This ready-to-go, two-four week science and research unit combines the love of animals with animal ethics! Students learn about ecosystems, adaptations, abiotic and biotic factors, habitats, inherited and learned traits, and experimental design.
Created for gifted 4th- 6th graders, this unit is supplemented by reading, writing, research, and debate from the CCSS. Animal survival is the theme: how their behavior fits their environment, how all factors in an ecosystem are related, and limiting factors in an ecosystem that affect animal survival. Tying all these issues together is the concept of Adaptation and Greed. Students will examine adaptations animals have to make based on human greed, adaptations humans make for animals, and evaluate the necessity of these adaptations.
This unit covers NGSS from 4th- 8th grade as well as CCSS for ELA/Literacy from 4th- 8th grade. It includes 10 lessons, each taking about two hours, for a total of 20 hours. Standards, pre/post assessments, lesson assessments, and rubrics are included.
The unit is supplemented by novels, picture books, websites, optional and virtual field trips, graphs, and a hands-on experiment. Students research, debate, create commercials, analyze different sources, and observe animal characteristics and adaptations. Novels include "The Omnivore's Dilemma: Young Readers Edition" by Michael Pollan, "How the Tiger Got its Stripes" by Rob Cleveland and "The Eagles are Back" by Jean Craighead George.
*Note: Each lesson plan includes the corresponding South Carolina 4th-6th grade science standards. Change standards to match your state as needed.