Mystery Mouths by Jacqueline Barber

Contributor
Jacqueline Barber Seeds of Science Roots of Reading
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Types
Informative Text
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

By reading this book, students will learn about the different shapes of mouths and their purpose in species survival. The text and engaging photos contain multiple opportunities for students to make inferences and connections to the adaptations of different species based on evidence.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Upper Elementary
Language
English
Access Restrictions

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

Performance Expectations

3-LS4-3 Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.

Clarification Statement: Examples of evidence could include needs and characteristics of the organisms and habitats involved. The organisms and their habitat make up a system in which the parts depend on each other.

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
Throughout the book, students are asked to provide evidence as to how each type of mouth is designed to enable the animal to survive in their habitat. The text builds upon information for a specific species of animal and how that can evidence can be transferred to another species to explain how it survives in their habitat. Differences between animal mouths is discussed as well as why they are different. The final set of photos asks students to apply what they learned in the text to infer what each of the mystery mouths eat.

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 are continually asked to predict how the structure of different mouths help them to survive in their habitats.

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
The book asks the reader to use evidence to support their ideas of what each mouth would be good for.

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
This book clearly addresses the concept of adaptation based on the comparisons between different structures of mouths and the different habitats that animals live in. The text also makes connections to other body structures that have been adapted to meet the animal’s needs within its habitat. This text would compliment the Animal Mouth Structures lesson from PBS LearningMedia, which has been reviewed and is located at https://ngss.nsta.org/Resource.aspx?ResourceID=397.

Crosscutting Concepts

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

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
The book highlights some of the substructures within the mouth, such as the teeth and the purpose that they serve. Other structures of the animal are also featured such as legs, tails, and tongues.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: As students read this book, they explore how the structure and function of an animal’s mouth parts reflect its adaptation to its environment. Students are asked to construct explanations using evidence from the words and pictures in the book.

  • Instructional Supports: The animals highlighted in the book are often familiar to students (wolf, horse, bird). It also makes connections to lesser-known animals who share similar features. The use of questioning engages students to incorporate their own ideas with the information presented. The text scaffolds learning from typical style mouths (sharp teeth and smaller heads) to more atypical styles (long skinny, tube-like tongues). The information is scientifically accurate and developmentally appropriate. Support was provided through the use of nonfiction text features such as photographs with captions, labeled diagrams, bold type vocabulary with a glossary included.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Despite this resource being a book, there is evidence of students being assessed in three-dimensional ways. Students are confronted with the phenomenon of the structure and function of mouths. Throughout the text, readers are asked questions that could elicit a verbal or written response to demonstrate understanding based on evidence from the book. The final page in the book could be used as a formative/summative assessment to determine understanding of core ideas. In addition to the text, there is a teacher’s guide located at the following link http://www.scienceandliteracy.org/sites/scienceandliteracy.org/files/strategyguides/Seeds_SG_VA_MysteryMouths.pdf

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: This resource does not include a technologically interactive component.