Science
Strand III
Use Scientific Knowledge from the Life Sciences in Real-World Contexts

 

Science/Strand III
Content Standard 2
All students will use classification systems to describe groups of living things; compare and contrast differences in the life cycles of living things; investigate and explain how living things obtain and use energy; and analyze how parts of living things are adapted to carry out specific functions. (Organization of Living Things)

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 2
Elementary

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 2/Elementary
Benchmark 2
Compare and contrast (K-2) or classify (3-5) familiar organisms on the basis of observable physical characteristics.

Benchmark Clarification

Plants and animals may have similar and/or different features. Plants and/or animals may be put into groups based on similarities and differences.

K-2 groups will:

  • Compare and contrast plants (bean) and animals (dog)
  • Compare and contrast body coverings (feathers on a robin, scales on a trout)
  • Compare and contrast edible parts and non-edible parts (apple on a tree, leaves on the same tree)

3-5 groups will:

  • Compare and contrast flowering (tulip) and non-flowering (philodendron) plants
  • Compare and contrast vertebrates (snake) and invertebrates (worm)
  • Compare and contrast endoskeletons (human) and exoskeletons (lobster)

Key Concept / Real World Context / Instructional Example / Assessment Example / Resources

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 2/Elementary/Benchmark 2
Key Concept
Words describing plant or animal parts:

  • backbone
  • skin
  • shell
  • limbs
  • roots
  • leaves
  • stems
  • flowers
  • feathers
  • scales

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 2/Elementary/Benchmark 2
Real World Context
Animals that look similar:

  • snakes
  • worms
  • millipedes

Flowering and non-flowering plants:

  • pine tree
  • oak tree
  • rose
  • algae

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 2/Elementary/Benchmark 2
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: How are groups of living things classified?

Focus Question: How can observable characteristics help us classify animals?

Read a biography of Gregor Mendel to students and discuss his contributions to the classification of living things.

Divide students into groups of four. Provide each group with a container filled with approximately twenty different items. Ask each group to find a small, inconspicuous item in the container. Appoint one student in each group to be the “timer” and record how long it takes the group to find the item.

Challenge each group to divide the items in their container into three groups or categories. Groups then will explain the criteria they used to group the items. All of the items will then be returned to the container and the students will divide the items into four groups or categories, again providing their rationale. Repeat the process once more, this time challenging the groups to create five subdivisions.

With the items still sorted into five categories, ask each group to find another small, inconspicuous item and have the “timer” record how long it takes the group to find the item. Bring the whole class together and discuss the differences in the two times. (Reflect on how categorizing the items made it easier to find a specific item.)

As a class, use one of the team’s groupings and further subdivide. The class will then create a graphic organizer of the new groupings.

Constructing: (SCI.I.1.E.1), (SCI.I.1.E.2), (SCI.I.1.E.3), (SCI.I.1.E.5), (SCI.I.1.E.6).

 

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 2/Elementary/Benchmark 2
Assessment Example

Post the six animal characteristics (backbone, skin, shell, limbs, feathers, and scales) (See Key Concepts). Have students brainstorm a list of animals for each of the six categories. Students should then choose two of the categories. Challenge each student to consider the similarities and differences among the animals in the categories he or she has chosen and to create one more division for each category based on personal observation. Each student will then design a graphic organizer (See graphic organizer in resources) that begins with animals (Level I) and is

divided into two of the posted categories (Level II). From there, the student will divide each of the two chosen categories once more based on personal observation (Level III). The graphic organizer is then completed by adding the names of the animals from the original brainstormed list (Level IV).

(Give students rubric before activity.)

 

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Completeness of characteristics

Completes Level II by choosing two of the posted characteristics (Level III is omitted).

Completes Level II by choosing two of the posted characteristics; creates two sub-divisions for one of those characteristics (part of Level III).

Completes Level II by choosing two of the posted characteristics; creates two sub-divisions for two of those characteristics (all of Level III).

Completes Level II by choosing two of the posted characteristics; creates two or more sub-divisions for each of those characteristics (Level III).

Completeness of animals

Lists all of the animals from the brainstormed list that fit the characteristics (Level IV).

Lists all of the animals from the brainstormed list that fit the new divisions (Level IV).

Lists all of the animals from the brainstormed list that fit the new divisions (Level IV).

Lists all or more animals that fit the new division (Level IV).

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 2/Elementary/Benchmark 2
Resources

Webliography.
http://mtn.merit.edu/mcf/SCI.III.2.E.2.html

Amazing Series. Knopf.

Animal Close-Ups Series. Charlesbridge.

Animal picture sources: KidPix Studio Deluxe, clip art programs, nature magazines, posters, dichotomous keys.

Animals.
http://encarta.msn.com/index/conciseindex/2A/02A8A000.htm?z=1&pg=2&br=1

Backyard Series. Kingfisher.

“Bones or Not?” Sing the Science Standards (Songbook/CD).
http://scienceexplosion.indiegroup.com/

Creatures Features. AIMS.
http://wwws.aimsedu.org/aimscatalog/default.tpl

Graphic organizer software.
http://www.kidspiration.com/

It Could Still Be…Series. Children's Press.

Jackson, Ian. Very Mixed Up Animals. Millbrook Publishers, 1998.

Sorting All Sorts. AIMS.
http://wwws.aimsedu.org/aimscatalog/default.tpl