• Elementary Science Kindergarten Unit 3

    Subject: Science
    Grade: Kindergarten
    Timeline: 12 Weeks
    Unit Title: Organisms

    Unit Overview:
    In this unit, students engage in scientific inquiry.  This unit provides students with close and personal interaction with common land and water animals studied in pairs: fish, snails, earthworms, and isopods. Appropriate classroom habitats are established and students learn to care for the animals.  Students observe and care for one animal over time, and they are introduced to another animal similar to the first but with differences in structure and behavior. This process enhances opportunities for observation, communication, and comparison.

    Unit Objectives:
    Patterns in the natural world and human designed world can be observed and used as evidence. 

    Focus Standards:
    PSSA Eligible Content: 
    S4.B.1.1.1: Identify life processes of living things (e.g. growth, digestion, respiration).
    S4.B.1.1.2: Compare similar functions of external characteristics of organisms (e.g. anatomical characteristics: appendages, type of covering, body segments).
    S4.B.1.1.3: Describe basic needs of plants and animals (e.g. air, water, food).
    S4.B.1.1.4: Describe how different parts of a living thing work together to provide what the organism needs (e.g. parts of plants: roots, stem, leaves).
    NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas: 
    LS1.C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms.  All animals need food in order to live and grow.  They obtain their food from plants or from other animals. Plants need water and light to live and grow.

    Concepts - Students will know:
    • that things can be grouped as living and non-living.
    • that organisms can be grouped based on their characteristics.
    • that things which grow and change through a specific life cycle are living things.
    • that plants and animals have uses to people.
    Competencies - Students will be able to:
    • classify and sort objects as living and non-living.
    • group organisms by physical characteristics (i.e. color, shape, size, and texture).
    • observe and describe different types of animals and how they grow and change.
    • recognize plants and animals that are raised for food.
    • discuss other beneficial uses of plants and animals.

    Formative Assessments:
    • Pre-assessment
    • Science Notebooks
    • Student Drawings
    • Teacher Observation
    Summative Assessments:
    • Performance tasks 
    • Post-assessment

    Elements of Instruction:
    Analyzing and Interpreting Data:
    Analyzing data in K-2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to collecting, recording, and sharing observations.
    • Use observations (firsthand or from media) to describe patterns in the natural world in order to answer scientific questions. 

    Each lesson has differentiation options for each portion of the lesson.
    • Word walls and flip charts
    • Structured notebooks
    • Peer teaching
    • Self-check activities


    • Add other locally collected organisms to the terrariums.
    • Students complete a drawing of a pond and shore area and locate the organisms that live in water and those that live on land.
    • Play the "Who Am I?" charades game, acting out different animal behaviors for others to guess.
    Interdisciplinary Connections:
    Click here for Math/ELA Integration
    Train the goldfish
    Play a camouflage game
    Compare slugs to snails
    Go on a schoolyard field trip looking for organisms 

    Additional Resources / Games:
    FOSS Newsletter
    Science Literacy Resource Kit 
    Interactive games at:  www.fossweb.com