• Elementary Science Grade 1 - Unit 3

    Subject:  Science
    Grade:    1
    Timeline:  12 Weeks
    Unit Title:  Structures and Processes

    Unit Overview: 
    In this unit students investigate a variety of organisms. They discover that organisms have certain basic needs, such as food, shelter, and water.  In observing and taking care of a number of different plants and animals, students begin to develop positive attitudes and a sensitivity toward living things.  Students also learn that organisms grow and change over time.  They discover that plants and animals are both similar and different, and that all organisms can be classified on the basis of their similarities and differences.
    The objectives of this unit are to apply the Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) Crosscutting Concepts that bridge disciplinary boundaries, uniting core ideas throughout the fields of science and engineering.
    • Patterns in the natural and human designed world can be observed, used to describe phenomena, and used as evidence.
    • The shape and stability of structures of natural and designed objects are related to their function(s).
    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, stems, leaves).
    S4.B.1.1.5 Describe the life cycles of different organisms (e.g. moth, grasshopper, frog, seed-producing plant).
    NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:
    LS1.A: Structure and Function:
    • All organisms have external parts. Different animals use their body parts in different ways to see, hear, grasp objects, protect themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find, and take in food, water and air. Plants also have different parts (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits) that help them survive and grow.
    LS1.B: Growth and Development of Organisms:
    • Adult plants and animals can have young. In many kinds of animals, parents and the offspring themselves engage in behaviors that help the offspring to survive.
    LS1.D: Information Processing: 
    • Animals have body parts that capture and convey different kinds of information needed for growth and survival. Animals respond to these inputs with behaviors that help them survive. Plants also respond to some external inputs.

    Concepts - Students will know:
    • that organisms can be grouped based on their characteristics.
    • the basic needs of living things.
    • similarities and differences of terrestrial and aquatic habitats.
    Competencies -Students will be able to:
    • group organisms based on structure and function of their parts.
    • identify ways organisms' structure and function of their parts relate to their behavior.
    • compare and contrast behavior of different organisms.
    • investigate the dependence of living things on the sun's energy.
    • investigate the dependence of living things on water, food/nutrients, and air.
    • investigate the dependence of living things on living space and shelter.
    • compare needs, behaviors, and changes of organisms in various habitats.
    • construct a simple model (e.g. diorama) showing an organism within its habitat.

    Formative Assessments:
    • Pre-assessment 
    • Performance tasks
    • Teacher observation
    • Journaling
    Summative Assessments:
    • Post Assessment

    Elements of Instruction:
    The NGSS identifies eight Science and Engineering Practices.  The two that follow apply to this unit.   
    Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions:

    Constructing explanations and designing solutions in K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to the use of evidence and ideas in constructing evidence-based accounts of natural phenomena and designing solutions.

    • Use materials to design a device that solves a specific problem or a solution to a specific problem.

    Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information:

    Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in K–2 builds on prior experiences and uses observations and texts to communicate new information.

    • Read grade-appropriate texts and use media to obtain scientific information to determine patterns in the natural world.

    • Use their sense of touch to identify unknown objects in a feely bag
    • Use unifix cubes to measure plant growth
    • Make dirt dessert to replicate habitats
    • Read books about mosses and trees
    • Create a class mural of a freshwater aquarium
    • Compare and contrast plants that live in fresh and salt water
    • Remove seeds from fruits and vegetable, sort and classify different seed types.  Create a display of the foods we get from seeds
    • Read books about living organisms
    • Make a class book using student writings about "The Day I Met My Millipede/Bess Beetle"
    • Make an edible aquarium using gelatin and gummy fish, etc.
    • Introduce a wordless book and students then write a story to accompany the pictures
    • Discuss ways that animals are helpful to people and some ways in which we are helpful to animals

    Interdisciplinary Connections:
    Science/Literacy Kit:
    Alligators and Crocodiles
    Animal Armor
    Animals in Winter
    Going Fishing
    Life in the Ocean
    Marshes and Swamps
    My Fish Tank
    Additional Resources / Games: