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

 

Science/Strand III
Content Standard 4
All students will explain how scientists construct and scientifically test theories concerning the origin of life and evolution of species; compare ways that living organisms are adapted (suited) to survive and reproduce in their environments; and analyze how species change through time. (Evolution)

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 4
Elementary

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 4/Elementary
Benchmark 2
Explain how physical and behavioral characteristics of organisms help them to survive in their environments.

Benchmark Clarification

Organisms have physical and behavioral characteristics (adaptations) that help them survive. Different parts and/or behaviors of an organism help it survive in its living area (environment).

Students will:

  • Explain the physical adaptation of owls — they have talons to catch small animals
  • Explain the behavioral adaptation of bears — they learn to forage in state parks or dumps
  • Explain the instinct adaptation of salmon — they swim upstream to mate
  • Explain the physical adaptation of plants — they grow toward a light source

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

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 4/Elementary/Benchmark 2
Key Concept
Words describing characteristics:

  • adaptation
  • instinct
  • learning
  • habit

Words describing traits and their adaptive values:

  • sharp teeth or claws for catching and killing prey
  • color for camouflage
  • behaviors

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 4/Elementary/Benchmark 2
Real World Context
Common vertebrate adaptations:

  • white polar bears
  • sharp claws and sharp canines for predators
  • changing colors of chameleon

Behaviors:

  • migration
  • communication of danger

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 4/Elementary/Benchmark 2
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: In what ways are living things adapted (suited) to survive in their environments?

Focus Question: How does an animal’s camouflage affect its survival?

Divide the class into small groups. Using four different colors of construction paper, prepare a set of 12 fish of each color (48 fish in all) for each group. One set of twelve fish must be the same blue as the blue paper “water” habitat. Create “water” habitat by cutting a pond shape from a piece of large blue paper and placing it on the floor. In turn, each child in the group will use one hand to pick up (“catch”) as many fish as possible, one fish at a time, in 10 seconds. All results will be charted. Compile total class data. Through class discussion of the data, respond to the focus question.

Fish shape example:

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).

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1.E.1).

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 4/Elementary/Benchmark 2
Assessment Example

Each student will invent an animal and design an environment (2D or 3D) that will support the invented animal. Students will develop and explain three physical adaptations and one behavioral adaptation that the animal uses to survive in the environment. Each student will then present the model in class with a two-minute presentation.

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Design of environment

Designs (with teacher support) an environment that partially camouflages the animal.

Designs (with teacher support) an environment that camouflages the animal.

Designs (without teacher support) an environment that camouflages the animal.

Designs (without teacher support) an environment that camouflages the animal in more than one way.

Design of physical adaptations

Designs one or two physical adaptations.

Designs three physical adaptations.

Designs and explains three physical adaptations.

Designs and explains more than three physical adaptations.

Explanation of behavioral adaptations

Explains a behavioral adaptation.

Develops a behavioral adaptation.

Develops and explains one behavioral adaptation.

Compares behavioral adaptation to real animals.

Effectiveness of oral presentation

Gives an oral presentation with teacher support.

Gives a two-minute oral presentation with organized information and teacher support.

Gives a two-minute oral presentation with organized information.

Gives a two-minute oral presentation with eye contact, appropriate volume, good posture, and organized information.

 

Science/Strand III/Content Standard 4/Elementary/Benchmark 2
Resources

Webliography.
http://mtn.merit.edu/mcf/SCI.III.4.E.2.html

All About Series. Scholastic.

Critters. “Table Manners,” “Hide and Seek,” “Gone Fishing.” AIMS.
http://wwws.aimsedu.org/aimscatalog/default.tpl

Endangered Series. Crabtree.
Hide & Seek Series
. Childrens Press.
How & Why Series
. CTP.