The Purpose of Parts

Contributor
Christine Anne Royce
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Activity , Lesson/Lesson Plan
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

Reviews

Description

This resource is a 5-E biomimicry lesson based on the book "Feathers: Not Just for Flying" by Melissa Stewart.  In this lesson students consider how a human problem can be solved by mimicking a structure from the animal world that has a similar purpose.  Students then describe how they would adapt the animal part to solve the human problem.

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Grade 1
  • Kindergarten
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Available by subscription - The right to view and/or download material, often for a set period of time, by way of a financial agreement between rights holders and authorized users.

Performance Expectations

1-LS1-1 Use materials to design a solution to a human problem by mimicking how plants and/or animals use their external parts to help them survive, grow, and meet their needs.

Clarification Statement: Examples of human problems that can be solved by mimicking plant or animal solutions could include designing clothing or equipment to protect bicyclists by mimicking turtle shells, acorn shells, and animal scales; stabilizing structures by mimicking animal tails and roots on plants; keeping out intruders by mimicking thorns on branches and animal quills; and, detecting intruders by mimicking eyes and ears.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students will identify a human problem that can be resolved using a structure similar to an animal structure or part. For example, to protect a bicycle rider's head, a helmet can be worn that is similar in shape and design to a turtle's shell.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students can compare similar structures on different animals that are designed for the same thing (i.e., protection) and evaluate the pros and cons of each design. Students can discuss different adaptations in the human world that are similar to a structure in the animal world that serves a particular purpose.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students can use the internet or other media sources to find images of animal adaptations. Students can identify and describe how a solution to a human problem is similar to and different from an animal adaptation. After locating this image students can print it out or draw it in detail and describe what the structure does for the animal.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Students will consider how different feathers of birds are used for different purposes after listening to the story. Students will locate pictures of different animals using the internet and other media sources to identify a particular structure that an animal has for a particular function.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students can consider the purpose for different structures of various animals. Students can identify a human problem that can be resolved using a similar structure as an animal's structure. For example, to protect a bicycle rider, a bicycle helmet is worn that is similar in shape and design to a turtle's shell, also designed to serve the function of protection.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This resource addresses all three dimensions of science learning as defined by the NGSS for first grade by having students identify a human problem that can be resolved using a structure similar to an animal structure or part; using the internet and other resources to find images of animal adaptations; and exploring how external parts such as bird feathers are used for different purposes. The resource engages students in a meaningful problem that mimics authentic problems in the STEM world, for example, biomimicry. Students are motivated to figure out how to solve the problem using all three dimensions in the NGSS, and build on knowledge from their everyday lives in family and community.

  • Instructional Supports: This resource contains guiding questions throughout the lesson; a read aloud book to integrate literacy and helps build background knowledge for students. A student data sheet entitled "The Purpose of Parts" is also provided. The student data sheet can be accessed using the following link: http://www.nsta.org/elementaryschool/connections/201607TTTBK-2StudentDataSheet-ThePurposeOfParts.pdf.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: To monitor student progress, "The Purpose of Parts" student data sheet can be utilized. This sheet requires students to journal using the guided questions provided throughout the lesson, and/or completing a K-W-L chart.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: This resource does not provide any direct link or technology resources. It is suggested that students use the internet or other media sources to find images of animal adaptations. It would be more beneficial and time-saving if a specific link of resources were provided. To help students with their internet searches, kidsclick.org is a safe and kid-friendly search engine to use.