Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.
In this lesson, students discover that the environmental conditions of a place determine the types of plants and animals that live there. In Part I, students watch video clips of some of the earth's more extreme biomes. They identify the challenges that exist in each environment (in terms of temperature, rainfall, soil quality, salinity, food supply, and predators) and some of the features (body structures or behaviors) of the native animals and plants that help the organisms overcome these challenges.
In Part II, students use an interactive Web activity to learn more about the earth's biomes and the animals that are adapted to living there. Students create "Feature Creature Guides" that profile one animal and its environment. Space is provided for students to draw a picture of the creature, attach a map showing where in the world the creature lives, and include a joke or poem about the creature. The last page of the guide gives students an opportunity to explain their interest in exploring a particular part of the world.
Organisms can survive only in environments that meet their needs. The earth has many different environments, or biomes, and each has unique environmental conditions. These conditions, which include temperature, rainfall, soil quality, salinity, pH, and predators, present challenges to the living things born into that environment. Organisms have evolved features (structures and behaviors) that allow them to tackle the challenges of the environment they live in. Changes in an organism's environment may result in death, migration, or survival of a few well-adapted individuals in the population.
1. Ask students:
Tell students that in the Tropics, monkeys run around in people's backyards the way squirrels run around in the backyards of North America! Ask:
Explain to students that they will have the chance to explore different environments and collect information about different animals, so that they can answer this question: Why are creatures featured only in certain environments?
2. Distribute copies of the handout titled Handout: Why Are Creatures Featured In Only Certain Environments? (PDF). Then divide the class into five small groups. Assign each group one of the following videos to watch: Arctic Tundra; Desert Biome; Amazon Rainforest; Deep Sea Vents and Life's Origins; and Teri and Jairus: Biome Buddies. Note that Teri and Jairus video discusses two biomes (desert and rain forest). Have kids in this group pick one biome to answer questions about on the handout.
3. While students watch the clips, have them record on the handout their answers to the following questions:
4. Discuss the findings of the exploration as a class. Make a list of challenges presented by the different environments. Ask each group to name a plant or animal shown in their video and a feature that enables the organism to overcome one of the challenges in its environment.
5. Next, show students the collection of Animal Coverings images. Ask them to describe each covering and explain how it might help the animal meet the challenges in its environment.
6. Many animals have evolved disguises and other body features that protect them from predators in their environment. Show students the Masters of Disguise video and the Animal Defenses video. Discuss how these strategies enable the animals to thrive in their environment.
7. For homework ask students to write a response to the following questions:
8. Ask students the following questions:
Have students spend a few minutes reflecting on their answers.
9. Instruct students to go online to research animals that live in different parts of the world.
10. Pass out copies of the Handout: Feature Creature Guide (PDF) handout and the World Map (PDF). Explain to students that they will use the information they found to highlight their animal's habitat, environmental challenges it must overcome, favorite foods, and special features (adaptations). The cover of the guide will include a drawing of the creature, the scientific name, and a funny nickname they make up for their creature (for example, Web-footed Willie). Space is also provided for students to attach a map showing where in the world their creature lives, and to include a poem or a joke about their animal. The last page of the guide gives students a chance to describe why they are interested in studying that part of the world.