over to the SmartBoard.
For this portion of the lesson, I use my SmartBoard. If you have a SmartBoard, the file What Do We Need? easily be downloaded and opened. If you have a different type of interactive whiteboard, you can still use this lesson by opening the file in Smart Notebook Express. Click here to download. There is also a PDF of the slides so you can recreate this part of the lesson. Click here to access them: What Do We Need? PDF
I gather my students in front of the Smartboard. I have cards with each student's name printed on. These cards are used for selecting who will come up to the Smartboard.
I open the first slide (SmartBoard Slide 1) with the lesson objective written in "student friendly" terms. There is a content objective and a language objective to help focus on vocabulary expansion for my English Learners (ELs) to be congruent with SIOP instructional techniques (Click here to learn more about SIOP). I read these objectives aloud for my students.
I know the difference between needs and wants.
I can tell a friend if something is a need or a want.
Slide 2: Explain to the students that a need is something we must have to live. There are five basic needs. We all need air, water, food, shelter and clothing (point to each picture as each need is named).
Slide 3: Let's talk more about what we need. All animals need air to breathe. Without air, we cannot live. Sometimes the air that we breathe is dirty, or polluted. What do you think might happen if we breathe air that is dirty of polluted. I invite students to share their thoughts on this question.
Slide 4: All animals need water. Water is needed for life. The structures in our body cannot function without water. We can only live for about 3 days without water. When we need a drink, we can go to the faucet and get some water. We are lucky to have clean, safe water. What do you think would happen if we drank water that was not clean? Again, I ask students to share their ideas.
Slide 5: All animals need food. We can only live for about 3 weeks without food. Food is energy for our bodies. We need food to run, play and just do the things we do every day. We cannot grow without food. Our bodies tell us when we need to eat. Do you know what signs tell us our bodies want food? I ask students to share their ideas.
Slide 6: Animals need shelter. Shelter protects us from weather like snow or rain. We even need shelter to protect us on very hot days. There are many different types of shelter. People live in houses, apartments, trailers, even huts. Can you think of some different kinds of shelter that animals other than humans live in? This is a fun discussion for students to have. Being in a rural community, students quickly identify with a "barn". They need a little more probing to think of things like dens.
Slide 7: Humans need clothing. Clothing helps us to stay warm in cold weather and protects us from the sun in hot weather. Clothing is a need that people have that other animals do not. Why is clothing not a need for other animals? This is another good discussion question in which students can apply their knowledge of animals.
Slide 8: Explain to the students that a want is something that we do not need to live. A want is something we would like to have. Often it is something that is entertaining. Point to the pictures and ask the students what each item is and why it is a want.
Slide 9: Have the students sort the objects by needs and wants. Talk about why the item is a need or want.
Slide 10 and 11: It is now Turn and Talk Time. Turn and Talk allows my students to practice their academic language and develop their expressive English vocabulary. The students have assigned Turn and Talk partners. I ask them to hold hands with their partners and hold their hands in the air so I know that everyone has a partner. I then say to them, I want you to decide whether this item is a need or a want and why. I give them time to talk to their partner and when it is obvious that they have completed their discussion, I call on a student to share their discussion I cue the student to expand the "why" of the answer to continue to strengthen rationalization skills. We do the same thing on the next slide.
We then move to our seats for guided practice.
For this portion of the lesson, you will need the Needs and Wants Sort cards included as PDF with the lesson. I print one set of cards for each table group on a colored printer and laminate the cards for durability and cut them apart.
I say to the students, I want you to think about our book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Were most of the things the mouse wanted needs or wants? Can you think of something from the story that is a need? How about something that was a want?
You were classifying things in our story as being needs and wants. We are going to do the same thing right now. Each table group has a set of cards. You are going to put the cards in two groups. One group will be things that are needed for survival. The other group will be things that are not need for survival, or things that are a want. You will go around the table and pick a card. I want you to share the why you think the item is a need or a want and then put it under the correct heading. Continue around the table until all the cards are sorted.
The students begin the sort (see Video) and I circulate around the room and observe their work. I listen for the rationalization that the students give for the placement of the cards. If they do not tell why they sorted the card in a certain way, I prompt them to tell why. If they inaccurately sorted a card, I ask them questions to help them correct the mistake.
When everyone has sorted the cards, we go through them as a group. I then collect the cards and we prepare for independent practice.
For this portion of the lesson, you will need the Needs and Wants Activity Sheet, included as a PDF with this lesson. Copy one sheet per student.
I distribute the sheet to the students and have them put their name at the top. I then tell the students, Now it is time for you to complete a sort on your own. You are going to cut out the pictures on the bottom of the sheet and then decide if they are needs or wants. If the item is a need, you put it in the first box. If the item is a want, you put it in the second box. Continue until you have all the items sorted. Do NOT glue down your items until I have a chance to check your work.
I circulate around the room and check the students work. Since this is an introductory concept, I am looking for a basic understanding of the concept of needs and wants. As the students finish their work, they put it away. To close the lesson, I come up with an item and ask the students if it is a Need or a Want, when they tell me, they can line up for going home since it is the end of our day.