Lesson 3 of 6
Objective: SWBAT: Identify and interpret traits that are found in amphibians by comparing and contrasting using a Venn diagram. Compare and contrast species traits in amphibians and reptiles by referring to the text using a Venn Diagram.
The Next Generation Science Standards aims to have third graders come to the understanding that different organisms vary in how they look and function because they have different inherited information. This becomes tricky when my students learn about amphibians, an animal that is born in water and then develops lungs and lives on land. To help explain amphibians, and grab their attention through visuals, I created PowerPoint which enables me to engage my students visually, helping them understand the content, and concurrently learn new academic vocabulary.
The PowerPoint I created,Amazing Amphibians .pptx is what helps me keep the students become both focused and engaged. The information contained in the powerpoint helps them take in the differences found in this specific vertebrate classification. The new academic vocabulary is explained with the help of pictures and by drawing a quick sketch along with the writing the definition in their modified Frayer Vocabulary Model as a graphic organizer, then gluing it in their notebook, this helps solidify the vocabulary by making connections for all of my learners.
I want my students to become more observant in all areas, this is an acquired skill. When completing a Venn Diagram frogs and toads, which had them comparing and contrasting by looking at a picture of each they are able to use descriptive words to describe characteristics. This is much more effective than me just giving them the information. During this activity they are engaged with a partner before we have discussed, as a group, the similarities and the differences. It afforded my students the opportunity to share their ideas and comments using academic vocabulary in pairs which can feel less intimidating.
The second Venn Diagram they completed was comparing using the Venn Diagram Reptiles and Amphibians. During the guided practice, I eluded to some differences but not all .This task raises the rigor for my students because they must rely on the notes in the notebooks to obtain the reptile facts. The students are also not working in groups for this activity. These are samples of the completed Venn diagrams by two students, Frog Toad Venn diagram student sample and Reptile Amphibian Venn diagram student sample.
Class Discussion/Wrap Up
I frequently use http://rubistar.4teachers.org, to create and store my rubrics. You can store your rubric and checkout other teacher's rubrics too, all for free. After the students had all finished their Venn Diagram, I used the following rubric, Rubric Compare and Contrast Amphibians and Reptiles, I created to assess my students on the ability to compare and contrast the two species. I also add 2 stars and a wish for the comments. I have the opportunity to offer my students constructive, positive feedback on their work. The Common Core is actively in evidence during this lesson,b because they had to refer explicitly to the text, in this instance, their notebooks, as the basis for the answers. As a group, we also completed the diagram on the interactive white board using the slide from the PowerPoint, while referring to their notebooks for the academic language and the content.