Angela Turnier has been teaching for 10 years in public
school, all in Talented and Gifted programs. She began
a community coop for nursery school children. Angela is
also a consultant to Scholastic, teaching Summer Balanced
Literacy Program to SURR school teachers.
Like the author, I found my class fascinated with animals. My purpose,
however, was not nonfiction writing, but science. It was to learn
how animal characteristics enable animals to adapt to their environment
to help them survive. Through research students could combine compatible
different animals giving them unique adaptations to show how new
animals may better survive our own fictitious desert environment.
Our final project was a 3-dimensional animal along with a scientific
description of that specific animal's adaptations with diagram and
the purpose of that adaptation.
Students Will Understand that:
All animals have adaptations
Adaptations enable animals to survive
Adaptations are necessary in our changing world. Without
them, animals will become extinct.
was used to complete research, author text, and complete diagrams.
Presentations were given to class by animal inventors to measure feasibility
of adaptations for survival. Students were also assessed via class
discussions. A child-generated rubric was used to determine whether
tasks were successful.
Tips for Teachers
The results of this project can then be put into field guide for our
imaginary island with photos and animal writings. It could be expanded
with a map giving island possible latitude and longitude. Science
now becomes the basis of science fiction in which facts are the cornerstone
of our book. This lesson can be differentiated according to the different
abilities of children. It could be done as a group project. A food
chain can be made using these imaginary animals (more research is
needed for this part).
Student Work Samples
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