Creating Animals that Disperse Seeds

BetterLesson Melissa Collins
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Lesson/Lesson Plan
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.



This lesson encourages students to use what they have learned about animals and seed dispersal to create an animal out of various materials that can hold and disperse a given amount of seed. 

Intended Audience

Educational Level
  • Early Elementary
  • Grade 2
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

2-LS2-2 Develop a simple model that mimics the function of an animal in dispersing seeds or pollinating plants.

Clarification Statement: none

Assessment Boundary: none

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

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
The lesson allows students to use the engineering process to develop and revise a model that can be used to represent how an animal disperses seeds.

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
Allow students to go through the entire process in the lesson plan in order to get the full benefit of the Practice.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

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

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Preview several examples of ways animals disperse seeds [through literature, video, or other media] before conducting this lesson in order to help students understand the scope (of diversity or variety) and importance of animals' structures functioning in this way.

Crosscutting Concepts

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

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students work with this Crosscutting Concept as they consider which materials to use for their animals in order to achieve the desired goal of dispersing seeds. Allow them to test and redesign their animals as needed and continue to stress the idea of structure and function throughout the lesson in order to help students relate their designs directly to the outcomes of the activity.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The Performance Expectation is directly tied to an engineering practice and students engage in the creation of a model through this lesson. In addition to information and links provided in the lesson the Disciplinary Core Idea should be built over time and experience with multiple media forms in order for students to have the background needed to develop their models.

  • Instructional Supports: All materials and handouts are included within this lesson and are easily downloaded and accessible. There is also a video link showing the teacher using question stems as a strategy with this lesson.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: The lesson includes lab sheets that are completed by the students. The teacher uses the lab sheets and checklist [completed by the students] and informal assessment [observation] of student presentations. Ideas for peer review and assessment are also included. Students have a checklist as a rubric for their designs and are given time to share their designs, receive and offer feedback, and improve on their designs before their final presentation.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: - none -