Description of Major Classroom Activities
Varied activities, especially those that are inquiry-based, prepare students to learn and help them to retain what knowledge they uncover during the experience. These are activities that took place in a classroom setting. Please refer to the Learning Objective and Unit Map Diagram to see how and when these activities fit into the themed unit.
Create a Creature
Students will understand the concepts of adaptation and evolution
pictures (e.g. from magazines) of a variety of plants and animals, cut into pieces that emphasize specific adaptations (leaf shapes, protective coloration, wing shapes, etc.) and the worksheet with instructions and questions to answer
In previous classroom discussions, students have identified what they as humans need to survive and how humans in different environments meet these needs. Students then discussed how other organisms, which are less able to change their environment to suit their needs, have specific adaptations to meet their life requirements. In particular, how do organisms get their specific six Big Basics (water, food, shelter, mates, survival of young, and avoidance of predators)? Students will apply this knowledge to design an organism adapted to an environment assigned at random. The creature must have at least five unique adaptations that allow it to live in its biome, plus it must share the basic body plan of other animals in its classified order. Students will explain the evolutionary basis for each adaptation. They will also determine the creature's habitat, range, and position in the food chain, and address how it gets its six Big Basics. They will prepare a written description and picture of their invention that will be displayed in the classroom.
Things to be done in the classroom that relate to the field activity
This classroom activity precedes the field site visit and will help students to better understand some of the concepts emphasized during the field visit. Students also prepared for their field trip by dividing into their topical groups.
How are you going to know that you met your objectives and that the students learned what you wanted them to learn?
Involvement in discussions, quality/comprehensiveness of their creative assignment, and student application of the concepts of adaptation in the context of their field investigations will demonstrate their understanding.