The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a game-changer for science at the elementary level. They are performance standards – the students must “do science” in order to show attainment. Because they need to be worked into the very busy day in an elementary classroom, it is imperative the science standards be integrated with reading and writing workshops and not treated as a separate subject. The Science Clubhouse Workshop series does just that. As a matter of fact, this lesson is also included as a part of a larger, 10 lesson compilation sold here on TPT. Search for: Science Clubhouse Workshop 1st Grade Compilation (All 10 lessons together).
Nature’s Engineers is a lesson designed to meet two of the NGSS science performance standards for first grade. This lesson integrates science, reading, and writing standards. It is a lesson about how humans have used nature to inspire them to solve human problems.
1. Establish a scenario that proposes human problems to be solved.
2. Write a proposal (informational writing) for developing something based on nature which solves one of those human problems.
3. Build models based on the proposals.
The standards covered here are really about biomimicry – “bio” means life and “mimicry” means imitation. Biomimicry is a way of thinking that encourages scientists, engineers, and first grade students to study nature and use its solutions to solve human problems.
The books used in this lesson, Nature Got There First: Inventions Inspired by Nature by Phil Gates, and Biomimicry: Inventions Inspired by Nature by Dora Lee are really reference books. They are both full of examples of biomimicry, but the reading level is around 3rd grade. Biomimicry books at the first grade level are difficult to find. These books give a host of examples of how humans found ideas for inventions from nature.
Keyterms: Edvance21, Gail Wortmann, CC, CCSS, Common Core, Writing, Reading, Science, Engineering, NGSS 1-LS1-1 & K-2-ETS1-1, Next Generation Science Standards 1-LS1-1 & K-2-ETS1-1