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My Sci > Teacher ideas > Unit plan > Earthworms (lower primary)
Part 1: Learning outcomes plan
Main idea:
 Earthworms are living animals
adapted for life in the soil.
Science strand:
Level: 1-2
Living World: Life processes
 Recognise that all living things have certain requirements so they can Year: 2-4
stay alive.
 Recognise that living things are suited to their particular habitat.
Teacher: Angela Schipper
 Recognise that living things can be grouped in different ways.
Overarching learning outcomes:
In building understandings about earthworms, students will integrate:
 understanding what makes an earthworm a living animal (scientific knowledge)
 an investigation into the characteristics of living things and characteristics of an animal (scientific practice)
 extending their experiences and personal explanations of the natural world (nature of science).
Conceptual learning outcomes Procedural learning outcomes Nature of science outcomes
Technical learning outcomes
Students will understand that:
Students will be able to:
Students will understand and
Students will be able to:
 scientists group or classify living  identify some of the
appreciate that:
 use interactives from the Science
things
characteristics of living things,
 scientists group or classify
Learning Hub to explore and
 earthworms are living, and all
with reference to earthworms
organisms to identify them and
discuss the characteristics of
living things share certain life
 identify some of the
to see what species they are
living things and the
processes
characteristics of animals, with
most closely related to
characteristics of animals
 earthworms are animals, and
reference to earthworms
 scientists have specialist
 use hand lenses, cameras or
animals share four key
 observe earthworms (either living vocabulary to help them
other devices to observe
characteristics
specimens or in video clips) and
communicate effectively.
earthworm movement and
 earthworms have common
identify and discuss differences
physical characteristics.
characteristics and adaptations
between the species.
that suit their life in the soil
ecosystem
 earthworms’ characteristics vary
depending on where they live in
the soil ecosystem.
Management/materials:
 Resources:
 Equipment for the student activities Living or non-living? and Observing earthworms
Assessment:
 Level 1: Complete and print the graphic organisers for Living or not? and Animal or not? in the activity Living or non-living?
 Level 2: Complete and print the activity Wormface – social networking for earthworms
© Copyright 2012. University of Waikato. All rights reserved.
www.sciencelearn.org.nz
1
My Sci > Teacher ideas > Unit plan > Earthworms (lower primary)
Part 2: Lesson plan
Main idea: Scientists group or classify living things. The broadest groupings are living and non-living.
Subtasks
Resources/focal artefacts
Planned interactions
Meso tasks
Micro tasks
Day 1
1.1 Group image  Image cards from Earthworms
 Prior to working with students,
Introduce the
cards into
Living or non-living – one set for
familiarise yourself with the
concept of
categories of
each group or pair of students
article Characteristics of living
grouping or
students’
(www.sciencelearn.org.nz/Sciencethings and some common
classification.
choosing.
Stories/Earthworms/Living-or-nonstudent alternative conceptions
living)
in this area. (See the Useful
Use this skill to
Teacher reference:
link at the bottom of the article
group things into
 Earthworms > Characteristics of
for URL.)
living and nonliving things
 In pairs or small groups,
living.
(www.sciencelearn.org.nz/Sciencestudents organise the images
Stories/Earthworms/Characteristics
into categories of their own
-of-living-things)
choosing. There are no right or
wrong answers but they must
be able to justify why they’ve
grouped them in this manner.
 Discuss groupings. Follow up
any ideas about living/nonliving.
1.2 Use the Living  Earthworms > Living or non-living  Complete the activity. (Only
or not? graphic
graphic organiser Living or not?
use the Living or not? graphic
organiser.
www.sciencelearn.org.nz/Scienceorganiser. Save the Animal or
Stories/Earthworms/Living-or-nonnot? for later use.)
living
1.3 Students do a  Artefacts from around the
 Groups of students gather a
‘live’ version of
classroom or outside
number of artefacts from
the graphic
 Camera or other recording device
around the classroom or
organiser.
 Small pieces of paper for each
playground to play a ‘live’
group to make ‘living’ and ‘nonversion of this activity with
living’ labels
their peers.
 They can photograph their
groupings for display or for
assessment purposes.
© Copyright 2012. University of Waikato. All rights reserved.
www.sciencelearn.org.nz
Key student outcomes
 Students will begin to
recognise that things share
common characteristics and we
can group them according to
these characteristics.
 Students begin to describe the
characteristics of living things.
 Students begin to classify
things as living or non-living
based on these characteristics.
 Students use their knowledge
of the characteristics of living
things to challenge their
classmates’ understanding of
these characteristics.
2
My Sci > Teacher ideas > Unit plan > Earthworms (lower primary)
Main idea: Earthworms are animals and share common characteristics with other animals.
Subtasks
Resources/focal artefacts
Planned interactions
Meso tasks
Micro tasks
Day 2
2.1 Circle of
 Seat students in a circle. Going
Introduce the
animals game.
clockwise, each student gives
concept of animal
the name of an animal. If an
or not.
animal name is repeated or
the student cannot think of
one, the student is out and
says ‘beep’ next time it is their
turn. (Alternatively, the
student can sit out.) End the
game when appropriate.
2.2 The common Teacher reference
 Discuss types of animals
characteristics of  Earthworms > Characteristics of
mentioned in the circle of
an animal.
living things
animals game. Discuss any
(www.sciencelearn.org.nz/Sciencecommon characteristics.
Stories/Earthworms/Characteristics-  If students did not use fish,
of-living-things)
insects or humans as
examples, discuss
characteristics they share with
animals from the game.
 Choose one or more key
characteristics of animals as
listed in the article. Discuss
these with the class, asking
them to give examples i.e.
spiders, dolphins and humans
are able to move freely and
get their energy by eating
other animals or plants.
2.3 Using the
 Earthworms > Living or nonliving
 Complete the activity using the
Animal or not?
(www.sciencelearn.org.nz/ScienceAnimal or not? graphic
graphic organiser. Stories/Earthworms/Living-or-nonorganiser.
living)
© Copyright 2012. University of Waikato. All rights reserved.
www.sciencelearn.org.nz
Key student outcomes
 Students’ conceptions of types
of animals become more widely
known to the teacher.
 Students begin to describe the
characteristics of animals.
 Students begin to classify
things as animal or not.
3
My Sci > Teacher ideas > Unit plan > Earthworms (lower primary)
Main idea: Earthworms are living animals.
Subtasks
Resources/focal artefacts
Meso tasks
Micro tasks
Day 3
3.1 Watch the
 Earthworms > Sci Media > Video
Exploring
video clip Physical
Physical adaptations for life
earthworms as
adaptations for
underground
living animals.
life underground.
(www.sciencelearn.org.nz/ScienceStories/Earthworms/SciMedia/Video/Physical-adaptationsfor-life-underground)
 IWB or data projector
3.2 Use the
 Earthworms > Sci Media >
interactive
Interactive Earthworms: inside and
Earthworms:
out
inside and out.
(www.sciencelearn.org.nz/ScienceStories/Earthworms/SciMedia/Interactive/Earthwormsinside-and-out)
 IWB or data projector
3.3 Observe
earthworm
movement and
anatomy.
Key student outcomes
 Review the characteristics of
living things and animals.
 Watch the video clip, asking
students to watch and listen
for evidence that earthworms
are alive and are animals.
 Students use their knowledge
of animal characteristics to
identify that earthworms are
animals. The video shows
movement, sensitivity, growth
and reproduction.
 Introduce this section by
discussing special vocabulary
associated with a sport or art.
Explain that scientists also use
special vocabulary to help
them communicate accurately.
 Read through the interactive
with the students. The
language is sophisticated so
take time to discuss the
various body parts and how
they tie into the characteristics
of living things.
 With younger students,
concentrate on the outside of
the earthworm’s body.
 Earthworms > Observing
Prior to working with students,
Earthworms
read through the activity and
(www.sciencelearn.org.nz/Science- determine which portion of the
Stories/Earthworms/Observingactivity is appropriate for your
earthworms)
students. For younger students,
 Earthworms (refer to the activity
simply observing earthworm
for hints on finding, housing and
movement is sufficient. If
handling earthworms)
possible, record the observations
 Paper towels or newsprint
via photos or video for future
© Copyright 2012. University of Waikato. All rights reserved.
www.sciencelearn.org.nz
Planned interactions
 Students learn that scientists
have special vocabulary.
 Students begin to use some of
this vocabulary.
 Students begin to identify
some of the physical
characteristics of earthworms
and see how these help to
determine that earthworms are
both alive and animals.
 Students begin to use accurate
vocabulary associated with
earthworms.
 Students observe and identify
some of the characteristics that
demonstrate that earthworms
are alive and are animals.
4
My Sci > Teacher ideas > Unit plan > Earthworms (lower primary)
 Shallow tray of water
 Plastic tongs (optional)
 Hand lenses or other observational
or recording devices
Note: If earthworms are not
available, use all three video clips to
observe movement and anatomy.
© Copyright 2012. University of Waikato. All rights reserved.
www.sciencelearn.org.nz
discussions, assessment or
publication.
 In small groups, students
observe earthworm anatomy
and movement.
 Encourage students to use
some of the vocabulary from
the interactive.
5
My Sci > Teacher ideas > Unit plan > Earthworms (lower primary)
Main idea: Earthworms share similar characteristics but there are also differences.
Subtasks
Resources/focal artefacts
Planned interactions
Meso tasks
Micro tasks
Day 4
4.1 Although
 Earthworms > Sci Media > Videos  Prior to watching the video,
Earthworm
earthworms have
> Not all the same
remind students that scientists
species differ in
much in common, (www.sciencelearn.org.nz/Science- use special vocabulary and
size, colour and
there are many
Stories/Earthworms/Sciintroduce any words you think
where they live
differences.
Media/Video/Not-all-the-same)
the students will need help with.
within the soil
 IWB or data projector
Note that students do not need
ecosystem.
to know all of the terminology
for this video to be useful.
 Watch the video as a class.
 Highlight some of the differences
that may be difficult for the
students to visualise, for
example, ask students to draw
lines on the whiteboard to
represent the smallest and
largest NZ native earthworms –
1 cm and 1.3 m!
4.2 Many
 Earthworms > Common New
 View the PowerPoint to discover
different
Zealand earthworms
the differences amongst New
earthworms live
(www.sciencelearn.org.nz/Science- Zealand earthworms in size, skin
in New Zealand.
Stories/Earthworms/Commoncolour and the roles they play in
New-Zealand-earthworms)
the soil ecosystem.
 IWB or data projector
4.3 Earthworm
 Earthworms > Observing
 An extension idea within this
poetry.
Earthworms
activity describes how to write a
(www.sciencelearn.org.nz/Science- two-word poem. Discuss this
Stories/Earthworms/Observingtype of poetic writing with
earthworms)
students.
 Earthworms > Common New
 Using the photos and text from
Zealand earthworms
the PowerPoint as a resource,
(www.sciencelearn.org.nz/Science- students write two-word poems.
Stories/Earthworms/CommonChoose the appropriate level of
New-Zealand-earthworms)
difficulty. Younger students can
© Copyright 2012. University of Waikato. All rights reserved.
www.sciencelearn.org.nz
Key student outcomes
 Students will begin to notice
similarities and differences
between earthworms’ physical
characteristics.
 Students will have a simple
understanding of the different
roles earthworms have within
the soil ecosystem.
 Students will gain a deeper
understanding of earthworms’
similarities and differences and
their roles within the soil
ecosystem.
 Students begin to use scientific
vocabulary in their writing.
 Students view images and text
to find similarities and
differences between earthworm
species.
 Students record these
similarities and differences in a
creative manner.
6
My Sci > Teacher ideas > Unit plan > Earthworms (lower primary)
 Exercise books
 Access to computers
4.4 Wormface –
 Earthworms > Wormface – social
social networking
networking for earthworms
for earthworms.
(www.sciencelearn.org.nz/ScienceStories/Earthworms/Wormfacesocial-networking-for-earthworms)
 Computers, IWB, or laptops
 Printer
 Common New Zealand Earthworms
PowerPoint
(www.sciencelearn.org.nz/ScienceStories/Earthworms/CommonNew-Zealand-earthworms)
© Copyright 2012. University of Waikato. All rights reserved.
www.sciencelearn.org.nz
simply write two word poems.
Older students could be
encouraged to keep their poems
scientific or to include scientific
vocabulary where possible.
Wormface is designed to replicate
the creation of an online social
networking profile. Decide whether
this is appropriate for your
students.
 Complete a Wormface profile as
a class so students understand
the process and the vocabulary.
 Encourage students to use their
research skills to develop their
own profile.
Students work individually or in
groups to develop their own
profile. In doing so, they
demonstrate their level of
understanding about the physical
characteristics and the role their
chosen earthworms plays in the
soil ecosystem.
7
My Sci > Teacher ideas > Unit plan > Earthworms (lower primary)
Main idea: Ethical considerations of keeping earthworms (and all living things) in the classroom.
Subtasks
Resources/focal artefacts
Planned interactions
Key student outcomes
Meso tasks
Micro tasks
Day 5
5.1 What do living  Whiteboard or paper to record
 Discuss what the students need  Students identify survival
Explore our
things need to
ideas
in order to survive (food, water
needs for themselves.
responsibilities
survive?
shelter etc.)
when keeping
 What do they need to make their
living things in the
survival more comfortable?
classroom.
(warm house rather than a tent
or hut, a variety of food rather
than just bread and fruit)
5.2 Students
 Earthworms > Ethics of keeping  Prior to doing this activity in the  Students identify some of the
consider the
earthworms in the classroom
classroom, read through it and
survival needs for animals in
needs of animals.
(www.sciencelearn.org.nz/Science decide which portions are most
general and more specifically,
-Stories/Earthworms/Ethics-ofappropriate for your students.
earthworms.
keeping-earthworms-in-theFor example, younger students
classroom)
may simply work through the
 Copies of the student handout
first column of the student
Ethical considerations when
handout while older students
keeping earthworms in the
follow the activity as written.
classroom (use the handout as it  Work through the activity with
is or modify to suit your needs)
students.
 IWB or similar if working through
this as a whole class activity
© Copyright 2012. University of Waikato. All rights reserved.
www.sciencelearn.org.nz
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