Lesson Plan: Animal Adaptations

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Animal Adaptations

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Unit Objective

  • Analyze how physical and/or behavioral adaptation(s) can enhance the chances of survival by using metaphorical representations.

Background and Rationale

The students will become detectives and search for facts that they find interesting or important. In addition, they will search for clues that describe why they found these ideas so engaging while viewing the PBS Learning Video entitled The Mysterious Hammerheads. After watching the video, make a class list of the ideas students identified leading to a class discussion concerning physical and behavioral adaptations. Students will then complete the CSI thinking routine to describe their knowledge on the mystery of animal adaptations.

This thinking routine is being used to have students identify essential ideas in a nonverbal methodology. When choosing the color, symbol, and image, students are being required to thinking metaphorically and connecting new ideas to prior knowledge. This lesson is connected to the learning objectives as the students are analyzing how behavioral and physical adaptations allow species to survive in their environment. Students will complete the nonverbal portion of this thinking routine by using Google Docs.

Lesson Objectives

Objective

Bloom’s Verb

Determine physical and behavioral adaptations that enable organisms to survive in their environment by collaborating and participating in developing a class list.

Analyzing

Create a word document including text and images within a table.

Creating

Justify one’s rationale of ideas from the word document with a fluid and coherent presentation.

Evaluating

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Creating (highest level)

Common Core / State and District Standards

Science

  • GLE 0407.5.1 Analyze physical and behavioral adaptations that enable organisms to survive in their environment.

CCSS ELA

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Learning and Innovation Skills (P21.org)

Creativity and innovation                   

      Think Creatively:

  • Use a wide range of idea creation techniques (such as brainstorming)

  • Create new and worthwhile ideas (both incremental and radical concepts)

  • Elaborate, refine, analyze and evaluate their own ideas in order to improve and maximize creative efforts

       Reason Effectively:

  • Analyze how parts of a whole interact with each other to produce overall outcomes in complex systems

       Make Judgments and Decisions

  • Effectively analyze and evaluate evidence, arguments, claims and beliefs

  • Analyze and evaluate major alternative points of view

  • Reflect critically on learning experiences and processes

       Communicate Clearly

  • Articulate thoughts and ideas effectively using oral, written and nonverbal communication skills in a variety of forms and contexts

Life and Career Skills (P21.org)

Initiative and Self Direction: Work Independently

  • Monitor, define, prioritize and complete tasks without direct oversight

Information, Media, and Technology Skills (P21.org)

 Apply Technology Effectively

  • Use technology as a tool to research, organize, evaluate and communicate information

  • Use digital technologies (computers, PDAs, media players, GPS,  etc.), communication/networking tools and social networks appropriately to access, manage, integrate, evaluate and create information to successfully function in a knowledge economy

Materials

Lesson – Introduction

Students will watch the video The Mysterious Hammerheads. During the video, students will jot down interesting facts that they hear or see in the video.

Lesson Activities and Procedures

  • Students will share the facts that they wrote down from the video that they found interesting. The teacher will facilitate discussion on whether these interesting facts were physical or behavioral adaptations.

  • The class will make a list of the ideas and adaptations from the video that they shared. The teacher will use this list to lead to a class discussion on physical and behavioral adaptations of animals.

  • The students will choose an animal to describe in their CSI thinking routine. Using Microsoft Word, students will create a 3 x 2 column where they will list a color, symbol, and an image that represent that animal’s physical or behavioral adaptations.

Lesson Closure

Each student will share their work and describe their rationale behind choosing each metaphorical representation in a presentation to the whole class.

Assessment

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Students will create a 3 x 2 column table in Microsoft Word. They will be required to include the headings: color, symbol, and image. Students will then use Microsoft Office tools to identify a color, a symbol, and an image that correlates to physical and behavioral adaptations. Lastly, each student will share their work and describe their rationale behind choosing each metaphorical representation in a presentation to the whole class.

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Student Sample

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Author Profile: 

Logan Caldwell

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References:

Ritchhart, R., Church, M., & Morrison, K. (2011). Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement,  Understanding, and Independence for All Learners. San Francisco, CA:     Jossey-Bass.