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This is an NGSS-aligned problem-based learning activity for young scientists in grades 2, 3, or 4. Students, with the help of peers and their teacher, design an investigation in life science to answer the big question: What might scientists learn by tracing the life cycle of an organism? The activity helps students gain confidence with the PBL approach and provides opportunities for collaborative learning.
The activity contains 4 PDF files: reproducible student card, detailed teacher support document (9 pages), icon image, and document with supplemental PBL tips (4 pages).
1 -- Individual student cards guide students through the activities. Each card poses a big question that students use as a jumping off point to create their own questions to be tested in small, collaborative groups.
2 -- Complete teacher support document offers specific suggestions to help students to develop a test question, construct a test, draw conclusions, and show and share conclusions. Each teacher document relates the activity to relevant NGSS standards (DCIs, SEPs, and CCCs) and also suggests a connection to math and ELA standards.
3 -- The icon image may be projected or printed out to provide a visual starting point for the activity.
4 -- A supplemental document on using PBLs (Enriching the PBL Experience with EdTechLens Jump Card) is also included.
NEED LEARNING RESOURCES FOR THIS ACTIVITY? This PBL activity is coordinated with a unit named In Trees, In Water, On Lands - Animal Types are Everywhere, also available on this site.
Related unit for this activity: In Trees, In Water, On Land - Animal Types Everywhere
Physical student cards for multiple students are available; contact
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SECTIONS IN TEACHER SUPPORT DOCUMENT
-- Working with students to develop a big question
-- Resources to enrich prior knowledge
-- Helping students work through the details of how to develop a question they can test
-- Running the test (materials, timing, location, specifying observations, recording data, etc.)
-- Drawing conclusions
-- Encouraging students to present findings and show what they learned
-- Next Generation Science Standards met while completing the student investigation.
-- Connections to CC Mathematics and English Language Arts are also included.
Sections in Student Card
-- Big question
-- Ask a question you can test
-- Record results of your investigation
-- Test your question
-- Draw conclusions
-- Show what you learned
3-LS1-1 Students develop a model to describe the life cycle of a specific organism, and compare it with life cycles of other organisms.
3-LS4-2 Students use evidence to construct an explanation for how variations among individuals of the same species may prove advantageous.
3-LS4-4 Students make a claim about a solution to a problem related to the organisms in an environment.
SEP - Developing and Using Models; Scientific Knowledge is Based on Empirical Evidence
DCI - LS1.B Growth and Development of Organisms
CCC - Patterns; Stability and Change
Connect to Mathematics - MP4; 3NBT; 3NF
Connect to English Language Arts - RI.3.7; SL.3.5
MORE CONTENT LIKE THIS
-- This PBL is a component of the Rainforest Journey K-5 digital life science program produced by a team of educators and media producers. Learn more about us:
-- Lessons, units, and activities from this program are also available here. View our Contents List: Search this site for the Rainforest Journey Contents List.
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