Creature Connection

JRDAssist
Middle School and High School Teacher

The student will research three living creatures, write a short report for each, and discover the ecological connections between each.

Grade Level: 7 - 9th

Subject: Science

Length of Time: About 2-3 Hours

Objectives & Outcomes

The students will be able to research three creatures, report findings about each one, and identify and effectively communicate the ecological connections between each one using drawings, pictures, or other types of displays.

Materials Needed

  • Internet access or other resources
  • Colored pencils
  • Markers
  • Poster board

Prepare ahead of time:  Example display of three creatures (animals, insects, birds, etc.) showing connections between them.  (Example:  bird, dog, spider- show connection between dog maybe trying to eat bird, bird & dog protective layer, spider and bird eats insects, etc.  Similarities may be included.)  Prepare a list of creatures, three for each student in the class.

Procedure

Opening to Lesson

  • Ask students how a human, fish and bear are connected in life, or use another prepared example
  • Accept all logical responses
  • Discuss and explain how all living creatures are connected in one way or another, etc.
  • Ask for a few other facts about each

Body of Lesson

Modeling

  • Distribute the three creatures each student will research on their own
  • Encourage students to do research from the perspective of the other two creatures, as well, think about how each of them are connected

Guided Practice

  • The students will use the Internet or other resource to write a report about each assigned creature. (Length determined by teacher.)
  • Information gathered is to include various behaviors, interesting facts, how they communicate, eating habits, typical size, and much more
  • Remind students to seek connections among the assigned creatures during their research
  • Once completed with the research, have students discover a method to effectively communicate the connections (charts, drawings, pictures, etc.)
  • Distribute the supplies (poster board, colored pencils, markers, etc.)
  • Students will prepare the display board (or computer graphic) to clearly show the connections between each creature
  • The students will display their final assignment to the rest of the class, presenting the information found.

 Independent Practice

  • Teacher will prepare a large list of animals and the students will try to pair the creatures using just one similarity by identifying a connection.

Closing

Ask students again about how all creatures are connected, but also ask how plants may be connected to animals, or trees, or other living things.

Assessment & Evaluation

Teacher-created or commercial worksheet with multiple choice/matching questions related to student’s research information.

Modification & Differentiation

Students may work in pairs/threes.  Have each student research one animal and then meet with another to identify connections, and continue throughout the class finding connections.  Use two animals or four.  Have students present 1st person reports or speeches talking as a different animal and how they can be connected, in a skit if students work in twos or threes.  Use pieces of yarn on a display board showing connections.

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