Do Animals Work Together?

Faith Hickman Brynie
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Informative Text
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.



Students can read this nonfiction text to learn about different ways that animals groups help each other to survive. Each page of the book includes simple text (appropriate for lower level readers) and an info box with more complex text (appropriate for higher level readers). Featured animals include orangutans, hippos, lizards, frigate birds, tigers, polar bears, meerkats, dolphins, ants, wolves, gobie fish and shrimp, and honeybees.

Intended Audience

Educational Level
  • Grade 3
Access Restrictions

Available for purchase - The right to view, keep, and/or download material upon payment of a one-time fee.

Performance Expectations

3-LS2-1 Construct an argument that some animals form groups that help members survive.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this performance expectation, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Since this book provides many examples of animals that live in groups in order to help the members survive, it can be used to meet 3-LS2-1 by having students use the information they gather to construct arguments. In addition to reading this book, students can gather information about how animals in groups help each other to survive from videos and other books. They can do additional research on the animals featured in the book (and in other resources) and/or other animals that live in groups. Perhaps each student (or each group of students) might become experts on different types of animal groups. Then, they can share what they learned with others by creating a poster, digital presentation, mini-book, or oral presentation. The class can participate in a science talk focusing on the question: Why do some animals work together in groups? In this discussion, students can provide evidence from their reading/research to support their claims and a class chart can be created of all the different ways that animal groups are advantageous.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students can obtain information from this book and other books/videos, then summarize what they learned to explain how animals in groups help each other survive.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Before reading, the teacher could ask students to write down their ideas in response to the question: Why do you think some animals work together in groups? These responses could be made in their science notebooks, using a concept map, etc. After students gather information from the book (and perhaps other sources such as videos and books), they can identify specific animal groups that help animals obtain food, defend themselves and cope with changes. A class chart or table could be created. Students might discuss the pros/cons of being in a group, both for humans and animals. "Is being in a group always helpful to people/animals?" "Why or why not?" Other previously curated resources that might be helpful in this activity include: Bubble Net Fishing, Coming Ashore, Dolphins Trick Fish with Mud “Nets,” Battle at Kruger, What’s Inside the Termite Mound, and Musk Ox Save Calf from Wolves.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource was not designed to build towards this crosscutting concept, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
The teacher can introduce or review the concept of systems and show examples of how animal groups (such as bees) act like a system with individual parts (types of bees) performing individual functions.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This resource provides students with relevant phenomena that can be used to construct arguments about how animal groups help animals survive. Although the book does focus on the practice of obtaining information, it does not specifically address the practice of constructing explanations--the teacher will need to use the book (perhaps along with other resources) to guide students to construct explanations and share their ideas with others. The crosscutting concept of systems is also not explicitly mentioned.

  • Instructional Supports: The book provides students with relevant phenomena that is accurate and grade-appropriate. However, no differentiation supports are provided. The text is appropriate for lower level readers; info boxes provide more complex text for higher level readers. Students of different abilities could be paired, with the more able readers reading the info boxes to their partners.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: - none -

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -