Next Generation Science Standards Connection
The main two standards this lesson focuses on are 1-LS1-1, because the students are analyzing animals that use camouflage. Then they use their observations and data collected to design a camouflage protection gear for an animal that is not camouflage. In previous lessons students have ask questions, answered questions, written sentences, and organized information about how animals use their external features to stay alive. These are all activities that are allowing them to develop and apply their content knowledge.
We also work on speaking and listening in the lesson. The students work in collaborative groups: peanut butter jelly partner, engage in partner talk, present work, and orally evaluate their peers' work. These activities connect to SL1.1.
Today we analyze animals that are camouflage in the exploration section, then the students create their own design in the next section, and last they evaluate each others designs.
There are several strategies that I use throughout the lesson. We transition:transitions frequently to keep their energy up. The students also engage in a a great deal of partner talk: talk to partner strategy and the video in the link really shows how this work. In addition, to keep things fun I use some chants to refocus the class: fun ways to stop discussion.
This is the time when I want to excite my class and get them really thinking about the how animals use their external features to stay alive. In addition I try to assess their prior knowledge about the content, because I want to develop them to develop the habit of reflecting on what we have already learned. Maybe this will teach them to reflect upon new information as they read to learn. So, I read a short excerpt from a magazine showing hippos and we discuss their camouflage and how it helps them to survive. These animals are not the ones we are specifically studying to day.
Then I ask the class to tell their partner one way they remember animals protect themselves. As they discuss I listen to see how much they remember. Then I share the answer and their conversations. Next, I ask them to discuss why camouflage might be useful. As they talk I listen, and when their discussions are over I share what they said.
To make sure the students remember the lesson goal we chant it three times: I can create a camouflage design to protect an animal of my choice. I have this on the board and point to the words as we read, because it is so long.
Now, the class moves to the center tables with their partner and they create their design. So, I do have a list of animals that are not camouflage, so the students can pick from the list. My list: dog, cat, and horse. They chose the dog.
I explain that they are going to make a camouflage design for the dog. Then they need to think about the environment that the animal lives in, and what predators they may need to avoid.
I say, "What color is your yard at night? What is in the area? Are there trees? Are they brown? Is our grass green all year?" What animals might hurt a dog? (The big predators in our area to our domestic animals are coyotes and bobcats.) How can you prevent them from begin hurt? What might you design to trick a bobcat or coyote? I have computers available for my students to do a search on, and I read the information to them if they cannot read.
I walk around, listen, and mostly help them discuss their ideas.
I say, "Please share your ideas with the group?" This is just sharing their current knowledge and what the ideas they came up with during the Explore.
After the students share their ideas, I show the PowerPoint: camouflage. I am really adding to my students knowledge of different animals that are camouflage.
I ask, "How are the animals different?" (They are different colors.) The student talk to their partner, and then I ask one person to share their conversation. Then I say, "Why?" (It is so they can match their specific environment.)
After the students talk to a partner, I ask one person to share their conversation. Then I ask another student to build upon what the pervious speaker said. I say, "Can anyone add to that?" I say, "Please share your ideas with the group?" Now, the students spend about five minutes adding to their design.
At this point the class is back in the lounge, and this is when we work on speaking, listening, and evaluation. Two or three groups read their topic sentence and ending. The entire class listens and volunteers provide academic feedback.
Two things that are challenging in this lesson are that first graders wiggle a lot, and the speak softly. So, I have a chant I say to help them, "Criss cross apple sauce pockets on the floor, hands in your laps talking no more. Speak loud, enunciate your words, and think about what the speaker is saying."
After each presentation I try to get the students to give their peers's academic feedback. I agree and why. But, it takes practice so I often model an evaluation: presentation and evaluation. I might say, "I agree that that might trick coyotes, because they are afraid of humans. "After I model this several times, I begin asking the students to participate. "Okay, who wants to try? Remember we are all friends here. It is okay to make mistakes, because that is how we learn. Just agree or disagree and tell me why?"
At this time the lesson is about over and I need to assess my students knowledge. I ask them to tell their partner one thing they know about how animals use their external features to stay alive, and one thing they would like to know. Now, I am consistently refocusing the class on animal behavior, protection, and survival. Then I share their comments, and I plan to incorporate some of the things they want to learn into my read alouds and future instruction.
Last, we chant the lesson goal: I can create a camouflage design to protect an animal of my choice. I remember to point to the statement on the board, because the sentence is so long.