ALEX Lesson Plan

     

Imaginary Species Biome Activity

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Lora Haghighi
System: Homewood City
School: Edgewood Elementary School
The event this resource created for:NASA
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 34264

Title:

Imaginary Species Biome Activity

Overview/Annotation:

This lesson is meant to be used as a culminating project after students have learned about different biomes. Students will start out by separating different plants into their respective biomes based on their characteristics. Then students will create a species that is adapted to survive in an assigned biome.  

This lesson was created as part of the 2016 NASA STEM Standards of Practice Project, a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 3
11 ) Construct an argument from evidence to explain the likelihood of an organism's ability to survive when compared to the resources in a certain habitat (e.g., freshwater organisms survive well, less well, or not at all in saltwater; desert organisms survive well, less well, or not at all in woodlands).

a. Construct explanations that forming groups helps some organisms survive.

b. Create models that illustrate how organisms and their habitats make up a system in which the parts depend on each other.

c. Categorize resources in various habitats as basic materials (e.g., sunlight, air, freshwater, soil), produced materials (e.g., food, fuel, shelter), or as nonmaterial (e.g., safety, instinct, nature-learned behaviors).

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Engaging in Argument from Evidence; Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions; Developing and Using Models; Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect; Systems and System Models; Structure and Function
Disciplinary Core Idea: Unity and Diversity
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Make a claim to be supported with evidence that in a particular habitat, some organisms can survive well, some can survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • Describe the given evidence necessary to support the claim that in a particular habitat, some organisms can survive well, some can survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • Evaluate the evidence to determine whether it is relevant to and supports the claim that in a particular habitat, some organisms can survive well, some can survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • Use reasoning to construct an argument, connecting the relevant and appropriate evidence to the claim, including describing that any particular environment meets different organisms' needs to different degrees due to the characteristics of that environment and the needs of the organisms (including the cause-and-effect relationship).
  • Describe the evidence necessary to support the explanation that forming groups helps some organisms survive.
  • Create models to describe and illustrate how organisms and their habitats make up a system in which the parts depend on each other.
  • Categorize resources in various habitats based on evidence from constructed arguments, explanations, and models.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Construct
  • Argument
  • Evidence
  • Likelihood
  • Organism
  • Survive
  • Resources
  • Habitat
  • Explanations
  • Groups
  • Populations
  • Communities
  • Niche
  • Illustrate
  • Models
  • System
  • Depend (on each other)
  • Categorize
  • Basic needs (examples: sunlight, air, fresh water, & soil)
  • Produced materials (examples: food, fuel, shelter)
  • Nonmaterial (examples: safety, instinct, nature-learned behaviors)
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all in a certain habitat.
  • If an environment fully meets the needs of an organism, that organism can survive well within that environment.
  • If an environment partially meets the needs of an organism, that organism can survive less well (lower survival rate, increased sickliness, shorter lifespan) than organisms whose needs are met within that environment.
  • If an environment does not meet the needs of that organism, that organism cannot survive within that environment.
  • Characteristics of a given environment (Examples: soft earth, trees, and shrubs, seasonal flowering plants).
  • Characteristics of a given organism (plants with long, sharp, leaves; rabbit coloration) .
  • Needs of a given organism (shelter from predators, food, water).
  • Characteristics of organisms that might affect survival.
  • How and what features of the habitat meet or do not meet the needs of each of the organisms.
  • Being a part of a group helps animals obtain food, defend themselves, and cope with changes.
  • Members of groups may serve different functions and different groups may vary dramatically in size.
  • Habitats and organisms make up a system in which the parts depend upon each other.
  • Resources and can categorize them as basic materials, produced materials or nonmaterials as resources in various habitats.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Make a claim supported by evidence about an organism's likelihood of survival in a given habitat.
  • Use reasoning to construct an argument.
  • Evaluate and connect relevant and appropriate evidence to support a claim.
  • Construct explanations that forming groups helps some organisms survive.
  • Articulate a statement describing evidence necessary to support the explanation that forming groups helps some organisms survive.
  • Create a model that illustrates how organisms and habitats make up a system in which the parts depend on each other.
  • Describe relationships between components of the model.
  • Categorize resources in various habitats as basic materials, produced material, or nonmaterial.
  • Organize data from the categorization to reveal patterns that suggest relationships.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified and used to explain change.
  • Evidence suggests a causal relationship within the system between the characteristics of a habitat and the survival of organisms within it.
  • The cause and effect relationship between being part of a group and being more successful in obtaining food, defending themselves, and coping with change.
  • That the relationship between organisms and their habitats is a system of related parts that make up a whole in which the individual parts depend on each other.
  • Resources in various habitats have different structures that are related to their function.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Heredity and Diversity

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
L4.1: Organisms need food, water, and air; a way to dispose of waste; and an environment in which they can live.*

NAEP Statement::
L4.2: Organisms have basic needs. Animals require air, water, and a source of energy and building material for growth and repair. Plants also require light.

NAEP Statement::
L4.3: Organisms interact and are interdependent in various ways, including providing food and shelter to one another. Organisms can survive only in environments in which their needs are met. Some interactions are beneficial; others are detrimental to the organism and other organisms.

NAEP Statement::
L8.7: The number of organisms and populations an ecosystem can support depends on the biotic resources available and abiotic factors, such as quantity of light and water, range of temperatures, and soil composition.



Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.3.11- Match common plants and animals with their best environment for growth and survival.


Local/National Standards:

 

Primary Learning Objective(s):

The students will apply their knowledge of biomes to argue why an imaginary species could survive in a specific biome based on the resources present in that biome.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

  • An electronic device, (individually or in groups of 2-4) 
  • Website/Activity: "To Plant or Not to Plant"
  • Imaginary Species Planning Guide (Handout)
  • White paper (to draw a diagram of their species)
  • Crayons, colored pencils, and/or markers
  • Rubric

Technology Resources Needed:

  • An electronic device, (individually or in groups of 2-4; if devices are not available to students this can be done whole group using a digital projector) 
  • Website/Activity: "To Plant or Not to Plant"

Background/Preparation:

Students should already have a solid foundation on biomes- their climate, including average precipitation, examples of other plant and animal species that thrive, and a general idea of where they are found in the world. 

  Procedures/Activities: 

Opening Activity: (Approx. 15 minutes)

Begin this lesson by having students visit the NASA Earth Observatory website activity, "To Plant or Not to Plant?" This activity can be completed individually or in groups of 2-4. (If individual devices are not available, the teacher can lead this activity as a discussion.) 

Bill Botanist is the character in this activity and he needs help planting specimens in the appropriate biome. When students click on, "Enter Mission," (with a shovel icon), they will be taken to a new page where they can click on each plant, read the description, and select the appropriate biome. Students will receive immediate feedback on their answer choice. 

Groups that finish early can click on "Great Graph Match" on the top right of the page, to review biomes' average temperature and precipitation.

Final Project: (Approx. 30-45 minutes)

Once it appears that most groups have finished, you will explain the project. You can either assign a biome to each group or allow your students to choose. 

Once biomes have been chosen/assigned, students will need the "Imaginary Species Planning Guide," which is merely a tool to guide their thinking. (Their species can be either a plant or an animal.)

After they have planned out the various characteristics of their species, demonstrating that they have a clear knowledge of what traits would be necessary to thrive in their assigned biome, students will illustrate a member of their species. Their illustration should clearly show each of the characteristics listed on their planning guide. These characteristics should also be labeled. 

Once time is up, have one person from each group share their species and describe the various characteristics. The attached rubric can be used by the teacher to grade all of the necessary components. 



Attachments:
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  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

This activity in itself is an assessment, so a rubric is provided to assure that students have included all aspects required in this project. 

Acceleration:

 

Intervention:

Students who need extra support should be placed in groups with teammates sensitive to the needs of that student.

 

The teacher may need to more closely supervise groups that contain students who are struggling with the concept.


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.