This project-based lesson is a perfect way to assess student knowledge in some basic areas of middle school science, specifically animal adaptations, habitats, and geologic time (eras). Students will be given the opportunity to choose their project type. They will also have a great deal of creative freedom making this an exciting and interactive learning project. This lesson is best used with students who have a basic understanding of the geologic time scale and animal adaptations. The final product can be used as an alternative to (or in conjunction with) a more formal unit assessment.
Perfect for use with the following Next Generation Science Standards:
MS-LS1-4 Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.
MS-LS1-5 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how environmental and genetic factors influence the growth of organisms.
* in-depth teaching instructions for managing this project learning assignment
*suggested research resources
*suggested introductory activities
*student-led activity with student project choices
*thorough 5-point rubric
*student handout for project assignment
Ideal time frame for the project is 1 week depending on your learning environment (1 day to go over assignment, 2-3 days for project completion, 1 or more days for presentation - alternatively the project could be assigned in class and completed at home).