Kat and Squirrel Go Camping

Kathryn Gjerseth and Kristin Neperud Merz
Type Category
Instructional Materials Assessment Materials
Lesson/Lesson Plan , Sound , Activity , Experiment/Lab Activity , Assessment Item , Answer Key
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.


Average Rating

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Most Recent Review

1 Lesson is for sale

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This is an interactive story with pauses after each ‘chapter’ to allow students and teachers time to research topics, conduct experiments, do demonstrations, discuss vocabulary, record observations and conclusions , and even play a fun game. All materials needed for each of these are included in the unit.

All lessons are introduced by a continuing story about Kat and Squirrel’s goofy adventures while on a camping trip. The lessons are aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards for first grade. The timing will depend upon how long and how often you have science class, but would most likely take 2-3 weeks. This could also be integrated into the reading/language arts curriculum very easily with a few creative teacher additions.

Intended Audience

Educational Level
  • Grade 1
Access Restrictions

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

Performance Expectations

1-PS4-1 Plan and conduct investigations to provide evidence that vibrating materials can make sound and that sound can make materials vibrate.

Clarification Statement: Examples of vibrating materials that make sound could include tuning forks and plucking a stretched string. Examples of how sound can make matter vibrate could include holding a piece of paper near a speaker making sound and holding an object near a vibrating tuning fork.

Assessment Boundary: none

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

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
For portions of Performance Expectations not addressed, the authors include notes for ways teachers can extend the lessons to fully meet them.

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 addition to the text, student complete an experiment or activity to answer a question in the text, making the text even more meaningful.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

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

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
While the content is addressed through the story text, the lab activities are what truly get at the Core Idea. It is very important in this unit that the labs are completed.

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
The mini-unit does not explicitly state that the Crosscutting Concept is being addressed, but cause and effect examples set up through simple tests are the basis for all of the lab activities. Teachers could use this as a way for students to discuss various cause and effects seen in the labs. They could keep a chart during the unit to be filled in when a new cause/effect relationship is seen in one of their labs.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: This is a unique resources that combines a fun, fictional story with real-life situations to make the learning meaningful.

  • Instructional Supports: There are student materials included for every lesson in the unit which is very helpful. In addition, there are printouts for students and teachers to use, including photos, the stories and lab sheets.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: Monitoring student progress is implicit in this unit. In order to assess student understanding, the teacher would have to use each lab as an assessment of understanding. This would be stronger if there was a final performance task.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: There is not a media component to this unit.