Fish, Vertebrates of the Sea
Lesson 4 of 6
Objective: SWBAT: Compare and contrast the characteristics of the same species by examining the position and location of a fish's mouth.
Fish are one of those vertebrates that students have seen, but really don't think much about. They know they swim and that they breathe in water, but they really don't know much more. The title slide of the PowerPoint, I created has fish swimming, this makes a connection with the students. I used a powerpoint for the lesson because it helps me introduce academic vocabulary along with new content in a way that all of my learners can make a connection to.
One of the core diciplinary ideas of the NGSS is for students to notice differences in characteristics between individuals of the same species and how this has helped them survive. What better way than taking a closer look at the placement of a fish's mouth? The PowerPoint, Fish vertebrates of the Sea helps me bring the fish into the classroom without actually having to bring fish. It also gives me an opportunity to weave academic vocabulary into the lesson. I have my students use a modified Frayer Vocabulary Model for all of their vocabulary, which also allows them to draw a picture to enhance the understanding. This really helps solidify the word in their minds.
Until we did this lesson, most students had never really noticed that fish had different mouth positions. The focus page, Fish mouth adaptations , on fish mouth positions helped them ask themselves, "Why" a fish would have their mouth positioned that way. This is my goal in Science, I want them to focus on the "why". Here is a sample of the completed pages, Fish mouth page 1, Fish mouth page 2.
Class Discussion/Wrap up
We not only learned about the advantages and disadvantages of mouth positioning, we also learned about many parts of the fish. The students worked in groups to complete labeling the Fish diagram, and then we completed it together.
I also assigned Fish Mouth Adaptation Homework, that I feel helps my students reflect on what they have learned today. Here is a sample of a completed homework page, Fish mouth page 3 homework. This will lay the foundation for future lessons on animal adaptations.