Animal Diversity -- Out Teach
Background for Teachers
The key is for students to begin connecting observations to plausible explanations for their thoughts; to be able to differentiate between the likelihood of rabbit living in the garden from a lion.
Before the Lesson/Set-up
In some cases, it may be helpful to expand the students' search to a more wooded area, but this will need extra precautions, such as, setting boundaries and poison ivy search.
How do animals survive in and around the outdoor classroom?
Ask:Did you know an adult elephant can eat up to 600 pounds of food each day? Add additional context for students to get excited. Ensure they understand how much food that really is.
Inform students that they will explore the area in this lesson thinking about what kinds of animals live nearby. Ask them to look for clues and to think about the kinds of things those animals would need to survive.
Let students work in pairs exploring the area. Have them list the animals they think might live nearby.
Then have them add notes explaining why they think those animals live there.
Ask:Do you notice any area that might be a shelter for an animal
• What do you think that animal might eat?
• Have you ever seen that animal in a garden or near your school?
Gather students and ask them to share what they found.
Begin to sort through their findings asking questions about specific observations or reasons they believe a certain type of animal may be nearby.
Clear up any unreasonable theories and stress that it is part of the scientific process to rule out certain possibilities.
Have students work independently to choose one animal that was discussed, sketch it in the garden with its food, shelter and anything else important for its survival.
Ask students to share their work and reinforce the use of plausible explanations for each example.
Students can choose an animal to research and present to their classmates.
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