ALEX Classroom Resource


Animal Instinct

  Classroom Resource Information  


Animal Instinct


Content Source:

Type: Learning Activity


The teacher will present an informational text from the website, ReadWorks. Students will interact with this non-fiction text by annotating the text digitally. The students will answer the questions associated with the article as an assessment. This learning activity can introduce students to the concept of animals responding to information received through their senses, serve as reinforcement after students have already learned this concept, or be used as an assessment at the conclusion of a lesson. 

Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2015 (2015)
Grade: 4
10 ) Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text. [RI.4.1]

NAEP Framework
Anchor Standard::
Anchor Standard 1: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Cognitive Target::
  • Identify textually explicit information and make simple inference with and across texts, such as: definitions, facts, supporting details.
  • Make complex inferences within and across texts to describe problems and solution or cause and effect, determine unstated assumptions in and argument. Draw conclusions and provide supporting details.
  • Determine fact from opinion.
  • Identify textually explicit information within and across text, such as locating specific information in text or graphics. Make complex references within and across texts, such as draw conclusions and provide supporting information.

NAEP Descriptor::
Use examples from article to explain interpretation. (Integrate and Interpret)

NAEP Descriptor::
Recognize main questions answered by an article. (Integrate and Interpret)

NAEP Descriptor::
Interpret text details to select and provide one example. (Integrate and Interpret)

NAEP Descriptor::
Recognize explicitly stated information from an article. (Locate and Recall)

NAEP Descriptor::
Recognize explicitly stated information in an informational text. (Locate and Recall)

NAEP Descriptor::
Recognize cause explicitly stated in an informational text. (Locate and Recall)

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
ELA.AAS.4.10- Answer who, what, when, and where questions to demonstrate understanding of an informational text.

SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 4
11 ) Investigate different ways animals receive information through the senses, process that information, and respond to it in different ways (e.g., skunks lifting tails and spraying an odor when threatened, dogs moving ears when reacting to sound, snakes coiling or striking when sensing vibrations).

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
L4.4: When the environment changes, some plants and animals survive and reproduce; others die or move to new locations.

Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Planning and Carrying out Investigations
Crosscutting Concepts: Systems and System Models
Disciplinary Core Idea: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Investigate different ways animals receive information through the senses.
  • Investigate different ways animals process the information they receive and how they respond to it.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • investigate
  • evidence
  • transmit
  • perception
  • receptors
  • senses
  • sensory information
  • process
  • memories
Students know:
  • Different types of sense receptors detect specific types of information within the environment.
  • Sense receptors send information about the surroundings to the brain.
  • Information that is transmitted to the brain by sense receptors can be processed immediately as perceptions of the environment and/or stored as memories.
  • Immediate perceptions or memories processed by the brain influences an animal's actions or responses to features in the environment.
Students are able to:
  • Identify different ways animals receive, process, and respond to information.
  • Identify evidence of different ways animals receive, process, and respond to information to be investigated.
  • Plan ways to Investigate different ways animals receive, process, and respond to information.
  • Collect and communicate data of different ways animals receive, process, and respond to information.
Students understand that:
  • Sensory input, the brain, and behavioral output are all parts of a system that allows animals to engage in appropriate behaviors.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Animal Studies

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.4.11- Identify the sense organs and the information they receive (eyes/sight, tongue/taste, ears/hearing, skin/touch, nose/smell).

Tags: animals, authors purpose, informational text, instincts, responses, senses
License Type: Custom Permission Type
See Terms:
For full descriptions of license types and a guide to usage, visit :
AccessibilityAudio resources: includes a transcript or subtitles
Text Resources: Content is organized under headings and subheadings

ReadWorks is a website that provides K-12 teachers with free literacy resources (About ReadWorks). ReadWorks has literary and informational texts on a variety of subjects and reading skills. You may narrow your search using grade level or Lexile level, making this website a wonderful tool for differentiation. Students will complete their work digitally, and you will provide their score and feedback digitally. This makes it easy to go paperless for this activity.

Prior to implementing this activity, you will need to sign up for an Educator Account on ReadWorks. After setting up an account, create a class from the Class Admin tab, this will provide you with a Class Code to give to students. Next, use the Find Content tab to search for the informational article that will be used during this activity, "Animal Instinct." After navigating to the article, click on the blue Assign button to assign it to your class.

Each student will need access to a digital device, such as a tablet or laptop. The first time students enter the website they will need to enter the Class Code that is listed on your Class Admin page. Alternatively, you can print the article and corresponding questions for students, if digital devices are not available. 

  This resource provided by:  
Author: Hannah Bradley