Author:
Georgia Boatman, Washington OSPI OER Project, Kimberley Astle, Ellen Ebert, Barbara Soots
Subject:
Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Education, Elementary Education, English Language Arts, Reading Informational Text, Life Science, Biology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Lesson Plan, Module, Reading, Teaching/Learning Strategy
Level:
Upper Primary
Grade:
4
Tags:
Environment, Interdependence of Organisms, Sage Grouse, Sagebrush, Shrub Steppe, Structure and Function in Living Systems, wa-integrated, wa-math, wa-pd, wa-science
License:
Creative Commons Attribution
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Downloadable docs, Text/HTML, Video

Education Standards (8)

Grade 4 - Elementary Science and Integrated Subjects: Sage Grouse and Sagebrush, Threatened Partners

Grade 4 - Elementary Science and Integrated Subjects: Sage Grouse and Sagebrush,  Threatened Partners

Overview

Elementary Science and Integrated Subjects is a statewide Clime Time collaboration among ESD 123, ESD 105, and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Development of the resources is in response to a need for research- based science lessons for elementary teachers that are integrated with English language arts, mathematics and other subjects such as social studies. The template for Elementary Integration can serve as an organized, coherent and research-based roadmap for teachers in the development of their own NGSS aligned science lessons.  Lessons can also be useful for classrooms that have no adopted curriculum as well as to serve as enhancements for  current science curriculum. The EFSIS project brings together grade level teams of teachers to develop lessons or suites of lessons that are 1) focused on grade level Performance Expectations, and 2) leverage ELA and Mathematics Washington State Learning Standards.

Introduction: Standards, Phenomena, Big Ideas, and Routines

Elementary Science and Integrated Subjects resources are designed to be an example of how to develop a coherent lesson or suite of lessons that integrate other subjects such as English Language Arts, Mathematics and other subjects into science learning for students. The examples provide teachers with ways to think about all standards, identify an anchoring phenomena and plan for coherence in science and integrated subjects learning.

Washington Learning Standards

Fourth Grade Disciplinary Core Ideas include PS3, PS4, LS1, ESS1, ESS2, ESS3,

For LS1, students are expected to develop an understanding of:

  • plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction. understanding that organisms have different inherited traits,

The Crosscutting Concepts are called out as organizing concepts for these disciplinary core ideas.

Crosscutting Concepts:

  • systems and system models

Students are expected to use the practices to demonstrate understanding of the core ideas.

Science and Engineering Practices:

  • developing and using models
  •  engaging in argument from evidence

Performance Expectation(s)

Identify Climate Science related Performance Expectation(s) from Next Generation Science Standards that will be your focus. Copy and paste below all the possible disciplinary core ideas and performance expectations that relate to your topic.

4-LS1-1. Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.
Clarification Statement: Examples of structures could include thorns, stems, roots, colored petals, heart, stomach, lung, brain, and skin.
 Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to macroscopic structures within plant and animal systems

4-LS1-2. U Use a model to describe that animals receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways.
Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on systems of information transfer.
Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the mechanisms by which the brain stores and recalls information or the mechanisms of how sensory receptors function.

Science and Engineering Practices

Which SEPs will be a focus for investigating this topic/phenomenon?

Engaging in Argument from Evidence: Students would develop a model with evidence to argue about the structures of the sage grouse and sagebrush that support their growth, survival, behavior and reproduction and interdependence.

Develop a Model to explain the communication and information reception of sage grouse in their mating displays

Crosscutting Concepts

Which Crosscutting Concepts will be a focus for investigating this topic/phenomenon?

Systems and Systems Models: using models to explain the sagebrush/sage grouse system and to explore and explain the interdependency of organisms in the shrub steppe

English Language Arts (ELA) Standards

How will I Integrate ELA Standards (which standard, what strategy…?)

Reading Informational Text.4.3: Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific or technical text including what happened and why based on specific information in the text.

Reading Informational Text.4.7: Interpret information presented visually orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, timelines animations or interactive elements and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.

Writing.4.1: Write opinion piece on topics or texts supporting a point of view with reasons and information

  1. Introduce a topic or text clearly
  2. provide reasons that are supported by facts and details.
  3. link opinion and reasons using words and phrases
  4. provide a concluding statement related to the opinion

Speaking and Listening 4.1: Engage effectively in range of collaborative discussions (one on one, groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Students will write an argument to answer the question “Why are Sage Grouse populations in Washington declining?”

Mathematics and Social Studies Standards

How will I Integrate other Learning Standards?

Math Practices.4 Model with Mathematics: examine two different graphic models to glean information on sage grouse range percentages and acreage

Social Studies Standard SSS4.4.1: Draw clear, well-reasoned conclusions with explanations that are supported by print and non-print texts in a paper or presentation.

Social Studies Standard SSS4.4.3: Identify relevant evidence that draws information from multiple sources in response to compelling questions.

Social Studies Standard SSS2.4.1: Identify disciplinary concepts and ideas associated with a compelling question or supporting questions that are open to different interpretations.

Social Studies Standard SSS2.4.2: Identify the main ideas from a variety of print and non-print texts.

Social Studies Standard SSS1.4.1: Identify the concepts used in documents and sources. SSS1.4.2 Evaluate primary and secondary sources.

Using primary sources including sage grouse range maps, infographics and articles to identify evidence to develop an argument about whether sage grouse populations are dwindling in the West and Washington State in particular.

Phenomena

I was wondering about why people are so worried when sagebrush in our area is burned or sagebrush areas were dug up for building in our area. Is sagebrush important? I always thought it was just some sort of weed or something.

Then I saw this is an article in the Yakima Herald and it made me wonder, what is sagebrush important to and what is important for sagebrush.

Anchoring Phenomenon

Introduce the article, Habitat Loss Means Washington Sage Grouse in Trouble. Read up to the subtitle Losing Ground. (This is a higher Lexile score so may be best as a read aloud, read along or guided reading activity).

Lesson Phenomena

Big Ideas

  • Animals communicate/process information in unique ways
  • Plants and animals in the shrub steppe system are interdependent and the success of a species impacts other species
  • Plants have specific structures that support their survival, growth and reproduction

The sage grouse is a keystone species that can show us structure and function and ways of animals sending, receiving and responding to information. This animal also leads to thinking about the interdependence of species in a fragile shrub steppe ecosystem and to think about this system and how the components interact. The structures of various plants in the shrub steppe function to increase their ability to survive, grow and reproduce.  A look at sagebrush in particular, a necessary species for sage grouse can give insight into external structures and their function.

Lesson 1 (Day 1)

Are Sage Grouse at risk in Washington? (phenomena routine)

Materials

Preparation

  • Make a copy for each student of Resource 1: Habitat Loss Means Washington Sage Grouse in Trouble article in Yakima Herald 8-13-18 or find it online and project for the class
  • Make a copy of Resource 2: Photo of Male Sage Grouse Mating Display/Female Sage Grouse in Sagebrush Habitat for each student
  • Prepare a class t-chart of “Noticings and Wonderings” to record some of what students observe and question in a whole class discussion
  • Prepare a Driving Question Board/chart for posting student questions

Vocabulary

  • grim worrying
  • habitat-natural home of a plant or animal
  • flagship-important
  • fragmentation-broken into pieces
  • degradation-wearing down
  • shrub steppe-a shrub and brush, mostly treeless natural area
  • display-a performance, show

Integration Points

  • Look for integration points for English Language Arts and Mathematics within the procedures below. They will be noted in italics and dark blue.

Procedures

Procedure 1

  • Tell students that you recently read an article about sage grouse in the Yakima Herald.
  • Before reading the article, have students set up a clean notebook page with a “Noticings and Wonderings” t-chart. Stop at intervals in the article as needed to give them time to record on the t-chart.

 

Procedure 2

  • Read the Habitat Loss article, stopping at the subtitle Losing Ground. It is in a higher than fourth grade Lexile range so consider various strategies that might be useful in presenting the article such as:
    • Read to the class: as you display it online or with document camera
    • Read together: giving student a copy of the article and having them read along with teacher
    • Guided reading: having students read a paragraph with a partner or individually and then discussing the information in the paragraph and noting it on chart paper
  • Whatever strategy is used, students should circle or make notes of any vocabulary words that they are unsure of. Provide synonyms or brief definitions for those words as you go. RI4.3, SSS 2.4.1

Procedure 3

  • Tell students that we will look at some pictures of Sage Grouse so they can see the animal we are talking about.
  • Give each student a picture from Resource 1: Grouse Pictures to glue into their science notebook on a clean page.
  • Ask them to draw a line below their previous “Noticings and Wonderings” and add additional observations to the t-chart based on what they see in the pictures. Formative Assessment opportunity

Procedure 4

  • Ask students to share with a partner what they noticed and wondered from the article and the pictures.
  • Ask them to record questions that they have on sticky notes or strips of paper to be posted on a Driving Questions Board for the class.
  • Remind them that questions should be focused on the article, sage grouse and their habitat for this investigation.
  • They should record one question on each slip.

Procedure 5

  • Convene students in a scientist circle to have them share round robin style or by volunteers one question that they have. Every partner pair should share at least one question. Formative Assessment opportunity
  • Group questions by similar themes together.
  • Questions that we need to surface are those about the sage grouse: where it lives, what it eats, why does it look the way it does, how it mates
  • Questions that we need to surface about the habitat: what plants are there, how does the sage grouse use or need the plants and how do the plants benefit from the sage grouse.

Lesson 1 (Day 2)

Lesson 1 (Day 2): Are Sage Grouse at risk in Washington?

Phenomena Routine

Investigation Routine

Materials

Preparation

  • copy or project Resource 2 line graph to illustrate the decline in sage grouse population in Washington since 1982 for each student
  • copy or project Resource 3 sage grouse range map for each student

Vocabulary

  • range-area where they live or lived
  • population-number of animals

*Integration Points

  • Look for integration points for English Language Arts and Mathematics within the procedures below. They will be noted in italics and dark blue.

Procedures

Procedure 1

  • Have students find their next clean notebook page.
  • Pass out the line graph of the sage grouse population in Washington since 1982 and have students glue the line graph into their notebook
  • Have students work with their partner for a few minutes to look at what the line graph is showing.
  • This could also be done via projection if copying is not an option.

Procedure 2

  • Bring class back together, display a copy of the line graph for the class, and ask what they think the line graph is showing them. Guide the discussion by helping students track the points on the line graph back to the y axis which shows the number of sage grouse and to the x axis which shows the years for each population count.

Procedure 3

  • Be sure that students see the trend in population. Have them take a ruler and draw a light line from the 1982 point to the 2012 point to see a downward trend. Model this on the displayed line graph. Ask them what that trend line shows us.

*Procedure 4

  • Refer back to the first sentence in the subtitle Shrinking Population. “Washington state’s sage grouse population is 710 birds, according to preliminary estimates this spring. That’s up from 510 birds in 2017, by far the lowest ever recorded.”
  • Think about the population numbers for 2018 and 2017 and have students sketch in the data points on the right side of the existing line graph. Model this on the displayed line graph.
  • What do these data points show us in relation to the trend? Formative Assessment opportunity

Procedure 5

  • Hand out the sage grouse range map and explain that this is another way to think about the change in sage grouse populations. point out the map key for students to understand what the map is showing.
  • Ask partner pairs to look at the map and discuss what it shows them.
  • Ask them to discuss the questions: Does the map support the line graph data? Do they tell a similar story or a different one? RI4.7, SSS4.4.1, SSS 2.4.2, SSS1.4.2, MP4

Procedure 6

  • Convene students in a scientist circle to discuss what these two sources are telling them about the sage grouse population in Washington.
  • Ask if there are other questions that come to mind that we haven’t asked yet. Have them popcorn out one question that is new and record these for the group to add to the Driving Questions Board
  • Group questions by similar themes together.
  • A new question might be: Why has the number of sage grouse decreased?

Procedure 7

  • Direct students to their science notebooks and ask them to write a paragraph showing their thinking about the question, Are Sage Grouse at risk in Washington? from what they know so far. They should site evidence from the article, line graph and map. W4.1

Lesson 2

Lesson 2: What do Sage Grouse need to survive?

Investigation Routine

Materials

Preparation

  • Group driving questions into categories that might generally include behavior, appearance, what they eat, how they mate, what they look like.
  • Construct a class chart for observations
  • Copy enough Sage Grouse Facts Cards for each team’s members that will read the card
  • stage the videos: Resource 5 with sound, Resource 6 without sound
  • Copy sage grouse fact sheets for each student
  • Copy enough Sage Grouse Observation and Facts Recording Sheets

Vocabulary

  • lek-the open area among the sagebrush where sage grouse gather to display during mating

Integration Points

  • Look for integration points for English Language Arts and Mathematics within the procedures below. They will be noted in italics and dark blue.

Procedures

Procedure 1

  • Now that we have learned a little about sage grouse population risk let’s review the driving question board to see if there are questions that we need to focus on first.
  • Review your groupings of questions with students and have students talk with an elbow partner about what they think they need to know.
  • Pose a thought, if it doesn’t surface “I feel like I need to know about this sage grouse and just what its life is like. Does that seem like a plan?”

Procedure 2

  • As a phenomenon for this lesson tell students that you found a video of indigenous people and one of their stories about the sage grouse.
  • Show Video 1: Icon of the Sagebrush Sea-Legends of the Wasco and Paiute Tribes and play the sound for narration.
  • Give students a chance to share with partners what they observed as they watched the video

Procedure 3

  • Next show them the video of the male sage grouse mating display, Video 2 Cornell Lab of Ornithology Sage Grouse Male Display without sound is best (video is 3 minutes)
  • Have students discuss with partners how the actual sage grouse display compares and contrasts with the Icon of the Sagebrush Sea-Legends of the Wasco and Paiute Tribes video. RI 4.6

Procedure 4

  • Now have students record and discuss their observations of the sage grouse from the videos on the Resource 5 Observation Record Sheet

Procedure 5

  • Engage in a class discussion of observations that students made from the video and record them on a class chart of the Observation Record Sheet. Pose the questions, “why does the male sage grouse really do this display?” “Are the sage grouse, male and female communicating with each other?” “How is he communicating? How is she communicating 4.1

THIS IS A GOOD PLACE TO BREAK THE LESSON IF NECESSARY

Procedure 6

  • Place students in groups of four and hand each student in the group one of four different Sage Grouse Facts Cards. Cards are marked with Lexile ranges that can help with giving each student an appropriately leveled reading.
  • Pass out the Sage Grouse Facts Recording Sheet to every student (alternatively you could have one for the group of four).
  • Each student in the group of four should read their card and be ready to “teach” their group the information from their card.
  • Students should record what they learn from their group mates. RI 4.3. Formative assessment opportunity

Procedure 7

  • Bring the class together and have the students who read the Description card share facts they learned to the class. Repeat the procedure for the Where they Live card, the What they Eat card, and the Behavior card. Have students add to their recording sheet if new information is learned.

EXTENSION:

  • You may want students to use the Sage Grouse Facts Recording Sheet to write an explanatory text about the sage grouse. W 4.2

Lesson 3

Lesson 3: Important Shrub Steppe Plants

Investigation Routine

Putting Pieces Together Routine

Materials

  • Resource 6: Shrub Steppe Plant Cards
  • Resource 7: Plant Clues

Preparation

  • prepare copies of Resource 6: Shrub Steppe Plants Cards
  • prepare copies of Resource 7: Plant Clues

Vocabulary

  • Rhizomes-runners sent out from plants beneath the soil that will start a new plant above surface
  • Taproot-large root that goes deeper into the soil and doesn’t spread horizontally

Integration Points

  • Look for integration points for English Language Arts and Mathematics within the procedures below. They will be noted in italics and dark blue.

Procedures

Procedure 1

  • Give each student or small group of students a set of the four shrub steppe plants.
  • Tell them that these are some of the plants that the sage grouse is dependent on for food and shelter.
  • Then give the plant riddles to each student or small group of students.

Procedure 2

  • Ask students to read aloud the plant riddle and try to match the correct plant picture to the riddle. They should work together if they are in groups. RI 4.7. Formative Assessment opportunity

Lesson 4

Lesson 4: How are organisms in the Shrub Steppe connected to each other?

Materials

  • Resource 9: Shrub Steppe Species Cards Set 1 with descriptions.
  • Bag or envelope to store cards in
  • A handful of notecards or paper slips for students to draw arrows and label them with connections (they may need more so have plenty on hand)

Preparation

  • Copy and cut sets of shrub steppe cards for every group of 4 students
  • Separate out the sage grouse and sagebrush
  • Place the rest of cards in a bag or envelop

Vocabulary

  • Organisms-living things

Integration Points

  • Look for integration points for English Language Arts and Mathematics within the procedures below. They will be noted in italics and dark blue.

Procedures

Procedure 1

  • Have students work in teams of four.
  • Hand each group the sage grouse and sage brush cards from their set and ask what we already know about the relationship between these two organisms.
  • Listen as groups discuss this or have a whole class discussion.

Procedure 2

  • Give groups the rest of their shrub steppe cards (you may want to pick a subset of the cards if this is too large a number but be sure you have plants and animals and have chosen plants and animals that have a connection such as “ sage grouse nests under sagebrush…. eats sagebrush…. coyote eats sage grouse…etc.”
  • Give groups time to arrange and rearrange the cards in various models of the interaction between various organisms.

Procedure 3

  • After 10-15 minutes encourage students to draw directional arrows on paper slips and use them to indicate what eats or depends on another species for survival and put them between pictures.
  • Students should prepare to share their thinking with other groups.

Procedure 4

  • Give groups of students a chance to explain their thinking to a neighboring group and then listen to that group explain theirs.
  • Students should engage in a discussion of the differences in their thinking and what was alike. Formative Assessment opportunity

Attribution and License

Attribution

NGSS Lead States. 2013. Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press | Public License

Common Core State Standards © Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved | Public License

License

CC BY
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This resource was adapted from Sage Grouse and Sage Brush: Threatened Partners by ClimeTime and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Access the original work for free in the ClimeTime group on the OER Commons Washington Hub.

This resource was made possible by funding from the ClimeTime initiative, a state-led network for climate science learning that helps teachers and their students understand climate science issues affecting Washington communities.

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