Animals and Their Environments II

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1 Animals and Their Environments II Grade Level: K, 2 Content Area: Life science Core Area: Exploring Organisms and Their Environments, Animals and Their Environments Lesson Overview: Students will compare and contrast attributes, adaptations, and habitat requirements of five groups of vertebrates: fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Students will create their own critter adapted to address specific environmental challenges. South Carolina Science Academic State Standards (2005) Standard K-2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the characteristics of organisms. Indicators K-2.1 Recognize what organisms need to stay alive (including air, water, food, and shelter). K-2.2 Identify examples of organisms and nonliving things. K-2.4 Compare individual examples of a particular type of plant or animal to determine that there are differences among individuals. Standard 2-2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the needs and characteristics of animals as they interact in their own distinct environments. Indicators 2-2.1Recall the basic needs of animals (including air, water, food, and shelter) for energy, growth, and protection Classify animals (including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and insects) according to their physical characteristics Explain how distinct environments throughout the world support the life of different types of animals Summarize the interdependence between animals and plants as sources of food and shelter. South Carolina Academic Standards and Performance Indicators for Science (2014) Standard K.L.2: The student will demonstrate an understanding of organisms found in the environment and how these organisms depend on the environment to meet those needs. K.L.2A. Conceptual Understanding: The environment consists of many types of organisms including plants, animals, and fungi. Organisms depend on the land, water, and air to live and grow. Plants need water and light to make their own food. Fungi and animals cannot make their own food and get energy from other sources. Animals (including humans) use different body parts to obtain food and other resources needed to grow and survive. Organisms live in areas where their needs for air, water, nutrients, and shelter are met. Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can: 1

2 K.L.2A.1 Obtain information to answer questions about different organisms found in the environment (such as plants, animals, or fungi). K.L.2A.3 Develop and use models to exemplify how animals use their body parts to (1) obtain food and other resources, (2) protect themselves, and (3) move from place to place. K.L.2A.5 Construct explanations from observations of what animals need to survive and grow (including air, water, nutrients, and shelter). K.L.2A.6 Obtain and communicate information about the needs of organisms to explain why they live in particular areas. Standard 2.L.5: The student will demonstrate an understanding of how the structures of animals help them survive and grow in their environments. 2.L.5A. Conceptual Understanding: There are many different groups of animals. One way to group animals is by using their physical characteristics. Animals have basic needs that provide for energy, growth, reproduction, and protection. Animals have predictable characteristics at different stages of development. Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can: 2.L.5A.1 Obtain and communicate information to classify animals (such as mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, or insects) based on their physical characteristics. 2.L.5A.2 Construct explanations for how structures (including structures for seeing, hearing, grasping, protection, locomotion, and obtaining and using resources) of different animals help them survive. 2.L.5B. Conceptual Understanding: Animals (including humans) require air, water, food, and shelter to survive in environments where these needs can be met. There are distinct environments in the world that support different types of animals. Environments can change slowly or quickly. Animals respond to these changes in different ways. Performance Indicators: Students who demonstrate this understanding can: 2.L.5B.1 Obtain and communicate information to describe and compare how animals interact with other animals and plants in the environment. 2.L.5B.2 Develop and use models to exemplify characteristics of animals that help them survive in distinct environments (such as salt and freshwater, deserts, forests, wetlands, or polar lands). 2

3 Exploring Animals and their Environments II 7 E s Activities Science and Engineering Processes Elicit Paired body Covering investigations Cross Cutting Concepts Engage Class backbone investigations Explore Present live animals Explain Review each of the 5 group of Vertebrates Elaborate Fantastic Beak Activity Evaluate Extend Compare adaptations of different gropus of animals. Instead of beaks, what do other animals have? Instead of feathers, what do other groups of animals have? How do you compare to a bird? How are you the same? How are you different. Create a Critter Activity Optional: Owl pellets 3

4 Materials: Animal Habitat Cards Art supplies such as crayons, markers, scissors, glue sticks Air-dry clay Permanent markers Cardstock Shoeboxes with a feather, snakeskin and piece of fur Whale vertebrae Cow backbone Femur bone Fox fur Coyote skull Deer skull Mammal bone Bird bone Stuffed great horned owl Pigeon skeleton Snapping turtle shell Snake skeleton Preserved fish Fantastic Beak supplies (see sheet) Live Animal Options: snake, gator, aquatic turtle, box turtle, snapping turtle, spotted salamander, southern toad, barred owl, tree frog, flying squirrel Optional: Owl pellets and owl pellet supplies (i.e. pellets, tweezers, probes, magnifiers, bone chart, petri dish) Procedures: Introduction Have shoeboxes with a bit of rabbit fur, a feather and snakeskin available to pairs of students. Allow students to use all senses, except taste, to compare and contrast these body coverings with each other and with their own. Tell students that we will now focus on the insides of these bodies, more specifically their backbone. Have a tree map on the board with Animals with Backbones and the 5 categories. May also have the questions you will ask them about each group written on the board. Tailor the discussion of backbones to the age you are dealing with: Discuss vertebrates versus invertebrates. 4

5 Show the femur bone. Is this a backbone? Have students stretch in every direction. Could you stretch like that if you had a one solid bone for a backbone? No. Show the cow backbone and ask the students what it is. Point out the individual bones (vertebrae) and bendable, flexible cartilage (have students mush the tip of their nose this is cartilage) that allows the movement. What are the primary functions of a backbone? o Support o Protection it surrounds and protects the nerve cord Show them the snake backbone. What is it that makes their backbone so much more flexible than ours? It has at least vertebrae in it! Show them the whale vertebrae and tell them to imagine an animal whose backbone is made of a string of these bones. It has to be VERY large! Take their guesses. Unique characteristics of each group o Mammals: covered with fur, mammary glands (they feed their babies milk), placenta, almost all with live birth, warm-blooded o Birds: covered with feathers, flight adaptations, feed their babies chewed up food, lay eggs with hard shells, warm-blooded, hollow bones o Reptiles: covered with scales, babies feed themselves for the most part, lay eggs with leathery shells, cold-blooded o Amphibians: covered with mucous (slimy skin), babies feed themselves, lay eggs in water and they have no shells, cold-blooded o Fishes: covered with scales, gills, no legs, lay eggs in water with no shells You can talk about what the real difference between warm- and cold-blooded is internallymaintained versus externally-maintained body temperatures. Warm-blooded animals have to eat constantly to maintain their temperatures, while cold-blooded animals can skip meals for a long time. Another fun thought question is to talk with them about all the different types of eggs and ask them why some have shells and some do not. Then have them try to figure out WHY it is because eggs laid on land need shells so they don t dry out. See the Animals Move students to the semi-circle area may need to have some of the students bring their chairs with them. You should leave 30 minutes for this portion of the program Information and tips for use of animals: o FISH Point out the gills of the fish. Have student look into the mouth of the bass and see the gills. Tell them about the function of gills. o AMPHIBIANS 5

6 Remind them that they have extremely delicate skin that is moist because they breathe through it! If you have any chemicals on your hands, they can be absorbed into the animals body and hurt it. Also, you must be careful when handling amphibians because they have no ribs and they are easy to squish if you are not careful. Note the way their mouths move as they breathe they need this to pump oxygen into their lungs! They also have circular disks behind their eyes that are their ears. The bumps behind the toad s eyes are its poison glands not enough poison to hurt you. Toads DON T give you warts, but viruses in the soil do. Frogs can jump high, while toad can t. Both push their eyes in when they swallow to help push food down their throats. o REPTILES Not only do they have scales, but also they also usually have claws and teeth (except turtles). They do have ribs, but also move their throats to get oxygen. Turtle shells can show the backbone is part of the upper shell, and the ribs make up the underside of the upper shell. Talk about how this means that turtles can t leave their shells to find a larger one! Turtle shells grow with their shells, and you can even see growth rings on each scale on the turtle shell. Scales are shed occasionally snake skins and the scales on turtle shells shed. o BIRDS Great Horned Owl to talk about bird bills (no teeth), scaly feet, feathery body; owl characteristics of sharp talons, and lop-sided ears. It can be gently pet. You can also talk about how owls eat their mice / rats and then have to spit up the bones and fur in an owl pellet (which you can show them). Pigeon skeleton to show them no teeth, and large breastbone called keel this is where large chest muscles for flight are attached. You can also compare feet to owl feet this is carnivore versus omnivore feature in birds! Mammal bone versus bird bone to show relative weight of same-sized bones. Use three students to show relative body to wing ration of birds, versus what it would need to be for HEAVY humans (our wings would have to be like 40 feet long each!). You can also discuss how light birds are even what would seem like a large bald eagle may only weigh 6 pounds. 6

7 Compare the barred owl to the screech owl, including size, eye-color, ear tufts and calls (Barred owls make the Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you all? sound and screech owls make a horse whinny sound.) o MAMMALS Bring around the flying squirrel and use her to talk about the appropriate ways to touch or not touch animals don t poke them, never put your hands by their faces, don t put your hands by your face after you have touched them! Why aren t mammals hot pink or orange? Discus the benefits of camouflage to both the hunted and the hunter. Skeletons can be used to compare eye placement of hunters (forward-facing) versus hunted (side-looking), or tooth characteristics of carnivores versus herbivores. Once you have shown them the male deer, you can test their thinking / observation skills by presenting the coyote skull and female deer skull and asking which is the female deer. They should be able to tell be the teeth and/or eyes. o Review the five groups of vertebrates and compare and contrast each group. Activities Fantastic Beaks o Use the handout to set up feeding stations and set up a variety of tools and bird foods. o Allow students to experiment with the tools and the foods to see which is most effectively paired. What type of bird might these tools and foods represent? Create a Critter o Have students create an ideal but made up animal that would be well adapted to a given habitat (see habitat cards). They can either draw it, make it out of clay or recycled and craft materials. o Students may also create its habitat. Habitats can be drawn on the page with the drawn critter, made into a diorama (Fold a piece of cardstock into fourths and cut one of the folds from end to the middle of the paper where it cross the other fold. Fold it to create a corner and glue the two quarters of the paper so it is standing) for its clay critter, or use a shoebox to create a habitat for the recycled/craft critter. o Have students present to the class. What type of animal is this? How is it well suited for this particular habitat? Optional: Owl Pellet activity (Online resource: 7

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