Who's your animal parent?

Contributor
Michele Beitel
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
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

In this lesson, students explore similarities and differences between animal babies and their parents to answer the question: Do all animal babies look exactly like their parents? Students use observations from animal figurines and photo matching as evidence to explain that, like humans, baby animals look like, but are not exactly like, their parents.  

Intended Audience

Educator
Educational Level
  • Grade 1
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access with user action - The right to view and/or download material without financial barriers but users are required to register or experience some other low-barrier to use.

Performance Expectations

1-LS3-1 Make observations to construct an evidence-based account that young plants and animals are like, but not exactly like, their parents.

Clarification Statement: Examples of patterns could include features plants or animals share. Examples of observations could include leaves from the same kind of plant are the same shape but can differ in size; and, a particular breed of dog looks like its parents but is not exactly the same.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include inheritance or animals that undergo metamorphosis or hybrids.

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

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
To fully address this Performance Expectation, teachers may choose to extend this lesson to a following day. In this subsequent lesson, students could visit similar centers to observe similarities and differences between plant parents and their offspring. Students could then use this new information to develop a more complete picture of similarities and difference in the appearance of organism parents and offspring.

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
In this lesson, students make observations based on several sources, both firsthand and from texts such as books and photographs. They use this evidence to explain that animal offspring look like, but not exactly like, their parents.

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
To make this relationship explicit to students, teachers may elect to extend the picture sort to include varieties of photographs of the same kind of plant and animal. Students would then have the understanding necessary to discuss how plants and animals of the same kind share many similarities, but also vary in their appearance.

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

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
To help students develop a fuller understanding of this Disciplinary Core Idea, teachers will need to provide additional opportunities for students to explore this relationship in plants. Teachers may choose to extend this lesson to a second day to allow students to explore plant parents and offspring to gather evidence of this relationship in plants as well as animals.

Crosscutting Concepts

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

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
As students compare and contrast many different types of animal parents and offspring, they will notice a pattern in their observations: that animal offspring looks like, but not exactly like, their parents. To make this concept explicit, teachers may elect to ask students to share any patterns they observed in each animal pairing. This discussion will help students to generalize their findings by highlighting that the evidence from their investigation applies to all the animals observed. Additionally, this resource provides a teacher anchor chart that helps students to generalize similarities and differences, and look for patterns in nature.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This lesson provides students the opportunity to utilize patterns in evidence from their observations to explain that animal offspring look like, but not exactly like, their parents. The purpose and goals for learning are clear, and integrate at key points in the lesson with the Common Core Language Arts through the introduction of a variety of texts to explore the phenomenon. The use of photos and small group centers will engage students through discourse around an authentic lesson question. Additionally, the lesson can underscore the connection to real-world and career by including discussions of how this information can be applied to farming and medicine.

  • Instructional Supports: This lesson benefits from a variety of instructional supports for students to refine their ideas. In addition to multiple examples of textual supports, students engage with the phenomenon in a variety of ways: from photographs to physical models. There are also supports provided to students in using key vocabulary for comparing and contrasting.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: While many of the supports for monitoring student learning would benefit from further development, this lesson provides numerous opportunities to gather formative feedback on student progression of the core concepts of the lesson. Students have the chance to demonstrate understanding through journaling, anchor charts, and games. Students work in small groups, whole group, and with partners to complete these tasks.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: This lesson includes a link to a “FOSS Web Game” in the “Materials” section that is currently inactive.