Developed and Published by. AIMS Education Foundation

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1 Concerning Critters: Observations & Classification TM Developed and Published by AIMS Education Foundation This book contains materials developed by the AIMS Education Foundation. AIMS (Activities Integrating Mathematics and Science) began in 1981 with a grant from the National Science Foundation. The non-profit AIMS Education Foundation publishes hands-on instructional materials that build conceptual understanding. The foundation also sponsors a national program of professional development through which educators may gain expertise in teaching math and science. Copyright 2012, 2013 by the AIMS Education Foundation All rights reserved. No part of this book or associated digital media may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means except as noted below. A person purchasing this AIMS publication is hereby granted permission to make unlimited copies of any portion of it (or the files on the accompanying disc), provided these copies will be used only in his or her own classroom. Sharing the materials or making copies for additional classrooms or schools or for other individuals is a violation of AIMS copyright. For a workshop or conference session, presenters may make one copy of any portion of a purchased activity for each participant, with a limit of five activities or up to one-third of a book, whichever is less. All copies must bear the AIMS Education Foundation copyright information. Modifications to AIMS pages (e.g., separating page elements for use on an interactive white board) are permitted only for use within the classroom for which the pages were purchased, or by presenters at conferences or workshops. Interactive white board files may not be uploaded to any third-party website or otherwise distributed. AIMS artwork and content may not be used on non-aims materials. Digital distribution rights may be purchased for users who wish to place AIMS materials on secure servers for school- or district-wide use. Contact us or visit the AIMS website for complete details. ISBN AIMS Education Foundation 1595 S. Chestnut Ave., Fresno, CA aimsedu.org Printed in the United States of America CONCERNING CRITTERS: Observations AIMS Education Foundation

2 I Hear and I Forget, I See and I Remember, I Do and I Understand. -Chinese Proverb CONCERNING CRITTERS: Observations AIMS Education Foundation

3 Concerning Critters: Observations & Classification Table of Contents Assembling Rubber Band Books...7 Classification Carl Linneaus: Organizer of Living Things...9 Animal Antics It s in the Cards Making Sense of Mammals Exceptions to the Rules Animal Egg-sperts Characteristics Amazing Arthropods Analyzing Arthropods Beetle Mania Wings n Webs A Look at Lepidoptera Earthworm Encounters Frog and Toad Are Kin Isn t It Interesting: Strange Senses Observations Growing Pains Mealworm Moments, Part One Mealworm Moments, Part Two Move Along, Mealworm Mealworm Hop Hot Foot, Cold Feet Traits and Behaviors Analyzing Attributes Tracking Down the Family Breathing Behaviors Guiding Goldfish Guppies Galore Wondering About Worms Movements and Migrations Migratory Mapping Migration and Hibernation Hibernation Fly Fishing Ant Eaters Life Cycles This Is Your Life, Tadpole Insect Metamorphosis Pasta, Pie Graphs, and Painted Ladies Mealworms on Stage A Cricket s Life Materials List CONCERNING CRITTERS: Observations AIMS Education Foundation

4 Topic Animal classification Key Question What are some characteristics shared by all mammals (birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish)? Learning Goals Students will: assume the identity of a mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, or fish; group themselves based on common characteristics; and develop a description that lists characteristics shared by all mammals (birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish). Guiding Document Project 2061 Benchmarks A great variety of kinds of living things can be sorted into groups in many ways using various features to decide which things belong to which group. Features used for grouping depend on the purpose of the grouping. Science Life science animal classification vertebrates Integrated Processes Observing Comparing and contrasting Recording Analyzing Generalizing Materials Animal cards Student page Background Information Animals are classified into groups based on common characteristics. One of the first distinctions is between vertebrates and invertebrates. Vertebrates are animals with backbones; invertebrates have either exoskeletons or nothing at all. The vertebrates are further divided into five categories: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Each of these categories is defined by a particular set of characteristics. All birds, for example, are warm-blooded, lay eggs, and have feathers. By themselves, the characteristics of being warm-blooded and laying eggs cannot be used to determine if an animal is a bird, as mammals are also warm-blooded, and some mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish lay eggs. However, when all three characteristics are present in the same animal, one can be confident that it is a bird. This activity will give students the opportunity to explore the characteristics used to classify vertebrates and to recognize that certain characteristics are shared by multiple kinds of animals. After sorting themselves in a variety of ways, they will be able to see the characteristics that are shared by all mammals (or all birds, all reptiles, all amphibians, or all fish). Several of these characteristics, such as fish being cold-blooded or breathing air through gills, are not true for all fish, but rather are generally true for most fish. However, for the purposes of this activity and to remain appropriate for elementary students, the more complicated exceptions to animal classification are not addressed. Management 1. Copy the animal cards onto card stock and cut them apart prior to doing the activity. 2. There are 25 animal cards provided. If you have more than 25 students, have multiple students share one card. If you have fewer than 25 students, selectively remove some of the cards, being careful not to remove animals like the platypus that exhibit atypical characteristics for their kinds of animal. Suggestions for animals to remove include the gecko, the bullfrog, the dolphin, the ostrich, or the guppy. 3. You will need one copy of the student page for each group of animals (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish). Procedure 1. Ask students to think of some of the groups of animals they know and list them on the board. Ask them how they could tell if an animal belongs to a particular group. 2. Explain that scientists have ways to group animals, and students will be trying to discover some of the rules that scientists use for the five groups of vertebrates mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. CONCERNING CRITTERS: Observations AIMS Education Foundation

5 3. Give each student an animal card and instruct students to read the information on their cards. Tell them that for the duration of the activity, they are that animal. 4. Inform students that you will be calling out certain characteristics and that they must go where their animals belong based on those characteristics. Each time they get into a group, they will compare cards with others in the group and sign in on the board by the type of animal they are (mammal, bird, fish, etc.). 5. Have all the students who are warm-blooded go to one area of the room and all those who are cold-blooded to go to another area. As the students move, write the words warm-blooded and cold-blooded side by side on the board. 6. Once students have had time to compare their animal cards within their groups, have each group give you a list of the kinds of animals present. Record each of these under the appropriate heading on the board. (The warm-blooded list should include birds and mammals, and the cold-blooded list should include fish, reptiles, and amphibians.) 7. Repeat this process using at least three more of the following characteristics: Animals that live in or around fresh water, animals that live in and around the ocean, and animals that live on land Animals that fly to move around and animals that do not fly Animals that swim to move around and animals that do not swim Animals that lay eggs and animals that have babies born alive Animals that are covered in scales and animals that have some other covering Animals that have tails and animals that do not have tails 8. Have students return to their seats and study the lists on the board. Discuss whether any of these characteristics could be used, by themselves, to determine if an animal is a mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, or fish. 9. Instruct students to once again get into groups, this time, by the kind of animal (mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, or fish). Give each group a copy of the student page. 10. Tell students that they are to compare the cards of each animal in the group to determine a list of characteristics that applies to all mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, or fish. 11. Once groups have generated their lists, have them share with the class. Correct any incorrect statements, and add any omissions (see Solutions). Connecting Learning 1. What are some groups of animals that you know? 2. How could you determine whether or not a particular animal belonged in a given group? 3. What do you notice about our lists on the board? Do any of these characteristics apply to only one kind of animal? 4. Did any of the lists surprise you? Explain. [Students may be surprised that some mammals lay eggs and that some fish and reptiles give birth to live young.] 5. When you got into your groups by kind of animal, how did you decide what characteristics to put on your list? [Only features shared by all of the animals could go on the list.] 6. What makes an animal a mammal? a bird? a reptile? an amphibian? a fish? 7. If I told you that I had discovered a new animal, what kinds of things would you want to know in order to decide what kind of animal it is? [body covering, whether it s warm- or cold-blooded, etc.] What kinds of things would not be as important to know? [how it moves, whether it has legs or a tail, etc.] 8. What are you wondering now? Extensions 1. Make Venn diagrams using two or three characteristics and have students place their animal cards where they belong. 2. Have students research additional animals and put them in the correct categories. 3. Research some of the exceptions to the rules warm-blooded fish, cold-blooded mammals, fish with lungs, amphibians without lungs or gills, etc. Solutions Following are the characteristics that students should be able to determine based on their cards. As noted in the Background Information, some of these characteristics are not true for every animal in a given category, but they are generally true and widely recognized as characteristics applying to at least a majority of that group of animals. Mammals Warm-blooded Have hair or fur Babies drink mothers milk Breathe air through lungs Birds Warm-blooded Have feathers Lay eggs (on land) Breathe air through lungs CONCERNING CRITTERS: Observations AIMS Education Foundation

6 Reptiles Cold-blooded Have scales Breathe air through lungs Amphibians Cold-blooded Change form during life (metamorphosis) Lay eggs in water Fish Cold-blooded Breathe air through gills Have scales Live in water CONCERNING CRITTERS: Observations AIMS Education Foundation

7 Key Question What are some characteristics shared by all mammals (birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish)? Learning Goals Students will: assume the identity of a mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, or fish; group themselves based on common characteristics; and develop a description that lists characteristics shared by all mammals (birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish). CONCERNING CRITTERS: Observations AIMS Education Foundation

8 Panther My body is covered with fur. I have four legs and a tail. I walk to move around. My babies are born alive. My babies drink my milk until they get bigger. I breathe air through lungs. I live I am a MAMMAL. Manatee My body is covered with smooth skin, but I have hair by my mouth. I have two flippers and a tail. I swim to move around. My babies are born alive under water. My babies drink my milk until they get bigger. I breathe air through lungs. I live in the ocean. I am a MAMMAL. Dolphin My body is covered with smooth skin, but I have hair by my mouth. I have three fins and a tail. I swim to move around. My babies are born alive under water. My babies drink my milk until they get bigger. I breathe air through lungs. I live in the ocean. I am a MAMMAL. Platypus My body is covered with fur. I have four webbed feet and a tail. I swim or walk to move around. My babies are hatched from eggs. My babies drink my milk until they get bigger. I live in and around streams and rivers. I am a MAMMAL. CONCERNING CRITTERS: Observations AIMS Education Foundation

9 Red Bat My body is covered with fur. I have two legs and two wings. I fly to move around. My babies are born alive. My babies drink my milk until they get bigger. I live on land, usually roosting in trees. I am a MAMMAL. Mockingbird My body is covered in feathers. I have two legs and two wings. I fly to move around. I breathe air through lungs. I live on land. I am a BIRD. Flamingo My body is covered in feathers. I have two legs with webbed feet and two wings. I fly or walk to move around. I live in and around fresh water. I am a BIRD. Ostrich My body is covered in feathers. I have two legs and two wings. I walk to move around. I cannot fly. I live I am a BIRD. CONCERNING CRITTERS: Observations AIMS Education Foundation

10 Penguin My body is covered in feathers. I have two legs and two wings. I swim or walk to move around. I cannot fly. I live in and around the ocean. I am a BIRD. Duck My body is covered in feathers. I have two legs with webbed feet and two wings. I fly or swim to move around. I live in and around fresh water. I am a BIRD. Alligator I have four legs. I walk or swim to move around. I live in and around fresh water. I am a REPTILE. Sea Turtle I have four flippers and a shell. I swim to move around. I live in the ocean. I am a REPTILE. CONCERNING CRITTERS: Observations AIMS Education Foundation

11 Gecko I have four legs. I walk to move around. I live I am a REPTILE. Iguana I have four legs. I walk to move around. I live on land, mostly in trees. I am a REPTILE. Boa Constrictor I have no legs. I slither to move around. My babies are born alive. I live on land, mostly in trees. I am a REPTILE. Guppy I have fins and a tail. I swim to move around. My babies are born alive. I breathe air through gills. I live in fresh water. I am a FISH. CONCERNING CRITTERS: Observations AIMS Education Foundation

12 Largemouth Bass I have fins and a tail. I swim to move around. My babies are hatched from eggs laid in water. I breathe air through gills. I live in fresh water. I am a FISH. Sailfish I have fins and a tail. I swim to move around. My babies are hatched from eggs laid in water. I breathe air through gills. I live in the ocean. I am a FISH. Tiger Shark I have fins and a tail. I swim to move around. My babies are born alive. I breathe air through gills. I live in the ocean. I am a FISH. Stingray I have fins and a tail. I swim to move around. My babies are born alive. I breathe air through gills. I live in the ocean. I am a FISH. CONCERNING CRITTERS: Observations AIMS Education Foundation

13 Tree Frog My body is covered in smooth skin. I have four legs as an adult. I hop to move around. in water. I started life as a tadpole. I looked nothing like my parents. As I grew, I changed and became an adult frog. As an adult, As a tadpole, I had gills. I lived in fresh water until I became an adult. Now, I live on land, mostly in trees. I am an AMPHIBIAN. Toad My body is covered in bumpy skin. I have four legs as an adult. I walk to move around. in water. I started life as a tadpole. I looked nothing like my parents. As I grew, I changed and became an adult toad. As an adult, As a tadpole, I had gills. I lived in fresh water until I became an adult. Now I live I am an AMPHIBIAN. Eastern Newt My body is covered in smooth skin. I have four legs and a tail as an adult. I swim to move around. in water. I started life as a larva. As I grew, I changed and became an adult newt. I breathe air through gills. I live in fresh water. I am an AMPHIBIAN. CONCERNING CRITTERS: Observations AIMS Education Foundation

14 Tiger Salamander My body is covered in smooth skin. I have four legs and a tail as an adult. I walk to move around. in water. I started life as a larva. As I grew, I changed and became an adult salamander. As an adult, As a larva, I had gills. I lived in fresh water until I became an adult. Now I live on land, often near the water. I am an AMPHIBIAN. Bullfrog My body is covered in smooth skin. I have four legs as an adult. My hind feet are webbed. I hop or swim to move around. in water. I started life as a tadpole. I looked nothing like my parents. As I grew, I changed and became an adult frog. As an adult, As a tadpole, I had gills. I lived in fresh water until I became an adult. Now I can live on land, but I spend most of my time in the water. I am an AMPHIBIAN. CONCERNING CRITTERS: Observations AIMS Education Foundation

15 Our group of animals is called. Make a list of the things ALL of your animals have in common. CONCERNING CRITTERS: Observations AIMS Education Foundation

16 Connecting Learning CONNECTING CONNECTING LEARNING LEARNING 1. What are some groups of animals that you know? 2. How could you determine whether or not a particular animal belonged in a given group? 3. What do you notice about our lists on the board? Do any of these characteristics apply to only one kind of animal? 4. Did any of the lists surprise you? Explain. 5. When you got into your groups by kind of animal, how did you decide what characteristics to put on your list? CONCERNING CRITTERS: Observations AIMS Education Foundation

17 It s in the Cards Connecting Learning CONNECTING CONNECTING LEARNING LEARNING 6. What makes an animal a mammal? a bird? a reptile? an amphibian? a fish? 7. If I told you that I had discovered a new animal, what kinds of things would you want to know in order to decide what kind of animal it is? What kinds of things would not be as important to know? 8. What are you wondering now? CONCERNING CRITTERS: Observations AIMS Education Foundation

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