1. Explain to students that they will be using the alfalfa grass they planted and the fish habitat that was created as a whole group to observe how plants and animals provide for their needs by altering their environment.
2. Have students turn and talk to their turn and talk partner to discuss what plants and animals need to have to survive. Let students talk for a few minutes, then redirect students back to the teacher. Using equity sticks, pick different groups to share their partner's thoughts on what plants and animals need to survive.
3. Explain to students that they are going to use the information they know about what plants and animals need to survive to figure out what plants and animals do to change the environment
1. Ask students to think about what happens when they make footprints in mud, sand, etc. Let students explain their answers. Explain to students that when the footprints are made, that is an example of changing the environment.
2. Ask students to think about how animals and plants might change their environments. Have students again turn and talk with their partner about their answers to the question. Use equity sticks to allow students to discuss their answers with the whole group.
3. Divide the students into the groups of 4-6.
4. Give each student a piece of small white paper to use to record what they individually observe while looking at the grass and fish habitat.
5. Give each group a cup with alfalfa grass that is growing. Put the fish tank (habitat) in a central location, so the groups can be called one at a time to come and observe the tank.
6. Ask students to observe and write/draw what they notice about how the seeds/grass have changed the environment in the cup. While groups are working on this task, allow each group to come to the tank and write/draw what they notice about the tank.
7. After the groups have observed both the grass and fish tank, give each group a large piece of white construction paper and let them work together to write/draw what they observed.
1. As the groups finish, let the group members come and record their observations of how the grass and fish changed their environments to help each of them survive using the Chatterpix app.
2. After each group has recorded their Chatterpix, play each group's presentation for the class while instructing the students to listen for things that another student might mention that are the same as what they might have learned. Allow the groups to show their writings/drawings after watching the Chatterpix explanations. Hang the large white construction paper that the groups completed around the room so students can observe them throughout the rest of the plant and animal unit.
3. Lead a group discussion that reviews the observations of each group. Let students discuss things that the groups found in common, as well as different observations the groups had.
4. Tie the lesson back to the beginning question about how we leave footprints and explain that all living things change the environment in order to survive.