•  Elementary Science Grade 4 Unit 1 

    Subject: Science
    Grade: 4
    Timeline: 12 weeks
    Unit 1: Structure and Function

    Unit Overview: 
    Animal studies enables students to explore animals from three diverse habitats.  Students develop skills in observing and describing the animals' physical characteristics and behaviors. 

    Unit Objectives:
    The objectives of this unit are to apply the Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) Crosscutting Concepts that bridge disciplinary boundaries, uniting core ideas through the fields of science and engineering. 

    Systems and System Models
    A system can be described in terms of its components and their interactions. (4-LS1-1),(4-LS1-2)

    Focus Standards:
    PSSA Eligible Content:
    S.4.B.1.1.1: Identify life processes of living things (e.g., growth, digestion, respiration).
    S.4.B.1.1.2: Compare similar functions of external characteristics of organisms (e.g., anatomical characteristics: appendages, type of covering, body segments).
    S.4.B.1.1.3:  Describe basic needs of plants and animals (e.g., air, water, food). 
    S.4.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).
    S.4.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
    Plants and animals have both internal and external structures that serve various functions in growth, survival, behavior, and reproduction. (4-LS1-1)
    LS1.D: Information Processing
    Different sense receptors are specialized for particular kinds of information, which may be then processed by the animal’s brain. Animals are able to use their perceptions and memories to guide their actions. (4-LS1-2)

    Concepts - Students will know:
    • that organisms have characteristics necessary for survival.
    • an organism's interactions with non-living components of their habitat.
    • the relationship of organisms within a habitat.
    • factors that affect plant and animal survival in their habitat.
    Competencies -Students will be able to:
    • describe the connection between the organisms' characteristics, their needs, and the environment they live in.
    • explain animal adaptations/characteristics necessary for survival.
    • describe how living things depend on non-living things for survival.
    • investigate a particular organism's habitat.
    • describe how animals and plants interact to meet their needs.
    • describe changes in habitat from natural occurrences (weather, fire, flood, drought).
    • describe changes in habitats that result from man - made occurrences (urban sprawl).
    • compare extinct, endangered, and threatened life forms and identify causes for their status.

    • Pre-assessment
    • Post-assessment
    • Teacher Observations
    • Performance Tasks
    • Notebooking

    Elements of Instruction:
    The NGSS identifies eight Science and Engineering Practices that all students in all grades must participate in to effectively investigate the natural world through the practices of science inquiry, or solve meaningful problems through the practices of engineering design.

    Developing and Using Models
    Modeling in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to building and revising simple models and using models to represent events and design solutions.
    Use a model to test interactions concerning the functioning of a natural system. (4-LS1-2)
    Engaging in Argument from Evidence
    Engaging in argument from evidence in 3–5 builds on K–2 experiences and progresses to critiquing the scientific explanations or solutions proposed by peers by citing relevant evidence about the natural and designed world(s).
    Construct an argument with evidence, data, and/or a model. (4-LS1-1)

    • Student make a representational graph showing data collected for types of pets.
    • Students write descriptive poems about their school environment.
    • Students share books with the class that explore a variety of habitats.
    • Students research and report the similarities and differences between toads and frogs.
    • Students research and write a report on animal characteristics and habitat.
    • Students use their recorded characteristics to create poems about crabs, frogs, millipedes and their habitats.
    • Students research and compare the life cycle of a frog and a crab. 
    • Students measure and compare the length of millipedes. 
    • Students explore learned vs inborn animal behaviors.
    • Students investigate animal responses and behavior to different stimuli.

    Interdisciplinary Connections:
    Social Studies:  Geography of habitats