ALEX Lesson Plan

     

Animal Survival

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Stephanie Carver
System: Blount County
School: Hayden Elementary School
The event this resource created for:ASTA
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 34841

Title:

Animal Survival

Overview/Annotation:

This is an inquiry-based lesson that allows the students to investigate how an animal's color affects its chances of survival in its environment.  Students will explore evidence needed to explain the cause-and-effect relationship between an animal's coloring and its effect on the individual's ability to survive.

This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 3
10 ) Investigate how variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing (e.g., plants having larger thorns being less likely to be eaten by predators, animals having better camouflage coloration being more likely to survive and bear offspring).

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Planning and Carrying out Investigations
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Unity and Diversity
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Identify given characteristics of a species (e.g., thorns on a plant).
  • Describe the patterns of variation of a given characteristic among individuals in a species (e.g., longer or shorter thorns on an individual plant).
  • Describe potential benefits of a given variation of a characteristic.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Investigate
  • Evidence
  • Explanation
  • Variation
  • Characteristics
  • Individuals
  • Species (plants and animals)
  • Advantages
  • Surviving
  • Finding mates
  • Reproducing
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Patterns of variation of a given characteristic among individuals in a species (e.g., longer or shorter thorns on individual plants, dark or light coloration of animals).
  • Potential benefits of a given variation of the characteristic (e.g. the light coloration of some moths makes them difficult to see on the bark of a tree).
  • Certain variations in characteristics makes it harder or easier for an animal to survive, find mates, and reproduce (e.g., longer thorns prevent predators more effectively and increase the likelihood of survival; light coloration of some moths provides camouflage in certain environments, making it more likely that they will live long enough to be able to mate and reproduce).
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Collaboratively investigate the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species.
  • Describe evidence needed to explain the cause-and-effect relationship between a specific variation in a characteristic and its effect on the individual to survive, find mates, and reproduce.
  • Use reasoning to connect the evidence to support the explanation
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Cause and effect relationships exist between a specific variation in a characteristic (e.g., longer thorns, coloration of moths) and its effect on the ability of the individual organism to survive and reproduce (e.g., plants with longer thorns are less likely to be eaten, darker moths are less likely to be seen and eaten on dark trees).
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Heredity and Diversity

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

NAEP Statement::
L4.7: Different kinds of organisms have characteristics that enable them to survive in different environments. Individuals of the same kind differ in their characteristics, and sometimes the differences give individuals an advantage in surviving and reproducing.



Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.3.10- Sort common plants and animals by observable characteristics needed for survival.


Local/National Standards:

Scientific and Engineering Practices: Planning and Carrying out Investigations

Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Learning Targets:

I can explain how an animal's color will increase or decrease its chances of survival in its environment.  

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 
 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Per group:

  • 6 pieces of different colored construction paper--one color must be green
  • hole punch
  • paper or plastic cup
  • white cloth
  • stopwatch
  • patterned cloth
  • green cloth

Technology Resources Needed:

Background/Preparation:

 
  Procedures/Activities: 

Engage:

Think/Pair/Share:  How can an animal's color help it survive in its environment?  Allow the students to share their answers aloud and tell them that you will revisit that question at the end of the lesson.

Explore:  

Pass out the materials to the groups, and allow time for the following investigation:

  1. Use a hole punch to punch out 10 paper dots from each piece of construction paper.  Each dot stands for one animal.  Place the dots in the paper cup.
  2. Place the white cloth on your desk.  The cloth is a model habitat where the animals live.  Without letting your partner see, spread out the paper dots on the white cloth.
  3. Your partner will represent a predator.  When you say "go," your partner should begin removing as many of the dots from the cloth as possible.  He should pick up the dots one at a time.  Use the stopwatch to time your partner for 15 seconds.
  4. Count the total number of dots of each color that your partner collected.  Record the data in your science notebook using the chart below:
  5. Place all the dots on the white cloth again.  Do steps 3 and 4 two more times.

Dots Removed from the White Cloth

Trial

_____ dots

_____ dots

_____ dots

_____ dots

_____ dots

_____ dots

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Replace the white cloth with the patterned cloth.  Repeat steps 2-4 three times and record your data in the chart below:

Dots Removed from the Patterned Cloth

Trial

_____ dots

_____ dots

_____ dots

_____ dots

_____ dots

_____ dots

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Replace the patterned cloth with the green cloth.  Repeat steps 2-4 three times and record your data in the chart below:

Dots Removed from the Green Cloth

Trial

_____ dots

_____ dots

_____ dots

_____ dots

_____ dots

_____ dots

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explain

  1. Ask the students to compare the number of dots of each color picked up on the white cloth and on the other cloths.  Explain any differences.
  2. Use the results from this investigation to infer how blending in with its environment might help an animal survive.
  3. Show the pictures from this website: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/wacky-weekend/hidden-animals/#ww-camouflage-orchid-mantis.jpg.
  4. Ask the student to see if they can find the hidden animals.
  5. Allow the students to discuss how the animal's camouflage helps it survive in its environment.  
  6. Discuss how the green dots were camouflaged on the green cloth--much like the animals in the pictures.
  7. Use the following questions to guide a class discussion:
    • How did the animals benefit from being green when in the green environment?  
    • What about the other animals in the green environment--how did their color affect their ability to survive against the predator?
    • What would happen to an animal if it did not have the ability to blend in with its environment? 

Elaborate

Allow the students to repeat the investigation on a piece of black cloth.  Ask: “How might an animal’s color help it survive at night in the dark?

Evaluate

Ongoing teacher observation should be used as a formative assessment throughout the lesson and discussions.  


  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

Students will answer the following question in their science notebooks to ensure that the learning target has been met:

Explain how an animal's color can help it survive in its environment?

Acceleration:

Allow the students to research other characteristics of an animals that might help them survive in their environments.  Students should present their findings to the class.

Intervention:

It may be helpful to preview the vocabulary that will come up in the lesson. Providing the terms on cards would help them to visualize the word as they hear you say it during the lesson (survival, infer, coloration, environment, camouflage).


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.