ALEX Lesson Plan


Nocturnal Animals Lesson #1: Introduction to Nocturnal Animals

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Michelle White
System: Madison County
School: Monrovia Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 6859


Nocturnal Animals Lesson #1: Introduction to Nocturnal Animals


This lesson can be part of a two-week integrated thematic unit on nocturnal animals. During this lesson, students will be introduced to nocturnal animals. They will have an opportunity to navigate web sites to learn more about nocturnal animals. The students will also use the writing process to share what they learn about their favorite nocturnal animal.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
English Language Arts
ELA2021 (2021)
Grade: 1
4. Present information orally using complete sentences and appropriate volume.

a. Orally describe people, places, things, and events, expressing ideas with relevant details.
Unpacked Content
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Present
  • Complete sentences
  • Appropriate volume
  • Describe
  • Express ideas
  • Relevant details
4. Students know:
  • How to orally present information using appropriate communication skills.
  • How to orally present relevant details to express descriptions of people, places, things, or events.
4. Students are able to:
  • Speak in complete sentences and use appropriate volume to present information orally.
  • Clearly describe people, places, things, and events.
  • Use relevant details in descriptions.
  • Express ideas clearly.
4. Students understand that:
  • To communicate clearly, a speaker should use complete sentences and a voice volume that can be heard by the audience.
  • Relevant details and clearly expressed ideas enhances oral descriptions of people, places, things, and events.
English Language Arts
ELA2021 (2021)
Grade: 1
17. Use content knowledge built during read-alouds of informational and literary texts by participating in content-specific discussions with peers and/or through drawing and writing.
Unpacked Content
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Content knowledge
  • Read-alouds
  • Informational text
  • Literary text
  • Participating
  • Content-specific discussions
  • Peers
  • Drawing
  • Writing
17. Students know:
  • Content knowledge can be learned from read-alouds of informational and literary texts.
  • Content knowledge can be shared with others through discussions, drawing, or writing.
17. Students are able to:
  • Gain new content knowledge by engaging in read-alouds of informational and literary texts.
  • Participate in discussions with their peers demonstrating their knowledge of content-specific topics.
  • Produce drawings or writing that displays content knowledge learned through read-alouds.
17. Students understand that:
  • They can learn new information by engaging in read-alouds of informational and literary texts.
  • They can demonstrate their understanding of content-specific knowledge through discussions, drawing, or writing.

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will be able to define nocturnal. Students will list different nocturnal animals. Students will describe tapetum. Students will write about and illustrate one animal that is a creature of the night. Students will create a chart to represent the number of legs that each nocturnal animal has.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

91 to 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

nocturnal animals poster, Nocturnal Animals Chart (one for each student), markers/crayons, overhead projector with pen, writing process poster, Where Are the Night Animals? by Mary Ann Fraser

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with Internet access


1.)Show the students a picture or poster of nocturnal animals. Explain that nocturnal animals are active while the students are sleeping. Tell the students that this unit will cover owls, bats, spiders, frogs, and skunks.

2.)Have the students name some nocturnal animals. List these animals on the board. Discuss any facts the students know about the animals (including the number of legs each animal has). Have the students help complete a chart that shows the number of legs each animal has. Let the students write five different animal names at the bottom of the chart. Have the students color a box for each of the animals legs.

3.)Have the students go on an animal hunt using the Internet. Have them look for nocturnal animals that have the same number of legs as the animals on their charts.
( Nocturnal Animals)
This website provides different links to nocturnal animals. The students will find out new information and look at different pictures.

4.)Discuss with the students that most nocturnal animals have special eyes that reflect light to help them see. The pupils of a nocturnal animal eyes get larger to let in more light in darkness. Behind each eye is a shiny surface called a tapetum (tah-pee-tum). The tapetum reflects light like a mirror back into the eye. The yellow eye shine is what we see when light catches the eye of a nocturnal animal.

5.)Divide the students into pairs. Turn off the light and let the students' eyes adjust to the dark (about 1 min.). Allow the students take turns looking at their pupils when the lights come back on. Turn the lights back on and ask the students to tell how their vision was different with the lights off.

6.)Explain to the students that because the pupil is the part of the eye receiving light, it will open wide when there is not much light so that it can receive as much light as possible in order to see. Have the students explain this process to check for understanding.

7.)Read the book, Creatures of the Night by Mary Ann Fraser. Discuss any new information about nocturnal animals with the students.

8.)Discuss the writing process with the students. Show them a chart listing the steps of the writing process. Choose one animal to write about in order to demonstrate the writing process with the students. Use an overhead projector so all the students can see as the teacher writes.

9.)Ask the students to choose one nocturnal animal to write about and illustrate. Have the students describe what nocturnal means before they begin writing. This process may take two days to complete. Monitor each student during this process. Have the students turn in the final copy for a grade.

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Assessment Strategies

The teacher should use the attached rubric to grade the students' writing.





View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.