1 The following instructional plan is part of a GaDOE collection of Unit Frameworks, Performance Tasks, examples of Student Work, and Teacher Commentary. Many more GaDOE approved instructional plans are available by using the Search Standards feature located on GeorgiaStandards.Org. Georgia Performance Standards Framework Life Cycles Unit: (Approximately 8 weeks) OVERVIEW: This unit focuses on the life cycles of common animals, plants, and fungi; thus, emphasizing changes that can be observed over time including environmental effects such as weather, water, and gravity. Consequently, this unit should be inclusive of the standards in the earth and physical science units. Through inquiry, students should determine and investigate especially the individual life cycles of common animals, fungi, and plants. STANDARDS ADDRESSED IN THIS UNIT Focus Standard: S2L1. Students will investigate the life cycles of different living organisms. a. Determine the sequence of the life cycle of common animals in your area: a mammal such as a cat or dog or classroom pet, a bird such as a chicken, an amphibian such as a frog, and an insect such as a butterfly. b. Relate seasonal changes to observations of how a tree changes throughout a school year. c. Investigate the life cycle of a plant by growing a plant from a seed and by recording changes over a period of time. d. Identify fungi (mushrooms) as living organisms. RELATED STANDARDS ADDRESSED IN THIS UNIT S2E2. Students will investigate the position of the sun and moon to show patterns throughout the year. c. Relate the length of the day and night to the change in seasons (for example: Days are longer than the nights in summer.) S2E3. Students will observe and record changes in their surroundings and infer the causes of the changes. a. Recognize effects that occur in a specific area caused by weather, plants, animals, and/or people. S2P1. Students will identify sources of energy and how the energy is used. a. Identify sources of light energy, heat energy, and energy of motion. b. Describe how light, heat, and motion energy is used. December 17, 2007 Page 1 of 10
2 S2CS2. Students will have the computation and estimation skills necessary for analyzing data and following scientific explanations. a. Use whole numbers in ordering, counting, identifying, measuring, and describing things and experiences. b. Readily give the sums and difference of single-digit numbers in ordinary, practical contexts and judge the reasonableness of the answer. c. Give rough estimates of numerical answers to problems before doing them formally. d. Make quantitative estimates of familiar lengths, weights, and time intervals, and check them by measuring. S2CS3. Students will use tools and instruments for observing, measuring, and manipulating objects in scientific activities. a. Use ordinary hand tools and instruments to construct, measure, and look at objects. S2CS4. Students will use the ideas of system, model, change, and scale in exploring scientific and technological matters. c. Describe changes in the size, weight, color, or movement of things, and note which of their other qualities remain the same during a specific change. d. Compare very different sizes, weights, ages (baby/adult), and speeds (fast/slow) of both human made and natural things. S2CS5. Students will communicate scientific ideas and activities clearly. a. Describe and compare things in terms of number, shape, texture, size, weight, color, and motion. b. Draw pictures (grade level appropriate) that correctly portray features of the thing being described. c. Use simple pictographs and bar graphs to communicate data. S2CS6. Students will be familiar with the character of scientific knowledge and how it is achieved. Students will recognize that: a. When a science investigation is done the way it was done before, we expect to get a similar result. b. Science involves collecting data and testing hypotheses. c. Scientists often repeat experiments multiple times and subject their ideas to criticism by other scientists who may disagree with them and do further tests. d. All different kinds of people can be and are scientists. S2CS7. Students will understand important features of the process of scientific inquiry. Students will apply the following to inquiry learning practices: a. Scientists use a common language with precise definitions of terms to make it easier to communicate their observations to each other. b. In doing science, it is often helpful to work as a team. All team members should reach their own individual conclusions and share their understandings with other members of the team in order to develop a consensus. Much can be learned about plants and animals by observing them closely, but care must be taken to know the needs of living things and how to provide for them. Advantage can be taken of classroom pets. December 17, 2007 Page 2 of 10
3 ENDURING UNDERSTANDINGS All living things have a life cycle. Offspring are very much, but not exactly, like their parents and like one another. The offspring of some organisms look much like their parents when they are born and as they grow, other organisms go through a sequence of distinct stages in a process called metamorphosis. Some animals / plants are alike in the way they look, and in the things they do, and others are very different from one another. Almost all living things need water, food, and air. Plants can make their own food using air, water, materials in the soil, and light energy from the sun. Animals eat plants or other animals for food. Fungi use dead plants and animals for food. Seasonal changes occur and affect living things, the appearance of living things, and their surroundings. Living things are interdependent with their living and nonliving surroundings. ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS: What are the difference and similarities between plants, animals, and fungi? How does a living thing go through a life cycle? How are life cycles different between organisms? How does a plant develop from a small seed? How do seasons affect the life cycles of living things? How are changes in day/night length related to seasonal changes in plants and animals? December 17, 2007 Page 3 of 10
4 MISCONCEPTIONS Life Cycles Only some organisms, such as insects with complete metamorphosis, have a life cycle. Living/Non-living Plants, fungi, and coral that are stationary are not living Plants and Fungi are not living organisms. Plants Plants that shed their leaves are dead, but come to life again in spring Commercial seeds are manufactured. Roots obtain food for the plant from the soil Animals Only large land mammals are animals. Humans are not animals. Fungi/Microscopic life Organisms seen through a microscope are not living. PROPER CONCEPTIONS Life Cycles All organisms have life cycles that include being born, developing into adults, reproducing themselves, and dying. There are many kinds of life cycles. Living/Non-living A living organism is something that must have food, can grow, usually moves, and dies. A fungus is a living thing that obtains its food from dead plants and animals. Plants A plant is a living thing that can make its own food, grows, usually does not move, reproduces, and dies. Plants produce their own seeds. Animals An animal is a living thing that cannot make its own food, but gets it energy and nutrients by eating other organisms. Most animals can move from one place to another. Humans are animals. Fungi/Microscopic Live Microscopic organisms are living things December 17, 2007 Page 4 of 10
5 CONCEPTS KNOW AND DO LANGUAGE EVIDENCE Investigate plants, animals, and fungi Compare and contrast plants, animals, and fungi Investigate life cycles of living things Compare and contrast the life cycles of living things Investigate how plants, animals, and fungi change with changes in seasons. Relate changes in day/night length to seasonal changes in organisms. Identify, describe, and classify plants, animals, and fungi Identify, describe and measure sequential changes in the life cycle of living things. Describe how different animals move, e.g. walk, run, fly, swim, and crawl. Describe how plants, animals, and fungi change with seasons. Know light, gravity, touch, or environmental stress can affect the germination, growth, and development of plants. Know flowers, fruits, and seeds are associated with plant reproduction. Food, growth, reproduction Plants, animals, and fungi are composed of structures (e.g. limbs, arms, legs, head; stems, branches, roots, leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds; hyphae, spores) Stages in life cycles Seasonal changes Day/night length changes Students will measure, record, draw, and describe the life cycles of plants, animals, and a fungus in journals. Students will be able to compare and contrast the life cycles of plants, animals, and fungi. Students will be able to describe how life cycle stages correlate with seasons. December 17, 2007 Page 5 of 10
6 Culminating Activity By the conclusion of this unit, students should be able to demonstrate the following competencies: Culminating Activity: Student teams should construct an environment as a large poster showing the four seasons as a cycle. Within each season, students should include drawn and colored examples of the appropriate stages for the life cycles of plants, animals, and fungi that might be found in that environment. Each student should construct a What I Have Learned About book that accompanies the poster and includes written descriptions (e.g. expository, poems, and/or songs) and sketches for each organism s life cycle. The book should be constructed using the student s Research Journal notes on activities and experiments performed during the Life Cycle and Seasonal science units. GRASPS Goal: (a) Student teams will construct an environment that includes the four seasons as a poster. (b) Students will draw and color the stages of the life cycles and place them in the appropriate seasons (for example, resident adult animals would be found throughout the seasons, their young would be found in the spring and show growth during the remaining seasons, whereas migratory birds would appear in spring, have offspring in summer, and leave in fall), plants might be either perennial or annual and certain fungi might be on trees all year around, but others are seasonal) on the poster. (c) Each student should construct a What I Have Learned About book that accompanies the poster and includes written descriptions (e.g. expository, poems, and/or songs) and sketches for each organism s life cycle. (d) Students will be able to relate seasonal changes in an environment showing and describing the life cycles of organisms. Role: You will be a team of biologists at a natural history museum. Your task, as teams, is to take design a poster showing changes in seasons and the life cycles of plants, animals, and fungi found in an environment. And, each member of the team will use her/his science journal notes to make a book that accompanies the poster and includes written descriptions (e.g. expository, poems, and/or songs) and sketches for each organism s life cycle for museum visitors. Audience: Visitors to your museum. Scenario: Remember to record things you learn about life cycles, seasons, and environments in your Science Journals. Product: You will need to divide your class into teams. Using your science journal notes you should construct a team poster and a personal book for museum visitors to view, read, and learn. Invite visitors to your classroom/school for a tour of your classroom museum. December 17, 2007 Page 6 of 10
7 TASKS The collection of the following tasks represents the level of depth, rigor and complexity expected of all students to demonstrate evidence of learning. TASK 1- Animal Life Cycles Essential Question: How does an animal grow and change throughout a life cycle? Hook & Attention Getter: The ideal option for a lesson hook in this lesson would be to have a living animal present in the classroom. It could be a fish, butterfly, caterpillar, bird, etc. Another option would to be to have an egg or a chrysalis. If you have an adult animal, ask where it came from and how it has changed before now. If you have an egg, ask what it will become. This will help you initiate a classroom discussion about life cycles of animals. Description: Students should have the opportunity to observe firsthand the life cycle of an animal such as a butterfly, frog, or chicken. For the purposes of this task, the butterfly will be the focus. Obtain butterfly larva (caterpillars) one of three ways: 1) grow host plants and attract butterflies that will lay eggs; 2) order from a reputable science catalog; or 3) order from a nonprofit such as Monarch Watch Students should use hand lens to observe the butterfly s four stages of life. This series of observations will take place over several weeks throughout the unit of study. The students should determine the needs of the butterfly and provide an acceptable habitat. Allow students to take part in putting in the container everything the insect needs to survive. Resources: Be sure to feed caterpillars the leaf from their host plant. For example, a Monarch caterpillar only eats milkweed. It is not accurate that caterpillars will eat any leaf for each species it must come from a certain plant. Not using butterflies? In some rural areas, farmers with chicken houses will provide eggs to schools and take the chicks back after they hatch. High school science departments or agriculture programs may have incubators they will loan. Check for Understanding/Assessment: Students should record their observations in sketches and a descriptive journal entry each time they observe the caterpillar or butterfly. Check to see that the egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and adult butterfly are properly labeled. Look for journal entries to include the needs of the creatures at each stage, and the advantages/disadvantages of metamorphosis. TASK 2- Tree Observations Essential Question: How do the seasons affect trees and other plants? Hook & Attention Getter: If possible, have several woody tree buds available for your students to observe in the classroom. You should harvest these in the winter or early spring, and they may be kept in zip-lock bags if you wish to store them for the next school year. Distribute the buds to each student or small groups of students. Ask them to record as many observations as possible without telling them what the object is. They should record what they think it is and where they think it came from. After allowing about minutes for recording observations, hold a class discussion and reveal that these are buds from a tree, what kind of tree, and its location. (This will prepare them for making observations outdoors.) December 17, 2007 Page 7 of 10
8 Description: Students should have the opportunity to observe firsthand the life cycle of a tree in its natural location. Therefore you ll need to locate a suitable tree on the school grounds. Have the students choose a branch on a tree to observe in detail. They will record observations and sketch the branch during each of the four seasons. They should also sketch/observe the entire tree as growth may make it difficult to locate the exact same branch over a period of several months. If it is not possible to do this in the school yard, you may need to take digital pictures of a tree at your home or a nearby park. Students may also use digital cameras to record data about a tree in their yard or neighborhood. If your students keep a science journal for the school year, this would be an ideal place to record the observations. They should also sketch the tree at various times throughout the year. (Suggested times for this are August, November, February, and May. This will vary depending on your location. If you are in the far northern or southernmost part of the State, adjust as needed.) This needs to be a tree that is not an evergreen. The tree needs to shed its leaves in the fall and produce new leaves in the spring in order to make the impact needed on student learning. Resources: Journey North offers a Signs of Spring program with lesson plans and ideas. There are other related resources at this website as well. Check for Understanding/Assessment: Use recorded observations in science journals to check for understanding. Are students making the connections regarding the change of seasons and the differences in the tree? Do their notes and observations include advantages and disadvantages of the responses of the tree to the seasons? TASK 3- Growing a Seed Essential Question: How does a plant develop from a small seed? Hook & Attention Getter: Place some seeds in a brown paper bag. Do not tell students what is in the bag. Ask each student to put their hand inside the bag and feel what is inside. If possible, have enough seeds to make it two or three inches deep. Ask students to write down three adjectives to describe what is inside the bag. Then ask them to record if they believe that the objects in the bag are living or dead. After students have recorded their observations, have a class discussion. Students should share answers before you reveal the contents of the bag. Description: Students should grow a plant from a seed and keep a journal record of its progress, including both sketches and descriptive sentences. This is a simple task, but necessary for student learning. You may have students plant seeds in containers indoors or in a designated place outdoors. It may be helpful to plant both indoors and outdoors in order to compare and contrast the progress as they related to the growing conditions. Resources: The National Gardening Association offers a variety of resources at Teachers may also wish to read aloud from science trade books such as Ten Seeds by Ruth Brown or The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle. Check for Understanding/Assessment: Teachers may wish to conference with students one on one allowing them to describe the growth as they show their plant and journal to the teacher. December 17, 2007 Page 8 of 10
9 Teacher Information and Resources Children s Literature Books Arnold, Katya. (1997). Katya s book of mushrooms Fleisher, Paul. (1999). Salt marsh Giesecke, Ernestine. (1999). Outside my window: Mammals Goldin, Augusta. (1999). Ducks don t get wet Hickman, P. & Collins, H. (1999). A new duck: My first look at the life cycle of a bird Ling, Mary. (1992). See how they grow: Butterfly National Geographic Society. (1995). Creepy crawly creatures Rockwell, Anne. (2001). Growing like me Rockwell, Anne. (2001). Bugs are insects Sill, Cathryn. (1997). About mammals: A guide for children Stewart, M. (2004). A parade of plants Investigate science Walker, Sally. (2001). Fireflies Watts, Barrie. (1987). Dandelion. (Also available in the series: Apple tree, Bird s nest, Bean and plant, Butterfly and caterpillar, Chicken and egg, Hamster, Ladybug, Mushroom, Snail, Spider s web, Tadpole and frog.) Websites: Monarch Watch Journey North National Gardening Association Environmental Education Alliance Georgia Wildlife Federation Atlanta Botanical Garden: Fernbank Museum of Natural History: Georgia Aquarium: Georgia Museum of Natural History: Georgia State Symbols: Nature Games: Okefenokee National Wildlife Reserve: The Audubon Society: The Entomology Society of America: December 17, 2007 Page 9 of 10
10 The State Botanical Garden of Georgia: Zoo Atlanta: National Wildlife Federation All About Frogs Monarch Lab December 17, 2007 Page 10 of 10
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